Stories from my little corner of the world, the South. Some are from the present, some from the past...but all are from my heart.

They reflect my thoughts and views, my musing about the world, and each carries with it a bit of my heart
and soul.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Two long years....

Two Long Year

Lying awake at dawn, I remember them.
With a love that is almost joy I remember them.
Lost, and all mine, all mine, forever.
~John Hall Wheelcock


I dreamed of Micah and Daddy all night, of a time long ago when he was just a little boy, and the three of us with Boomer and Benji were riding in the woods one afternoon finding ditches for Micah to wade through with his new rubber boots. He was maybe six, and after we got on the back of the truck for the last time before going back to the house, he turned his face to me, with a smile as wide as a river, and said: "Aunt Rosie, it just don't get better than this!"
No it doesn't, and I feel blessed to have such precious memories of him, especially doesn't feel like 2yrs today, and then at times, it feels like it's been a lifetime since we lost him.

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Always Okay to Cry

This quote has been a great source of comfort for me these past two years...through so many tears:


It's Normal for Grief To Stay With Us For A Lifetime

When we are drawn into the brotherhood or sisterhood of loss, tenderness seems to be our natural state. We are so vulnerable. Everything brushes against the raw wound of our grief, reminding us of what we have lost...Martha Whitmore Hickman
 It’s interesting that often when we are feeling low and need something to lift our spirits, how it comes to us. Such was the case with an article I read recently online about grief. Last Friday morning there it was in my news feed on Facebook, and as I read it felt like a balm to the wounds in my heart.

No matter how hard we all try to be strong and resilient in the face of adversity, the truth is we are so fragile. We are such fragile beings of blood and bone, skin and sinew, muscle and memories, wrapped in our earthly forms, our hearts mottled with emotions and the yearning to understand the great mystery of Life.

 All the days of our lives here on Earth we work and struggle to live and make a living. With our family and friends around us, we go through day after day living, laughing, loving and wrestling with the great mystery of why we are here, and where we go when we die.

Then, sometimes unexpectedly, a loved one dies, and we find ourselves racked with such unimaginable sorrow and unspeakable grief that nothing about our lives makes sense anymore. We lose track of hours, days, and sometimes even weeks as we stumble along trying to understand the pain of the intolerable heartache that has befallen us.

 It seems to me that lately my family and I have been confronted with this question far too often. In the past two years, I've struggled, sometimes daily, to understand why. 

So, seeing this article was exactly what I needed at the moment. Written by Ashley Bush, a psychotherapist, it first caught my eye because of its title: “Grief Has No Closure (Fortunately)”. 

But wait, haven’t we always been told there is and should be closure? It might take time, but closure will come eventually, is what we were told for decades. 
Not so, says Ms. Bush, closure may not ever come to us fully, and that's okay, as long as we come to terms with our grief.

What she said next about grief made the most sense of all: “And it doesn’t just hurt for a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. The impact of a major loss is lifelong. Emotional “closure” is a cultural myth.”
Finally, someone who isn’t afraid to speak the truth about how grief works and the acknowledgement that it's healthy and normal to feel the loss forever. After all, this is real life we’re talking about here, where things get messy and complicated and painful at times. It’s not the make-believe world of a television sitcom where everything is neatly wrapped up and tied with a bow within a thirty-minute time frame.
  For me personally, losing four family members and one very dear friend to death in just a little over two years left me feeling vulnerable and raw, the wound of grief never quite healing before another loss comes. 

 My heart feels weary and scabbed with the losses. My body feels tired- physically, mentally, and emotionally. I've often fluctuated between tears and anger and between denial and acceptance, all the while questioning the meaning of it all.

Reading that all of my emotions were perfectly normal and that it may never be the same for me was reassuring. Suddenly, I felt more equipped to handle my losses than I have since it all began. I am relieved to hear that I am not expected “to get over it”, as was suggested to me by someone last year. This woman, a therapist, suggested that I not express the sadness that I felt as my nephew’s 16th birthday neared. I was shocked and angry that she would say this. How could I not be saddened knowing that this would have been the birthday he would have gotten his pick-up truck, that important ritual of passage for a young man.

What this author suggest, however, is not that we forget our grief, but rather that we eventually transcend our loss in such a way that brings more meaning and purpose to our lives. To me, that makes far more sense, the notion that we would find through our grief a way to better understand Life and our place in it.

She suggests we consider three things to help us as we navigate the grief that surrounds us:

1.   Loss is lifelong-it is with us always, but we can learn to accept it as time passes. It’s with this gradual acceptance of loss that we are able to move on with our lives.

2.   Love is eternal- the love we have for those who have passed is ongoing and will always be a part of our lives. It is part of who we are and talking about them and remembering the good times we shared acknowledges the important place they hold in our lives.

3.   You are changed- Make no mistake, you and the rest of the family left behind will never be the same. How can any of you be the same with the missing person you all loved no longer part of you lives? Yet this change is inevitable and part of moving forward. As Ms. Bush says: “As you let yourself be changed, you will find that growth is possible.”

More than anything, I think it’s important to remember that our loved ones would not want us to become so mired in grief that we cannot move forward in our lives. We honor their memories by loving and remembering them, but also by moving forward with our own lives. 

Rose S. Williams©2012