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When we lose someone we love, they take our history, memories, and shared experiences with them. Regardless of our age, we are always children, siblings, parents, spouses, and grandparents.

The first question I am asked is “How old was the person who died?” Despite some rationalization and equivocation for the other person, the mourning and grief is real. The children have lost a parent. It does not matter how old the parent was when she passed, it is a large loss and gaping hole in the hearts of the children.

We are mourning yet another loss to our family structure. Our uncle passed away two days ago. My 85 year old father-in-law said, in his sadness, “My little brother died.” We are reduced to another age in the fluidity of time with memories of summers on the beach, dinners with grandparents, holidays and birthdays. The person who knows and shares your story is gone. You become the lone storyteller with no one to embellish your memories or enhance the details. The witness to the milestones of your life is gone.

Painfully, it is a reminder that you are the remaining mourner, on your own, carrying the bulk and breadth of your family history.

Whether other people lack experience, maturity, or empathy, the loss remains. That is the intangible in the hazy shape-shifting of life. For anyone who has lost someone they love, they can choose to reach out in condolences and understanding to another. It is incomprehensible to someone who has not been in that circumstance. Pain recognizes pain and is capable of extending kindness to another with the knowledge of how extraordinarily helpless it feels standing in the shadow of sorrow. People still walk past you. Heads bob in traffic caught up in their tiny little worlds. How could the world still go on? Don’t you realize who passed and what their contributions meant?

The fingerprint of grief lies indelibly on our hearts.

Thank you for stopping by. It means more than you think.


  1. It is rather odd how life seems to go on, while we are stuck with the grief. I looked at my husband the other day, and said–October, wow I have seriously been checked out most of this year. I am sorry for your loss. One thing the insensitive can’t take away, are our memories and love. Take care. -April

    • Thank you so much April. It has been a very difficult five months and people do expect it to be out of sight out of mind. It simply is not. Your support and caring words mean a lot!

      • I lost my sister in March. It has been quite the struggle, and there are people in my life who believe I should be moving on. Just as you said, she shared a history with me, and she was a huge emotional support for me. I truly miss her, but I can also hear her saying “I’m okay, don’t worry about me, live”.

      • April, I most definitely understand. I know how much my sister means to me. She cared for my grandparents until their passing. We watched my mother and grandmother deteriorate and both passed five and four months respectively. Our family wants us to live and go on, but it isn’t quite the same without these special people. It never could be and so they remain with us and we remain with them Always.

  2. Thank you for your posting and reblogging of my post. If it brings someone comfort, I am most grateful. Your poetry is beautiful.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Grief | T. L. Ryder on 06 Oct 2013 at 7:04 pm

    […] Loss and Grief are the Ultimate Equalizer ( […]

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