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Tag Archives: Condolences

Bad Signal
Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

Bad Signal

blurry hearts

Uncle Aaron passed away. Eva died of cancer. Uncle Jack is in the hospital. Elaine’s father died. I thought you knew. We did not want to upset you more.

People presume to know how much I can handle and how much I care. I have had losses that have hurt. Sadly, there have been quite a few in a fairly short amount of time. I prefer the truth and my opportunity to process and mourn in my own way at the right time. If I do not know, I cannot offer my condolences to a family member. Because of your misguided attempt at kindness, I did not give my condolences to his daughter. Now, she will always remember that we did nothing while she felt most alone and bereft.

This is not casual information. These people lived, made an impression on my heart, and are a part of my life’s history. Please don’t pretend that it never happened or act like it should not be that important to me. You may prefer to let time pass or act like it was no big deal. Now I will be mourning on my own and grieving a loss that others already shared.

grief is not a disorder

thanks for stopping by! it means more than you know.

rose kennedy quote pain is never gone
This is a see-saw life, not a balancing act. Each day is a new attempt to rise up to the challenges of daily living. Sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is an act of brute strength.

There have been many challenges that tire me and have left their empty spaces and raw places in my heart. It would be wonderful if others could appreciate how hard it is to grieve for someone you love and that there is no time limit. For those who are grieving, and have, they do understand. For those who are most fortunate not to have to examine the most difficult part of the life cycle, do not take this time or another person for granted.

Losing my mother and grandmother four weeks apart was a double blow. Others just pretend it never happened or cannot understand the extent of the relationships I had with my mother and grandmother. Yet, I have been asked if I am all better. There are no parameters to the love I feel for my mother and grandmother, so how could I limit the grief and mourning to some preconceived notion of propriety? I had fifty years of experiences with my mother and grandmother, how could three months be enough time for grieving?

I think of my mother and grandmother every single day. A song, a photograph, a thought, a flower…… can suddenly bring tears to my eyes and I relive the loss again and again. This goodbye is permanent; my first instinct to call my mother or visit my grandmother means I have to remember that the door is closed, the bed is empty, the phone no longer rings.

grief is normal

The kindness of letting another cry, or acknowledge the depth of sorrow, is part of the elemental behavior that makes us human. We can extend it when we see someone like us, struggling to make it through the overwhelming losses. Pain recognizes pain.

When sadness threatens to overwhelm me, it is the conscious decision to commit an act of kindness that brings me back up again. Even in the simplicity of speaking to another, I am deciding to reveal myself. If he finds comfort in the telling of my own struggles, then it is a conscious listening and sharing on both of our parts. We welcome and make room for our stories with respect. Again, it is scary to take the first step, but if the other person responds, a weight is lifted.

Trying to instill ethics, values, courtesy and the awareness that we can alter another’s personal world, and the universe at large, is hoping that the germ of generosity and openness takes root in those whose lives we touch. Fear and mistrust is an unlearning of those ideals to which we hold dear. All it takes is one playground bully to push us to the ground and our fragile child-like strength shatters.

There is nothing random or small about an act of kindness. Empathy, and the desire to create a cycle of good and trust where hearts and minds have been broken, leaves the world a better place. We do not want to face the loss of someone we love, but the intention to comfort another is at the heart of a kindness we cannot repay. It is that intention that gives me hope through the highs and lows of the see-saw life.

Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate it more than you know.

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