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Tag Archives: Goodbye

But my brain never forgets either….

maya angelou_alike

It is that time again when I struggle to add acceptance to the other stages of grief that are playing with me again.

Anxiety, crankiness, frustration and other emotional tides are tossing me about.  It is the anniversary of a death.  I have joys and family opportunities to celebrate life and gratitude. My life has been altered by giving others permission to express their pain and truth.  We each need to be supported and encouraged to be accepted through all of our life experiences.  When I try to deny that to myself, my heart and mind know the truth.  My emotions are fragile.  Loss of a loved one is understood acutely by someone who has experienced that same gaping pain.

That anniversary surrounds me with memories of the days leading up to the passing of someone who loved me.  Looking back, I realize that I thought I had more time than I did.

My responsibilities and commitments were honored, although it didn’t mean as much to the recipients as it did to me.  When I tried to be strong, and denied myself the empathy I offered to others, I missed one more chance to say goodbye.  Another hug, or a kiss, or a kind word slipped away from me in regret.

So, now it is my turn.  Overwhelming grief makes a liar out of time.  Passage is just hands on a clock until it is someone else’s time to mourn.

 

 

 

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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.

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