Jump to content
mfh

Significant Quotes

Recommended Posts

Wow, that is something. I think I would have gone and sat on the floor next to her and maybe even held her and cried with her, if she let me. It is not that people are unfeeling or uncaring, but that death makes them feel uncomfortable, awkward, they don't know what to say, what to do, how to handle it. And how can you if you haven't been there! Yes it was the grocery store, too, that was so hard for me after George died. That man loved to eat! We always got groceries together, it was, I swear, the highlight of his week! He grew up in a large family, hungry, and food just meant a lot to him. I loved cooking for him, he truly appreciated everything I fixed. I don't recall a thing he didn't like. Yes indeed, passing their favorite drink, their favorite food...it's just a hard thing.

You're right, grief is not something you "get through" as if you're ever done with it. Perhaps that's why I'm still here...aside from wanting to pay it forward to others going through it, this is the group that truly "gets me", the group I am most at home with, can be myself with, can feel understood. Here no one will tell you "move on", "get over it", or the hundreds of other platitudes we've heard over the years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Transcending Loss: Understanding the lifelong impact of grief

You may frequently wonder, how am I going to survive this? How can I endure this unbearable pain and sorrow? Do not think ahead, simply draw your attention back to one moment at a time, one breath at a time, which will expand into one day at a time. Keep your focus narrow. Day will add to day and you will live your way into the future. But for now, only this moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good advice, Mary. I've found that helps so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like Nouwen's books....really like!

Grief Speaks

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

Advances In Bereavement

Grief work doesn't make the pain go away. It experiences, honors and grows out of it.

and finally

Grief & Loss Today

Trying to avoid grief is like trying to avoid paying your taxes. The cost you finally face will have grown enormously!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Mary,

I hope you will have a bit easier day today.

May your heart and spirit rest secure in the knowing of your abiding L*ve with Bill, and may you feel his presence always in your heart, and may your spirit be warmed and illuminated by your shared L*ve.

You are a special, loving, and caring soul, as well as remarkably resilient and courageous.

As we move into the days of the Promise, may we all be fully blessed in our grief, and comforted with the love of our Creator. I have not started writing poetry again yet, but when I do, I have a lot of wonderful stories to share about the most remarkable and loving people here, and you are most certainly one of the compassionate stars.

I hope these next days ahead hold comfort, peace, and abiding hope for you, to ease this time and succour your heart.

Much Love and

*<twinkles>*

fae

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mary,

I felt like applauding that! I, too, love Henri Nouwen and this quote is so true!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just logged on to thanks folks and welcome the new person and your post came in. Yes, you know you and I share a lot of likes for similar kinds of spiritual books. My brother introduced me to Nouwen as he knew him fairly well. That was along time ago and I have read many of his writings.

Did Easter get figured out??? with the kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not yet...still waiting to hear back. Paul & Bethany and I will get together after Arlie gets pronounced okay, we'll take the dogs to a dog park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and here is one of my favorites of Henri Nouwen - it is good to just sit with someone

“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Anne,

Thank you for posting that! It is incredibly beautiful.

Compassion, to me, is a manifestation of the Creator's love, and one of the means by which we can each express that love one to another. As individual humans. I belive love happens in the particular, as did, among others, Madeline L'Engle.

And I am sure you all know about the monks who meditated on compassion, and how it changed their brains. Imagine how beautiful life and Earth can be for humankind as more and more meditate on the many attributes of love, which is the most powerful creative energy in existence, after all.

Which is obviously what makes this such a special place. I am having happiness right now. Thank you, wonderful teachers, givers, *<Angels>*

*<twinkles>*

fae

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anne, I love that Nouwen quote. I will copy that. I feel this group lives here with each other.

Tough evening here...thinking about Holy Saturday and Bill's burial which was on Holy Saturday. I will be glad to get past the next few days....my eye doc gave me artificial tears to use as my eyes are bothering me and dried out. I told her i cried them all out. She and I have a good relationship and she LOVED Bill...who didn't? When he could no longer make the trip down to Chicago, I had her write a letter and send files to me for someone local. Her description of Bill's eyes was one thing but her description of him was quite another....everyone who met him loved him and felt safe with him. His gentleness was amazing...and he was totally in touch with his intuitive and soul. He was a rare guy...a friend told me once that she felt Bill was highly evolved. I believe it. Guess I need to talk about him tonight....The gal that helped me pick out colors today for my walls lost her husband about 22 years ago and wrote me the loveliest note for the anniversary. Every once in a while she sobs...22 years later. My colors will not be so far removed from white but I know it will be different....living room/dining room will be sort of a very light stone which will pick up the marble coffee and end tables...and the sofa. Kitchen will be a linen with a hint of color....to blend with the tile. This is a 1952 house and I am trying to honor that and not turn it into contemporary which is what we have always lived in. Bathroom will be a light taupe. Next year I will get the bedrooms and my office. I am rambling....distracting myself as tears roll.

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Mary, dear,

I hold you in my heart, and your tears started my own. Your sharing of Bill tells me so much about both of you: the things you honored in each other, and which still shine from your heart so very well. I think you are both highly evolved.

Thank you for sharing about Bill, and your sense of loss welling up during this Holy Season. I will have the candles lit tonight for Bill and others. I feel your love, constancy, and Oneness shining through your words and heart.

The colors for your home sound lovely and restful, and warm. Maybe you can post some photos when it is all done and back together.

My girlfriend in Australia still cries after thirty years, and my best friend still cries very often after 8 years. I don't think we get to put a time on the need for tears. But now, I float along on and with them, knowing that more pain is releasing from my heart. Sometimes, I can feel such a sense of relief after tears that it is though some physical impediment has been cleared from my body. I think it has. Something toxic, something not at all life-affirming, is being washed away.

I started painting my tent fly today, and it feels good to make a new joyful pattern on my "other house". I have a customized VE-24 North Face, which easily held me and Doug, although he scoffed at the weight. Because I must let each ink dry very well and then heat set it, the project will take a while, but then I will put up a photo. I am smiling about it. Our tent is going to Alaska with me in a couple of months. And I am making a new banner, too.

Our hearts are healing. As you continue on this healing journey, I send you love and prayers, and special good wishes for these next days. May you have moments of peace.

*<twinkles>*

fae

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Julian Barnes: 'Grief seems at first to destroy not just all patterns, but also to destroy a belief that a pattern exists.'

Julian Barnes wrote: A Sense of an Ending (about his wife's death). We read it for book club this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fae

Thank you. I am ok. I woke up crying. I was dreaming about bending over Bill's open grave (something I did 3 years ago on Holy Saturday-at his burial making sure the casket was ok down there and then throwing yet another rose onto his casket and some soil) and I know I will sob on and off today but I am ok. I know that sounds strange but my peace is slowly returning after a month of turmoil. Bill is gone. I know that. I have relived and done flashbacks...almost like a final good-bye, at least that is what they feel like.

When do you leave for Alaska? Do you stay in a tent there or a house? Just caring. You life feels so full of so much.

I do so look forward to the house being painted at the end of April. The end product will be worth it. It is a symbol for me (I am big on symbols and metaphors). I never really moved into this house. I am now cleaning the nest that we found and making it mine. I had 22 friends help us pack and move and unpack excluding Two Men and a Truck as Bill was unable to do so. I felt sad for him as he would have organized the whole thing and we would have teamed the move. He helped pick out the house but between the time we did that and closed...he got worse. We moved so he would have a lovely village to walk through, shop friends to visit etc. as there was nothing in the town we lived in after our RV life but it was all we could find while we looked for a house in Spring Green. He enjoyed the town for 2 months and then started getting lost and falling and plummeted to total disability. Cathy set up my kitchen and it needs reorganizing. The painting (and he will do something to the kitchen cabinets to make them "perk up") will be wonderful. His mil owned this house before we did and he has done the cabinets before...they are dull. I will get the carpets and sofa cleaned and a few other things in the living space. Bill did not want wooden floors as he feared falling or tripping on an area rug so replaced the carpet but someday I will pull it all up and get the maple floors sanded etc. I will let the basement go until winter....and spend time getting the yards perked up. I would love a wonderful garden in back with walkways, bench in the center of a labyrinth, raised bed veggies (or maybe lasagna garden) and a ton of perennials but that is a long long project over maybe 5 years...doable if I pace myself (something I am learning). The front has lovely hibiscus, clematis, and other flowers and bushes and I removed crappy bushes and planted fern (from my friend's woods) and hosta where it is all shade but the back is bare. I lost the trees there to wind and lightning in a storm last summer. But it is surrounded by lilacs and arbor vitae outside the fence. I had all that trimmed last fall but a storm a few weeks ago destroyed some of the arbor vitae so the guy has to return and remove that. Bentley's groomer is a friend/master gardener and has won awards on her farm gardens and will guide me. I have never done much of it as we lived in the woods and kept it wild by choice. So enough rambling on and on.

Thinking of all of us through this Easter/Passover/Spring time. Some with new gut wrenching pain, some a bit further into the journey but all hurting and grieving and missing our loved ones at this holiday time. When I walked Bentley yesterday the robins were everywhere. I saw cranes in the fields this week and spring is finally happening here. Half of my yard is now cleared of snow.

Peace, Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Henri Nouwen's quote reminds me of the Bible passage "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep", a simplified version of the same theme. Henri has such a way of putting things, so eloquent! Mary, I appreciate your sharing about Bill, I love to hear about our spouses, it makes sense, our grieving, when we hear about what remarkable beings they were (are)! I love hearing all of your stories and lends me permission to share about George.

Mary, I hope today is going okay for you, knowing it is the anv. of his burial. George died on a Sunday so I waited a few days for his memorial service so people could come on the weekend, and held it on the following Sat., and as I had him cremated, there wasn't a rush. I remember spending 17 hours straight scanning and printing photos and making a collage, working feverishly...it gave me something to do. It was a large standup collage that I had at the memorial service in the fellowship hall where we had dinner afterwards. People enjoyed seeing photos of him throughout his life. I also had a stack of pictures for everyone to take with them.

Today is a beautiful Spring day, I'm hoping winter is gone from here. I just got back from walking Arlie. After I get the chores done, who knows, maybe we'll go for a ride together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kay, today is ok. I fight tears today and then give in...I KNOW last year was not this tough and I KNOW it is how this anniversary is so overlapped with Easter week as it was when Bill died. It is just loaded...maybe that is why March was so tough. I am worn down.

I started scanning all those photos when Bill died to make a video for the reception area after his funeral but a friend came over, took all the photos and did it for me. I still have a lot that I want to scan in...someday. It is so amazing what we do when we are at our worst. I remember spending hours putting the funeral service and booklet together, finding readings, etc. After the funeral was over it is all a fog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George died on June 19, Father's Day...the entire summer is a fog! Seriously! I know the phone rang off the hook for days and my sister and daughter answered it and put it to my ear but I don't remember any of the calls or who they were, I just wish they'd all stop, I couldn't take it, it was all just too much. Then after his service when everyone went on their merry ways, I wish just one of them would call or care or listen, but no, they didn't want "death" to touch them. It was weird, I never would have expected people to react like they did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kay, I do understand that it happens and someday this society will come around and learn how to deal with death and loss and grief....I doubt in our lifetimes but there are changes...slow but they do exist. The last people I expected to act like that was my sibs but they did and still do in many ways. I do not discuss it. Sad that so many grieving people are left to add another loss at a tough time in life.

A friend called and asked if I wanted to get a burger...neither of us eat much meat but tonight, I guess it is a burger and it will do me good to get out for an hour or so.

Peace

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fixed my Easter dinner today since I haven't heard from my daughter. while it was in the oven, I went out and knocked the wood stack wall down, it was about ready to fall and I couldn't shore it up because my son has engines, etc. on the other side of it in the way and he won't be here until summer, too late then, I need to get wood now. So I spent my afternoon restacking the wall and trying to make it sturdier and straighter...it used to be okay, I guess too many cats have pranced around on it, grrr! Anyway, got that done and have cleaned up from dinner, walked Arlie, now my back is exhausted and I'm done for tonight. Church all morning and then I'm having a cord of wood delivered in the afternoon so will work on stacking that all afternoon before I order three more cords. I wish I knew what the weather would be like next weekend, it shows rain on Friday. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother is a Catholic priest who developed a program of parish retreats based on Anthony DeMello's book Awareness as well as others. This is how I became aware of DeMello's writings. This quote arrived in today's email. I so want to get into the present and stumble upon the timeless and know what eternity is. I bet I am not alone.

“How long does the present last? A minute? A second?”

“Much less and much more,” said the Master. “Less, because the moment you focus on it, it’s gone.

“More, because if you ever get into it, you will stumble upon the timeless and know what eternity is.”

Anthony De Mello, SJ

www.demello.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Transcending Loss: Understanding the lifelong impact of grief

Sometimes the day after a holiday feels especially exhausting. You geared yourself up for the day, somehow got it through it, and now you find yourself crashing. Let yourself rest as much as possible today. Try to cut yourself slack and be gentle. For today, let yourself rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Mary Oliver greeting to the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Transcending Loss: Understanding the lifelong impact of grief

Memories can feel double-edged. They can be painful, sharp, highlighting your loss . . . or they can remind you of wonderful times, deep love, and life lived. Be open to your many memories, a flower field of times that connect you to your loved one. Hold each memory with reverence and let yourself savor the love.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for Mary Oliver's poem today, Mary.

I didn't want this to appear twice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×