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In Honor Of Jacks Birthday

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Hello to you all,

I have been reading a wonderful book called “The Heart of Grief” - by Thomas Attig. I was a book suggested to me by Walt C. Thanks Walt – this was a great lead in the effort to understand this Journey of grief we are all on.

Today is Jack’s Birthday – and so the following is my gift to each of you – in his memory – excerpts from the book “The heart of Grief”.

Basically the book tells us “Love that was real does not die when those we love die.” The book offers “encouragement and guidance in seeking and finding lasting love.” It also tells you “there is nothing in all of this hat implies that we must let go completely.” It goes on to say “grieving is a journey that teaches us how to love in a new way now that our loved one is no longer with us”. ‘We retain a unique acquaintance with those we love.” The author’s intent is to show us “how holding someone in our hearts after death is good for us, our fellow survivors, and those who have died. Our lasting love affirms the enduring meanings of their lives, meanings no canceled by death. Lasting love consoles us and moderates our suffering as their legacies enrich our lives. “ The author also goes on to quote C.L Lewis who wrote in one of his books “We will always ache for those who have died. But when the ache no longer dominates our experience, they come into view again. We can embrace them still even while we are apart.”

I have found the book so interesting that I wanted to share a few extended passages with you – Here they are:


“Death does not erase or cancel the meanings we shared with those who have died. In the time we have known them, they have touched our heart, souls, and spirits. They have influenced the way we live, shaped our character, and inspired us. They retain the power to do these things after they die. It remains only for us to acknowledge, accept gratefully, and cultivate what their lives still have to offer.”

“Often, then stories are intimately interwoven with our own life stories. As we cherish the life stories of those who have died, we continue the interweaving process. Our love for them deepens as we allow the values and meanings in the stories to permeate our lives as survivors. When we share the stories with others, we enrich our family and community lives.”

“As we remember and cherish the stories of those who have died, we sustain our connection with them. We hold them dear as we welcome differences they still make in our lives. We retain and appreciate the gifts that were their lives. We give their legacies places in our hearts – and, in this way, we become their living legacies.”

“As strange as it may sound, our lasting love benefits those who have died. They do not want to slip into oblivion at the moment of death. They do not want the world, especially those they loved, to go on as if they had never lived. It is only human for those who have died to want to make lasting impressions on the world and those they leave behind. They want to be remembered. They want to retain places in the lives of those they have known and loved. In and through our memories we give our deceased family members and friends a symbolic immortality, a continuity that transcends death.”

“They do not want us to be overwhelmed by their death or to dwell in the pain of missing them. They want us to hold dear the good in their lives, to use and cherish what they have given. We fulfill these desires lovingly as we treasure their legacies and grant them places in our hearts.”

“Lasting love makes us whole again as individuals, families and communities. We reweave the threads of our lives, creating newly integrated patterns. We reintegrate the values and meanings of the stories of those who have died into our own life stories. We reinterpret our past lives with the deceased, alter how we live in the present, and project new hopes and purpose into the future. We change, as do our enduring connections with those who have died, with our families, with our friends, with the larger community, with God, and even with our life’s work.”

“Our lasting love also mitigates, or balances, the pain of missing those who have died. This love helps us to carry our pain. It reassures us that h=they did not live in vain and it brings comfort and solace as it gives them a new, enriching, dynamic, and enduring presence in our lives. It makes missing them more like loving them while we are separated in life. The motivation to lasting love and enduring connection draws on the best that is in us. It sets us on hopeful paths into the future where we feel powerful and intimately connected tho those who have died. When we cherish their legacies in this way, we connect with the best life has to offer us.”

“We can further the interests of those who have died. Grace them a symbolic immortality, and fulfill their desire that we live well in their absence.”

“Memory returns them to us in our separation. We can once again see their faces, hear their voices, and love them still. When we actively bring them to mind or reminisce, we can redeem the best of them and our lives together. Only through memory can we consciously acknowledge, explore, appreciate, and cultivate their legacies.”

“Conscious remembering and shared reminiscing enrich our present living. And they enable us to carry much of lasting value into the future. Memory allows us to reclaim and revive our appreciation of those we still love and the gifts they continue to give us. We can cherish their legacies here and now. We take delight in having known and loved them. As we cherish them, we experience again the praise, gratitude, and joy they bring to our hearts.”


I hope these passages help you as much as they helped me. It’s a wonderful book that I would recommend to everyone. Thanks again WaltC – for telling me about this powerful reading material.

Love to you all,

John – Dusky is my handle on here.

Love you Jack – and Happy Birthday

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I love C. S. Lewis, for many reasons...he is not only intelligent and articulate, but he had the bravery to step out of the mold and listen to his heart to a higher calling...he broke out of the norm and the "expected" path to be enriched with what we cannot define...that thing called love. He loved fully and richly and then he experienced loss and grief, and so he knows what he speaks of, and it has enriched him and made him so much the deeper for it. Now, instead of having someone who is merely an expert in his field, we have someone who has lived, someone real, someone with the capacity to understand. It is kind of like the difference between a young singer who memorizes words to a song...once they have experienced life and sing that same song, it takes on a life of its own, it has depth and feeling because of the experience that goes with it...not the experience of practicing singing, but the experience of life and its journey.

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Guest PattiZ54

John/Dusky - Those were beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that with us and making us a part of Jack's birthday. I think I understand why he loved you so much....you are a wonderful and caring person.


(Charlie 6/10/58-11/16/2004; I love & miss you, Dear!)

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