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Do You Think They Miss Us?


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I probably depress everyone with my posts but this is what I struggle with. I'm so confused anymore about what I believe or don't believe. I still am considering not choosing to live. I'd much rather be with Larry but when I bring that up to my hospice counselor she said "if you did something to yourself, it doesn't guarantee you'll see Larry". I can feel him around me, I just wonder, do they miss us when they are in heaven? Are they sad that they had to leave us? How are you supposed to go on if you don't feel life is worth living without them? These are questions I have and I would like to hear how the rest of you think about this topic. I know we all have different ways of looking at this particularly if you have a belief in God but my faith has been shaken to the core and I'm not confident in what I used to have faith in. I believed in the power of prayer prior to Larry dying but now I can't pray for myself or others, it makes no sense to me anymore. Marty, what do you think? Deborah

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My husband's been gone for about a year and a half. The last two months I finally went to church, a new one, alone. That was a big step. I always have firmly believed Jack would have stayed if he could, that he will always love me and misses me. I believe he's watching over me, probably sitting on my shoulder right now. I feel his presence like you do your husband's. After he died, I was so terribly distraught and then one night he came to me with the biggest, warmest enveloping hug I couldn't believe it. I will never forget that. I know he lives on. Please believe you will see your husband again but not through giving up. Just take it slowly, take care of yourself, talk to those who'll support you and take it an hour, a day at a time....sometimes maybe even a minute. You have support through your friends here. Your faith will come back when the time is right. Keep fighting and hang in there.

Karen

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LarryGirls I'm feeling exactly like you feel. Some days all I do is repeat to my baby "Please take me with you, Please take me with you"..and nothing I'm still here. I have seen him in dreams and he is always happy and tells me that I can not go with him...he doesn't say why and I wished he did. I guess I need to find that out by myself.

Even though I don't blame God for what happend I don't pray anymore, I'm not sure why.

I think they do miss us but they are at peace with it and they are happy wherever they are at. We miss them but are not in peace with it...maybe I don't know

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Hi Deborah,

I don't post on here very often but I read almost all of them. I thought it was important for me to let you know how much I value you and your words of understanding and comfort that you offer to myself and others. You are hurting from a very deep loss as are so many on this forum. The pain is real and most times overwhelming. You remind us all that it takes a long time and a long time is ok. You remind us that if we are still feeling awful after 17 months of this grieving, that we are not insane. You are way too important of a person to way too many people to leave this Earth by your own hand. I wish we did have answers to the most important questions. But for some reason we just don't, and I really don't like that. For me, suffering and pain on Earth forces me to look beyond this brief life and believe strongly that what awaits us will be amazing. That is what gets me through. Please take good care Deborah. Tracy

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My belief has always been that there are no tears of sadness in Heaven I was told once that they can see only the happy times in our life and not the sad ones. You will one day be reunited, until then they would wants us to live life to the fullest. I know it is hard in the begining, as I to did not want to continue living and thought about sucide multible times. I know now that is not the thing to have done, I would have done more harm to my son if I had gone through with it. I know some of you don't have young children or maybe even have lost contact with your family because of the death, however it would still affect them and I personaly don't want to do something that would harm anyone else. As far as praying, instead of thinking of it as a formal prayer or a long drawn out one I have found that sometimes the only thing I could do is say "God help me" that is prayer enough at the begining and believe me it helps. I hope this helps somehow.

Love always

Derek

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Dear LarrysGirl,

I can certainly understand the deep sadness you feel. One comfort I can offer you is that you are indeed not alone – especially when you visit this site. Each individual here knows the type of pain you suffer because we share the same type of pain and loss that you yourself are suffering.

I believe it is normal to have these fleeting thoughts and desires to be where our loved ones are – separated from this dreadful task we face called grief. One thing that has sustained me all these months since Jack's death has been that this process I am enduring is in fact my final and most beautiful gift to him. Each of us has provided our loved one this gift of endurance so that they themselves would not have to grieve our loss. I am grateful that Jack will never have to feel the pain of my loss. Somehow, this gives this journey some meaning.

We all experience some days that are worse than others – and we all pray – in our own way. I believe you pray – in your thoughts. Prayer does not have to be verbalized to be recognized as prayer. Actually, we continually pray with the thoughts we think.

I was thinking this morning that I am approaching the two-year anniversary of Jack's death in July – and I could hardly believe it has been that long since he has been gone. Then I realized that it is actually nearly three years since he became ill and went blind. I have actually been in some type of grief for nearly three years now – as the year before he died he was being taken away – inch by inch.

For much of this time I too believed that I had lost the capacity to pray – but finally realized that prayer comes in many forms – but is found most consistently in what we think. We have a thought – then we do something – we put the thought into action. Both the thought and the action are a form of prayer. For me I have had many thoughts – and many I have put down on paper. I write a lot. My thoughts – put on paper – are my form of prayer. For others it may take a different form. They may think about gardening, music, or painting. Then once your thought is put into action – both your thought and your actions are prayer. It may take the form of working the soil, listening to or creating music, or painting or just looking at a piece of art.

I truly believe you have been praying – in your own way. Our thoughts become what we are. We are what we think. We pray when we think. Our thoughts are prayer – then what we do with our thoughts is the visual realization of that prayer. It all begins with a thought. So let your thoughts be positive – so that what you realize will also be positive.

The kindness you show to others is a prayer – your gentle thought put into action.

Remember and think beautiful thoughts of Larry – then do what ever that beautiful though is and put that thought and memory into action. Bake his favorite meal or desert – and when you eat it and share it with others remember all that he was to you and what he was to others. Do one of his favorite activities and remember how he enjoyed that same activity. For me the key is in remembering. Sometimes I remember the pain – and I have to remind myself that all our lives are filled with parts that are painful and parts that are joyful – and what we choose to remember is up to us. Therefore, when I have those painful memories and moments of excruciating sorrow over his absence I try to remember a good moment – a special thing that was unique to him. I shift my thoughts to all that he was to me. I still want him here – but I know it will have to wait. Until then I keep him in my heart and I try to let the beautiful parts of his life surface into my memory. It is not always easy – but I do believe it is prayer.

I have used my writing (which is my own form of prayer) to help work myself through grief. I believe that prayer is found mostly outside the walls of religious institutions and most often, in what you think.

You are the most powerful source of what is to be. If you believe you will see Larry again – then you will – there is no doubt. Your thoughts will eventually become your reality – because your thought is your prayer. You become what you think.

There are two passages I would like to leave you with from the book called “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. That passage reads:

“Your current thoughts are creating your future life. What you think about the most or focus on the most will appear as your life. Your thoughts become things.”

“Praise and bless everything in the world, and you will dissolve negativity and discord and align yourself with the highest frequency – love.”

You will see Larry again - I will see Jack - because we believe - and we think - and we have prayed - that we will. Therefore - it will be.

I wish you love and peace.

John – Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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Deborah,

Your posts don’t depress me, but I do share your pain. I am not sure what I believe in any more, but these words from The Heart of Grief by Thomas Attig [iSBN 0-19-515625-0] have helped me “get by” for the past few months.

“Letting go of having them with us in the flesh is painful and necessary. But it is not the same as completely letting go. We still hold the gifts they gave us, the values and meanings we found in their lives. We can love them as we cherish their memories and treasure their legacies in our practical lives, souls and spirits….

Love that was real does not die when those we love die….wanting to continue loving after death is fully natural and appropriate.

Our lasting love affirms the enduring meanings of their lives, meanings not cancelled by death. Lasting love consoles us and moderates our suffering as their legacies enrich our lives.

Those who have died…want us to live well after they die. They hope that we will thrive, find purpose and meaning in life, succeed, be happy, know joy and love – and they tell us as much…..They want us to hold dear the good in their lives, and to cherish what they have given. We fulfill those desires lovingly as we treasure their legacies and grant them places in our hearts.

They want us to hold them in our hearts….We love them when we go on without them by our sides, with lasting love for them in our hearts. …..your lasting love will temper your sorrow in missing them.”

I hope that you too can find some peace and comfort from these writings of Thomas Attig.

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Larry's Girl,

I often like to reply before reading other's replies, to go with my gut instinct without sway, and then I go back and read other's responses to get their take on something, so if I repeat what others say, please forgive me.

I do have belief in God and believe in the hereafter. Everything I have been taught and have to believe, tells me that the next place is much better than this. I have always been told that we don't feel sorrow any more, and that is good, certainly an improvement over this state of being. We would not wish sorrow on our departed loved ones. So I believe that if they were in their human form as they were here, they would indeed miss us to the core of their being, just as we miss them now. But I believe they are in a happier state than that, one of well being and peace, and they perhaps know and see things better than we are able to in our limited capacity, and so they are better able to accept how things are. I think time has a different meaning for them than it does for us here, that what seems long and excrutiating for us here, is but a blink of time to them. I also believe they look forward to being reunited with us and want nothing but the best for us. I believe if they were able to somehow communicate with us, they would want to reassure us of their love and best wishes for us and that things will indeed work out...in time. I believe their lives are full of newness and things we cannot yet fathom. It is a time we should look forward to. But we are not to wish away our lives here, we need to try really hard to find good things here to be grateful for. I remember in the early days after my initial loss, this was really hard for me. I remember viewing a sunset, seeing elk graze, watching a hummingbird come feed on my patio, holding a kitten (I got two new ones as the one we'd had left home after George died). I remember being very grateful for my animals. Sometimes these were about all I had to look forward to in a day, yet there were other occassional blessings too, an understanding boss, a friend who took me to lunch. Yes, there were many losses and much devastation, but it was up to me to try and focus on anything good, anything positive, not only my losses. Still, the loss comes through. It sneaks up on you and hammers you when you least expect it. Cry out on this site when that happens and our love and prayers will carry you. I have always had a strong faith and belief in God, but I can tell you, when I lost my George, it shook me to the core of my being and it has not seemed the same since. I still believe in God. I know that He knows more than I do. I know I felt angry with Him and He, amazingly enough, was patient and tolerant, understanding and knowing all of my pain and fear and anger. He is still there. No matter what I do or how I react, He is still there and still loves me...and you. I feel a real peace in knowing that. And He will reunite George and I someday. I was blessed with him in this life and that relationship has not ended. It knows no end. Some people say our relationship changes with death, I'm not an expert to debate stuff like that, I only know that we joined in hearts first as best friends and second as husband and wife, and a love like that can't be severed. Please do not consider ending your life, not even for a moment...I know, most of us have felt like that at times, but do not consider it. If you seriously consider that, please see a doctor and talk with him/her about it and get some help in coping with the intense pain that you feel. It WILL get better, I promise you that, if only you give it a chance to and work really hard at it. PLEASE come to this site and talk to any of us, we want to be here for you. You can post, send personal messages, email. But do not give up.

Edited by kayc
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Criskz,

I think sometimes the absence of formal words leaves us with the most simple prayer, like that of a child...we are stripped down without pretention, and when we are barren we come to God in our need and He hears us. I do not think it is uncommon that our prayer form often changes in our utmost grief. God understands this and is still here with His arms around us. It is just us that feel like we no longer know anything, what to say, how to respond. But we are ever valuable to Him.

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Larry's Girl,

As a postscript, I wanted to add that sometimes we dispair most when we feel we have lost our purpose, and certainly that is the case when we lose the person we loved more than anything in the world. With that person we found our purpose and gave them theirs. When we lost them, all of that changed. If we can find some form of purpose here, then I think that will greatly help us. It can be anything, but it usually involves some form of interaction...taking care of our children, pets, volunteering at a retirement center, feeding the hungry, reading to children, something, anything that fulfills us and lends our lives meaning.

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A special thanks to Dusky, WaltC, KayC and all who responded to this topic. Each of you shared your own personal feelings and it means so much to me. Dusky, you've inspired me since the first time I read your messages, your courage and strength. We related in taking care of and loving someone who was slipping away. WaltC, you have reflected my feelings of not wanting to go on and not being able to comprehend that life after Jeannie was possible. I know people around me don't understand that kind of bond and it frustrates me still that they insist I move on. KayC, you have the biggest heart and your faith moves me, maybe one day I'll trust in God again.

You all brought me to tears and for a moment I felt that maybe this would be survivable. I feel genuine kindness and support from those who are grieving like me. I've wished since the days following Larry's death to have someone around me that I could trust to listen and not judge. This site has been a lifesaver (quite literally) over and over again.

My purpose in life the last five years was helping Larry to hang on and finally receive a transplant. He died before ever getting one. His courage was remarkable. I do have things I'd want to accomplish so that his battle was not in vain. Where to find the strength while grieving is so hard. How do I save myself, much less accomplish any other goals is a question I don't have answers for yet. I want you all to know that your loved ones were lucky to have had such wonderful people in their lives. You helped me to live another day and I am grateful. Deborah

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I pray for all of us to find some comfort in our various stages of healing. I lost so much weight after my husband died, spent a long time in numbness, starting walking again a little bit and on it goes. We will just love them forever. But, I believe what Derek said in his post about, "there are no tears of sadness in heaven." I honestly feel my husband's presence, I talk to him out loud when I'm not around anyone and silently as I walk this world. I know he smiles at me, is with me when I'm really sad, sits on my shoulder when I need courage....he's just there with that wonderful sense of humor and I know he loves me still. Bless them and Bless us!

Karen

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Larrysgirl and everyone. There is no doubt in my mind that the ones we loved so dearly are still with us. I think they, of course, would miss us if they still had those types of feelings - earthly feelings. They now have spiritual feelings and I feel they are here to be our "guardian angels" and to be "with" us when we need them. I, too, talk to Charlie everyday and most times I can "hear" his response.

Larrysgirl: you and I have a bond with having lost our best friends on the same day, a year apart - so as you know, May 16th will be 2 1/2 years for me. I think you finding something that would help people like Larry would be most rewarding and Larry would be SO PROUD of you!!! I myself keep thinking about volunteer work. I don't want to volunteer to help "sick" people or anything, but I've been thinking about something like Habitat for Humanity. They help build homes for people that ordinarily wouldn't be able to have a home - my husband was a carpenter by trade and I think he would be proud of me helping in that same field. Not like I can build a house, but I can paint and hammer nails. We all need to find something to do with our time, now that we have "some" on our hands. I know I have more time than I know what to do with sometimes. It would fill up some of that time on the weekends that a lot of us "complain" about.

I absolutely know that they still love us and give us big hugs when we need them. How could they not; they loved us so much while they were here on earth. As Waltc says, true love doesn't just stop because of death....

Peace and hugs to all!!

Patti

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Everyone, this is a interesting topic, as I have expressed the same feelings too, suddenly I don't feel so alone, I done similar things, tried suicide, prayed to God to take me up, and begged my wife in heaven to plead my case, All in all in the end loneliness without your spouse is the ultimate hell, I guess as a christian I shouldn't say that, but it feels like it, My faith is shattered too.

William

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William, believe me, it does come back. Honest to God, my heart goes out to you. Please just ask Him for help, again and again. You have to hang on, especially for your friends, family and all these people right here. Your faith will come back.....I lost track and I'm finding it just now and that feeling is so great....it will be for you, too. You're our friend. Bless you.

Karen

And we love you.

Karen

And right now I'm praying for you, your finding your way.

Karen, again

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I feel so completely and utterly grateful to each of you. You make me feel like I belong somewhere, like there is a group bigger than myself that I fit into. Thank you all for sharing. I tried another site besides this one but it so lacks the depth of the people on this site and I just don't fit with it. I feel such an overwhelming love and gratefulness to each of you. Hang in there, we will make it, one day at a time, and we will get through this, together.

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I just wanted to lend my support to all of you. I lost my Dad 3 years ago and my Mom 6 months ago. Losing my mom has been like ripping my heart out, but I'm doing much better now. I can't even imagine the pain that all of you feel about losing your spouses. I am so sorry. It makes me think how anything can happen to my husband at any time and I need to be greatful for everything we have right now.

Big hugs to all of you...Lori

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My dear Deborah,

You’ve asked me what I think, and all I can do is to humbly add my voice to the lovely, heartfelt song that’s already been shared by this beautiful chorus of GH family members. How I treasure each and every one of you wonderful people ~ how compassionate, intelligent, loving, and courageous you all are, and what a blessing it is to know that we are all still here for one another! I love each and every one of you!

Noted grief expert Alan D. Wolfelt observes that we Americans tend to hold onto our basic Western cultural beliefs that the world is essentially a nice place, that life is basically fair, and that if we are good, then good things will happen to us, we will succeed in our work and in our relationships, and we will deserve all the bounty that life has to offer. As we already know, the death of our beloved can change all of that in an instant. In grief we are overwhelmed as we struggle to make some sense of our suffering, and we may find it difficult, if not impossible, to continue believing that life if worth living or that we could ever live a happy life again. We may lose faith in our basic beliefs about the benevolence and fairness of the universe, including our trust in God or in a higher power.

In my own lifelong struggle to make sense of the pain and suffering that accompanies significant loss, in re-constructing my own basic beliefs, in my own search for meaning, I am drawn to those bereaved whose personal experiences and subsequent writings reflect ~ over time ~ a similar quest. Read, for example, what three such gifted authors have to say about trust, hope, faith, and loss:

Is God All Powerful?

I could not allow myself to ponder what God was thinking, but I started from a place of trust – a lifetime steeped in Catholicism, which I often challenged but nevertheless always honored. I simply believed what St. Augustine said in the fourth century: Faith precedes understanding. I simply believed the Jesuit theologian Teilhard de Chardin when he wrote in Le Milieu Divin, “If we believe, then, everything is illuminated and takes shape around us: chance is seen to be order, success assumes an incorruptible plenitude, suffering becomes a visit and caress of God.” These age-old luminaries were helping me through my grief. Instinctively, I believed what they wrote. I did not know, of course, whether they were right. Such things are unknowable, I told myself, and human tragedy does nothing to lift the veil of mystery between heaven and earth. But it did me good to contemplate my beliefs. In that contemplation lay one of the greatest gifts my daughter’s life brought to me – a clearer view of life and myself that seemed to explain how terrible things like Victoria’s stillbirth could happen in God’s creation . . . In the course of my reading, slowly I chose to give up the belief that God was all-powerful. Instead, I chose to believe God was hard put to stop the death of Victoria, a pure and innocent soul. What, then, were Victoria and I and God powerless against? Could it be nature? Granted, God created nature, but the nature He created is inherently unpredictable and hardly benign. Nature is ruled by laws implicit with danger. Take gravity, for example. Gravity is a good thing. It ensures that everything on earth stays down in its place. However, as [Rabbi Harold] Kushner explained:

Gravity makes objects fall. Sometimes they fall on people and hurt them. Sometimes gravity makes people fall off mountains and out of windows. Sometimes gravity makes people slip on ice or sink under water. We could not live without gravity, but that means we have to live with the dangers it causes. Laws of nature treat everyone alike.

One of the first good laughs I had after Victoria’s death was while reading Kushner’s book. I imagined God as an old rabbi in the sky throwing up both his hands, “What? I have a whole world here to make go. You could do better?” I relaxed after that. I had found a rational way to support my belief in God. I had found a way to be angry at what happened to me without being angry at God.

[source: Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing, © 2004 by Lorraine Ash, New Sage Press, ISBN # 0939165503, pp. 52-54.]

The Power of God

Why does God let painful things happen? Where is God in Tough Transitions?

The Reverend Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest, gives this perspective:

From the very beginning, God has shared power with us, giving us the power to name, to create, to choose, to act. We have done wonderful things with that privilege. We have also abused it. We tend to dilute that fact by believing our rebellions are more or less benign, like two-year-olds pounding their parents’ knees. God allows us the temporary illusion of power, we tell ourselves, but God is really in charge, and when things get bad enough God will come back into the room and set everything right.

Only what if that is not how things work? What if God has settled for limited power in order to be in partnership with us and we really can mess things up? What if God lets us? This is a different world from the first one. In the first, everything that happens, happens by the will of an all-powerful God. In this one, God’s power is limited by our power to resist. What happens, happens in a world of clashing wills, so that even God is sometimes surprised. We prefer a God who prevents suffering, only that is not the God we got . . . God’s power is not the power to force human choices and end human pain. It is, instead, the power to pick up the shattered pieces and make something holy out of them – not from a distance but right close up.

People who have suffered some of the worst atrocities ever experienced by human beings do find a new way to think about God and God’s relationship with human beings. The following words were found on a basement wall in Cologne, Germany, during the Holocaust (they have since been set to beautiful liturgical music by Michael Horvit):

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.

I believe in love even when feeling it not.

I believe in God even when God is silent.

Elie Wiesel, some fifty years after he survived a German concentration camp, wrote a “Letter to God” that illuminates new questions he came to ask about the presence of the Divine in the darkest of times:

. . . At one point, I began wondering whether I was not unfair to you. After all, Auschwitz was not something that came down ready-made from heaven. It was conceived by men, implemented by men, staffed by men. And their aim was to destroy not only us but you as well. Ought we not to think of your pain, too? Watching your children suffer at the hands of your other children, haven’t you also suffered?

. . . Just because people suffer, [Rabbi Marc] Gellman and [Father Tom] Hartman say, that doesn’t mean God has abandoned them. Rather, we are empowered to protect and help ourselves and others when disaster strikes. We also have the ability to use turmoil and even tragedy to find goodness in our lives – “be it in the form of natural beauty, good deeds done, or lessons learned from parents, friends, and elders. Goodness occurs every day, but you need to train your eyes to see it. What seems limiting can really be an opportunity to do good.”

My friend . . . talked about her own beliefs before her son died. “We were taught that if we crossed all our t’s, dotted all i’s, kept our nose clean, did right thinking, stayed out of trouble, we would be okay. Good things would come to us. That was a lie. And when Thomas died I had such anger that this was a lie.” My friend went on to talk about how she had to find new, empowering things to believe that could include the senseless death of her beautiful son as well as a profound appreciation of the beauty and wonder of this mystery we call life.

“I realized,” my friend told me, “that the principles I held before had been made out of smoke. I had to find new principles – or rather the Principle under all principles, since the other ones were an illusion.”

I ventured to ask, “What is that Principle that you found?”

“That there is only one Truth. As trite as it may sound. Love is all there is.” We sat in a sacred pause for several seconds. Then my friend added, “I’m no longer going for better and better. My goal is to live close to the fulcrum, in balance with the positive and negative, with hurt and joy. At this fulcrum much energy is there, peace, and transcendence. And while I cannot always stay at the center, I do manage most of the time to live in the shade of it.”

[source: Tough Transitions: Navigating Your Way through Difficult Times, © 2005 by Elizabeth Harper Neeld, PhD, ISBN # 044669455X, pp. 114-118.]

On the inevitability of loss:

Whenever I give a lecture or workshop on grief or coping with the death of a loved one, I usually begin with an insightful Chinese proverb well-known in the grief literature. “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” The proverb points out two extremely important concepts. The first: All relationships end in separation, divorce, disagreement, incarceration, or relocation, to name a few causes. And “the birds of sorrow” will fly over your head and reappear throughout life. Bad things happen to all of us; brokenness permeates life, which is unpredictable and at times unfair. As many therapists tell their clients, “the problem with fairness is that it doesn’t exist.” Nothing you can do can give you immunity to the loss of loved ones. There are no exemptions: Everyone dies and walks through the doorway of death. It follows that grief and suffering are forever part of the human condition.

Nonetheless, although all physical relationships must come to an end, our emotional relationships do not . . . after death, a new relationship is born: one based on memory, legacies, gratitude, and the fact that love lives on. That’s where the second important concept from the proverb comes in, and also the significance of Extraordinary Encounters. We can prevent sadness from taking root in our lives if we open ourselves up to mystery. The love we share with the deceased remains with us forever and is expressed through the gift of the Extraordinary Encounter . . . The loved ones in our lives will always strengthen us and inspire our noble deeds. Suffering is built into the very nature of our existence, but Extraordinary Encounters help us work through our grief and keep love strong.

[source: Lou LaGrand, in Love Lives On: Learning from the Extraordinary Encounters of the Bereaved, © 2006 by Louis LaGrand, Ph.D., Berkley Books, New York, ISBN # 0425211932, pp. 59-60.]

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"God’s power is not the power to force human choices and end human pain. It is, instead, the power to pick up the shattered pieces and make something holy out of them"

Thank you, Marty. In reading that, I felt an overwhelming love for God that I have not felt in a long time. It is true, and it brings such peace, in knowing that God is there. In the beginning, as I was confronted with George's death, I felt abandoned and angry with God. Eventually I moved to the knowledge that God still does know what He is doing and about, and really is looking out for what is personally best for me. It didn't feel like that, but I know God well enough to know that it has nothing to do with my personal comfort and feelings, and a whole lot more to do with my personal growth, learning, and character building. God looks at a much greater picture than we do. We are finite creatures and we want what we want, and we want it now! But God is building something in us, and while it may take us quite a process to accept that, oh,what He is doing! It is a comfort, knowing that He is with us through all of life and cares about our ultimate outcome and what we become.

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LarrysGirl,

Unless I'm misunderstanding your message, your actions regarding your life, especially whether you are willing to end it, are weighted on your religious beliefs, and what might happen if you were to take your own life. Maybe, the thoughts of a nontheist will help you in some way. I do hope so. I'd feel like I wasn't trying to help you if I didn't suggest that if you aren't already doing so, you should very seriously consider seeking counseling to help you sort your thoughts out. I am on the verge of doing this again myself. I apologize in advance for the length of my response, but my thinking hasn't been particularly clear since the death of my wife, so what might normally take a sentence, takes me fifty.

I hope I haven't missed the point of your message; it seems that women often understand better, and commiserate in these situations, while guys try to provide a list of solutions. I should say, that, because of the many references to God on this forum, and my lack of belief in a benevolent deity (or any at all), I'd been mulling over the idea of finding an alternative to this group in helping me with my own coping, as my beliefs will likely be less than popular. Your message caught my attention, and reeled me back in for the moment.

I am no longer confused about my beliefs. I share no belief in divine providence. LG, many, many years ago, my search for God led me in a direction I did not expect, and I won't go into the details of my exploration, but in my case, lack of faith has been largely positive. It has allowed me to believe that many people are inherently good--not because God ordains it or that they fear punishment. That being said, I feel quite certain that each of us who have survived the loss of a loved one, and are participating in this forum, completely understand the painful place you are struggling in despite our varying degrees of religious belief/disbelief. I have no way of knowing whether all of those who have lost a spouse (or another important loved one) have actually considered ending their own life, but I feel quite certain that thoughts of no longer living/existing have passed through many a surviving spouse's mind. (Most definitely through mine.) Those who have faith--in an afterlife, in deity, in other supernatural forces, may have the advantage of feeling that they are dealing with a temporary separation from their love. Those of us who don't share faith in these unseen forces may feel that we are dealing with a permanent one. You seem to be in an in-between state, which adds another level of uncertainty.

Theists have certainty in these areas where I find none, so those with faith, please bear with me. LG, in my view, all we can be relatively certain of, is that which can be explained without invoking mysticism, supernatural, etc. It seems that THOUGHTS of ending one's life, or more accurately, ending one's suffering with the tool of death, is natural. The actual ACT of killing oneself is, unless under exceptional conditions (in my view), not. The temptation is to universalize one's experience, so I will just share my own without saying I think it should be correct for you too. Another temptation is to all but deify the memory of our loved one, but I hope you'll trust that my description of my feelings toward my wife are as they were during her life. Believe it or not--I DO have a point here!

My wife Tanya was the finest person I have ever known. After knowing her and being friends with her, I had never felt actual awe at a person's goodness. Thank the stars she had a weakness; poor judgment in men, ;) and I won the love lottery. I feel complete certainty that anyone who knew Tanya and I well would agree that they had never seen a marriage nearly as happy as ours. In twenty years, I never witnessed her say an unkind thing, purposefully hurt anyone for any reason, or do anything but her best to make life better for herself, those around her, and those she would never meet--that's the unvarnished, absolute truth. My love, feelings and respect for her will shape how I live the rest of my life.

I'm not nearly as loving, kind, gentle or giving as Tanya was, but I knew her better than anyone else did, and am the one who can best carry on for her. She died of causes related to breast cancer, and because I feel that my happiest days are over, I need to find a way to honor her life, while making mine useful. I am trying to reframe the remainder of my life to make it worthwhile, because my feelings often echo yours relative to wanting to ride this out without my partner. I really don't want to, but I do want to honor Tanya's life. Honoring her life does not require a belief in a deity. In my case, I'm trying to become more active in fighting the disease that caused her death.

Do you think that approaching Larry's death in a way that doesn't necessarily reflect a religious belief, but does reflect your love for him would help you as you travel through this next phase of your life? - Steven

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Steven....I printed this out....I need to really look at it and think about where you might be coming from....there's is so much love for the one you lost.....I have a great deal of faith....my son is an agnostic....I just love.....

Karen

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Karen, you been so kind to me, I came home and I was thinking of My wife all night, god its lonely, I know I havent seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is bittersweet right now, thanks for your prayers and thoughts, its nice to feel not so lonely all the time when I am here,

Blessings,

William

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I can only hope that Donald misses me, and i truly hope he can here me, i miss him so much that i can hardley breath at times, i want so much to see him that i wish i could just get to hold him, i wouldnt wish the pain and grieve i feel on my worse enemy. Lisa Ann

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DonaldsSeedycat,

I sincerely know what you are experiencing right now, I cannot breathe a breath sometimes, when my wifes is thought of, please know you aren't alone, I often ponder if my wife misses me or thinks about me, but unfortunately we may not know right away, it seems when we seek them they do not come, but when we aren't

expecting them from what my counselor told me, they manifest themselves in some way we don't expect, I believe God is merciful and loving to allow them to touch us in some way, whereas the bible is silent on the subject, But it is possible,

I will be praying for all of you,

William

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Steven,

What a beautiful and caring response you gave! Please do not feel you need to seek a site more compatible with your own beliefs. This has been the most special site, because it has a very special group of people that ascribe to it. I have checked out other sites and found that is not always the case. One of the reasons these people seem so special to me is that they are sensitive and caring, seem nonjudgemental and accepting, and we afford respect and consideration to one another and to each other's differences. Our focus is not so much what our beliefs are, but in the fact that we are all on a like journey and here to help each other along it. I am not apologetic about my belief in God but I certainly would not want to force you or anyone else to my way of thinking...if you are not offended in my belief in God, why should I be offended in your differing beliefs? We all have the right to decide for ourselves. At any rate, it is often by our differences that we learn and grow and broaden our perspective and sensitivity towards each other. I, for one, appreciate you and your comments and receive them in the utmost benevolent will in which they were given.

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