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http://transcendingloss.ashleydavisbush.com/resources.php

Ashley Davis Prend speaks for about an hour on loss. She is the author of Transcending Loss, one of the most helpful books I have read out of a very long list of books that I have devoured. She also has a new book (Shortcuts to Inner Peace) coming out. I am feeling pretty low today and hearing her remind listeners (me) that acute grief can easily last two years...and that number is unique to each of us (in other words it could be longer or shorter)....comforted me as I seem to be hitting bottom again today. I believe that assisting my friend yesterday in saying good-bye to Autumn, her cat, had a greater impact on me than I felt last night. I become increasingly aware (though I have known this for many many years) that when we open up one grief...they all come tumbling out. Grief is tumbling out today. Going to go paint.

Peace

Mary

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Mary, dear, I agree with you about the work of Ashley Davis Prend. I have both her books and consider them to be among the best in my (extensive!) library.

I'm so sorry that yesterday was so difficult for you, although I understand completely why it was. As you already know so well, when supporting another we must always be absolutely clear about whose grief we are dealing with ~ the other person's or our own ~ and that is the risk you took by accompanying your friend on this difficult mission, when your own grief is still so tender and raw. Nevertheless, it is the stuff of which deep empathy is made, and I'm sure that is why your friend knew that you were the person she wanted to be with her as she completed this difficult task. Only we can know if we are ready, willing and able to "be there" for another person in her pain, and sometimes we're not as ready and as able as much as we are willing. That's okay, as long as in the aftermath you recognize your own need for nurturing, support and sustenance. I hope you will find all of that in your painting today. Remember, too, that if those tears are flowing, it's only because they are still there, and they need to be shed.

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Marty,

Thank you. I just finished listening to that audio by Prend and am heading off to paint. I suspected last night that there would be a kicker to what I did yesterday. I agree that it gets hard to sort out whose grief we are feeling and with the high expectations I tend to have of myself (yep, I admit it), I took a risk to do something that was pushing/pressuring myself...and I knew I was...ignored that and went on because I really wanted to help her...she has had so much pain lately.

Today I pay the price. It is OK that I do but in spite of all I knew, it always catches me off guard. I never expect to get kicked in the heart. Lesson learned....again. You are right about the tears. I usually allow myself to cry whenever I feel the need but I tend to find myself on and off judging myself for "still feeling so raw" while at the same time I truly know and believe that I am right where I need to be. Torn by this. How could I be any place other than I am after such the huge loss of someone who was and always will be part of me in such a deep way... preceded by the trauma of watching him die a little each day for four years? The disease of 10,000 good-byes. In spite of a lot of loss in my life, I have never grieved a loss like this before...of course...and though I have helped many others in grief over the years and never ever judged their journeys and in fact sincerely supported them in taking their own time and shedding as many tears as they needed to....it is, as you know, so different when it is me. Seems I just get a thin membrane on this pain and it takes ever so little or a lot (as yesterday) to rip it open. I do plan to go paint and lay off the expectations I have to attend an event tonight, to do paperwork, etc. I am just going to do what I feel like doing.

Thank you.....again,

Mary

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Mary,

It reminds me of when my best friend's husband was in the hospital...I went to see him, knowing that by doing so it would be hard since I hadn't been back to that hospital since George died there. Tears fell as I visited and I couldn't stop them but I'm still glad I went, it was a hurdle that needed crossed sometime anyway, and I wouldn't have missed being there for them for anything in the world...my friend is the one who split time between George and her husband the weekend he died (her husband was in the hospital then too). Since then her husband has passed away and we have been there many many times, just listening to the other, understanding, relating.

One loss triggers previous losses as they strike the chord of memory. That's why I don't go to every funeral that comes along, I pick and choose the ones I go to, I don't like to go unless I personally knew the deceased. It's too hard.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time of it, I wish I could be there to give you a hug. You are a truly wonderful friend that I'm glad your friend has in her life!

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Yes, Kay, I have only gone to one funeral since Bill died...and that was one of a friend. I could not sing, could not wait to get out of there. Open one feeling and they all come up...especially when raw. How lovely that you and your friend can share your losses...sad that you must, however...

I know my tears continue to be just beneath a very thin membrane....and that is ok. I am doing ok today in spite of seeing Descendants...unplanned and I did not check it out ahead of time which I normally do. I needed to get out of the house and went with a friend who gets it. Not sure why I walked out of Descendants so easily except i am worn out emotionally, I did not relate to the marriage in the movie at all. Whatever....

Take care,

Mary

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I think even more important than sharing our losses, we share our memories...we each knew and loved each other's husbands and get why they were special and we miss them.

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