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I was directed to this by someone and thought it was good. It's written by someone called Snow.

Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

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I appreciate this. I posted a reply this morning but don't see it here so don't know where it ended up. :)

Thank you for the link, Marty! It is nice that she shared this for anyone to use or alter to fit their situation.

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This metaphor posted by Jan is so descriptive of what I have felt and many others on this forum obviously feel. Thank you for posting it, and Marty, thanks for finding the original post since it has some additional statements that add to this one. Words always fail when we attempt to describe our grief but this is so accurate. Thanks again, Mary

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Yes I thought you would all appreciate it and clever 'Marty tracking g it down! I found the reference to it on a FB site I am one called Grief Beyond Belief. It's for people who are struggling with Bereavment who don't have faith. Sometimes there are some really helpful postings on it. Jan

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Guest babylady

thank you for your beautifully written post. my husband passed almost 3 months ago and the waves are big.

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I had just completed a poem on darkness and went to Facebook to see what was current there and the attached poem was at the top of the page. I thought some of you might find it helpful so am posting it. Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is a professor at Arizona State University, counsels those dealing with traumatic loss, teaches most of the death ed classes, lost a child a few years back, founded MISS for parents who have lost children. I like and respect her work a lot.

She has a blog: http://drjoanne.blogspot.com/ and MISS has a website: http://www.missfoundation.org/bios/jcacciatore.html

As I continue my journey through the darkness...a journey (inside) that has just begun in many ways in spite of the 29 months that has passed since Bill died...I found this poem of Joanne's very affirming to what I am choosing to do.

Peace,

Mary

post-14525-13458123081925_thumb.jpgciatorre

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I loved the article "Grief Beyond Belief" It helps us here in understanding how to better respond to those who don't ascribe to the same beliefs that we do (we've run into this before). While I don't feel we should have to stifle saying how WE feel, it helps to know how to reach out to someone who we know believes differently. I loved the comment posted underneath it as well (I was wishing for a "like" button).

I have found, that even as a Christian, when George died, I did not want to hear things like "It was God's will". I wanted to swear! How do they know what God's "will" is? Besides, how does anything so awful seem like someone's will? That statement alone is enough to put distance between you and God! I hated hearing the stupid cliches people would say. Sometimes the best thing to say is simply, "I'm sorry, it's unfair, I care." That's about it. Anything else can land you trouble.

I don't personally see a higher up as planning and carrying out every little thing that happens in life, as if everything is some part of fate, and we have no choices. That is so limiting! It ascribes no power to us, like we are victims and puppets. I simply don't go for that. Sometimes things just happen. If a person is going to ascribe to a theology, they should look at the whole of the doctrine they're claiming, not a part and that out of context! I see that we have free reign and that God, for the most part, has a hands off stance in the world right now. Oh yeah, He's powerful enough to intervene, but often does not...and that leaves us with the "why?" which is pretty unsettling. I haven't found any answers as to "why" and have found it futile and detrimental to keep asking, so I've quit. I finally accepted that which I couldn't change...and believe me, acceptance is NOT akin to agreeing with or liking!

I don't find that our belief systems makes us that much different. I choose to believe what I do...I find it easier. Others find it harder to swallow. That's a personal choice. Bottom line is, all of us are left grappling with this huge hole in our hearts and lives that we don't know what to do with. And we're all in it together. One of the things I like about this forum and all of the different people that comprise it, with all of our differences, is I get to learn something from each of you. Each person I touch base with expands me. I feel blessed to have each one of you here.

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I loved her comment: "I get to choose how I accept this".

Thank you for sharing this, Mary. I was wondering, with your speaking of darkness, have you ever read "Dark Night of the Soul"? I thought it was a great book.

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I loved her comment: "I get to choose how I accept this".

Thank you for sharing this, Mary. I was wondering, with your speaking of darkness, have you ever read "Dark Night of the Soul"? I thought it was a great book.

Yes, Kay, I have read Dark Night of the Soul...and many of the other mystics. Thanks for the neat reminder. I just finished listening to Caroline Myss on Theresa of Avila again.

Peace,

Mary

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