Tears and Grief

“I am not afraid of your tears. They demonstrate to me that you understand what I lost.
Tom Zuba, quote from In Death Is the Secret of Life: A Tribute Journal by Lynne McCollum Staley

Memoir re: Loss

When my dear friend, Trici, died, I read everything I could on the subject of grief and loss. I was surprised that a MEMOIR, entitled In The Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: A Geography of Grief, was the book that first “spoke” to me. Christopher Noel’s candor about the death of his fiance’ and his use of language to describe the texture of grief helped me feel that someone else in the world “got it” ~ someone understood how loss changes you.

Do you have a Memoir you would recommend that helped you feel less alone when you experienced the death of someone precious? Please share in the Comments ~

(Noel’s book is out of print but may be found on a used book site. I found it at my public library.)

Blessings and thanks for sharing, Lynne

I will not forget you …

If you are looking for a way to honor someone who will not be with you at Thanksgiving, here is a lovely recitation:

“The truest words of all: I will not forget you. You are in my waking thoughts, my sweetest memories, my dearest dreams. I will not forget you. You have touched my soul, opened my eyes, changed my very experience of the universe. I will not forget you. I see you in the flowers, the sunset, the sweep of the horizon and all things that stretch to infinity. I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand. I carry you with me forever.”
– Ellen Sue Stern

Compassion

Sympathy sees and says, “I’m sorry”.
Compassion feels and whispers, “I’ll help”.

When one of us tells the truth …

“When one of us tells the truth, he makes it easier for all of us to open our hearts to our pain and to the pain of others.” – Mary Pipher, in reference to the book ~ Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Build an Altar

“Suffering is like a pile of rocks. You can choose to carry the load, throw them at someone, just let them lay there, or you can build an altar.”
– Chad Arnold re: the death of his brother, Ryan
in a Journal entry entitled, “Steppingstones”

Faith and Feelings Coexist

Grievers who have a faith background sometimes find themselves feeling conflicted about their emotions. They argue that they shouldn’t experience strong, negative reactions if they believe ~ that he’s in a “better place”; she’s “no longer suffering”.

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with; the sense for example, to go for a walk.”
– Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Faith and feelings can co-exist.

Best,
Lynne

Legacy After Loss

We want the lives of our loved ones to matter. We want people to know that there was meaning and purpose in the life of someone who died. There are times when something positive comes of tragedy; sometimes we make sure that a legacy is sustained in their absence.

“Dale was gone, but his influence was not. As big as Dale had been in life – and he had been very big indeed – he had become even bigger in death. His memory was everywhere, and the tragedy of his passing had forced virtually everyone in the racing world to change. Not all of those changes had been welcomed, but they had worked together for good. Our lives and our sport had improved and in some mysterious way Dale Earnhardt had been responsible.”
– Darrell Waltrip with Nate Larkin, Sundays Will Never Be the Same

What have you written, created or done in honor of someone precious who has died?

Best,
Lynne

Grievers Fight Illness

It is common for Grievers to experience a diminished immune system so, as simple as it sounds, take good care is an appropriate admonition.

The 10 Commandments of Health
By Dr. George W. Calver

Eat wisely
Drink (water) plentifully
Eliminate thoroughly
Bathe cleanly
Exercise rationally
Accept inevitables
Play enthusiastically
Relax completely
Sleep sufficiently
Check up occasionally

Dr. Calver, the first doctor appointed to counsel senators and representatives of the U.S. Congress, prepared this list. He placed it on a wallet card along with this: “Give 5% of your time to keeping well. You won’t have to give 100% getting over being sick.”

Take good care ~ Lynne

Feelings: Our personal guidance system

“Feelings are the primary feedback mechanism for the human being. Feelings come from within. No one can make you feel angry, sad, afraid, or anything else; others however, can certainly trigger the cause of the feelings you hold. … the cause of pain is internal.” – Dr. Michael Ryce, Why Is This Happening to Me … Again?!?!

Feelings are our emotional guidance system. They point us to what is out of harmony in our lives and what needs tending.

For more on “Why is this happening to me, again?!?!, visit www.whyagain.org

Blessings, Lynne