It is raining. It started raining last night while I was reading the book on healing and grief.
At first I thought the claps of thunder were fireworks, but then the thunder became distinct and it begin to rain.
The windows are fogged up and I see my patio plants through a soft haze.
I finally got my photos of Abi and Charlie back from Walgreens.
That’s of course my daughter and Andrew in the middle. The photo of Abi was always one of my favorites.
The one of Charlie is the photo you all liked so much and asked me to frame. It was when he was standing next to the gardenia plant out on the patio recently.
I dug around in one of my closets and found these frames and framed my little family. Only three remain here with me.
Abi has gone on. But my immense love for her did not stop breathing when she did. It remains here with me and always will.
A reader emailed me this yesterday:
Good morning, Brenda,
Just a little note to share a sudden change to my life. I’ll spare all details but I want to share that on Thursday, June 28, my sweet husband Ron of 41+ years suddenly passed away. I’m now filled with overwhelming sadness and a huge broken heart. I’m on a new path and I’m lost and confused – today’s post on your blog is amazing- thank you!
I’m the one who was attempting to leave a HUG every day after you lost Abi.
Thank you for allowing me to share!
Darlene, we are all here for you. When the weakened grow strong, the strong stand up to help the weakened. We are here for each other.
Trying Something New:
I thought I’d try something a little different in writing my posts. For those of you who don’t have time to read the entire post, I’m writing in segments to see how you like this method.
Then you can skim if you don’t have time to read everything. By highlighting headings, you can find a stopping point and come back and start reading again if you so choose.
Healing & Grief:
I finally placed my Amazon.com order and yesterday received the book one of you mentioned to me: “Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief” by Martha W. Hickman.
It was written back in 1994 and the author is dead now. Her words, a balm for the soul, thankfully live on.
The author lost a teenage daughter and started writing down her thoughts after her loss. Her words became a book, with the addition of quotes by other writers the author deemed important sprinkled in.
It has a page for every day of the year. I decided to just start at the beginning. So last night I read all the days of January. The words were of immense comfort to me, and I read some again and again and again.
Words That Gave Me Comfort:
“We are drawn into the brotherhood or sisterhood of loss, tenderness seems to be our natural state. We are so vulnerable. Everything brushes against the raw wound of our grief, reminding us of what we have lost, triggering memories – a tilt of the head, a laugh, a way of walking, a touch, a particular conversation. These images are like beads strung together on the necklace of loss. Tenderly, we turn them again and again. We cannot bear them. We cannot let them go.
“Then, gradually, bit by bit, the binding thread of grief somehow transmutes, reconstitutes itself as a thread of treasured memories – a tilt of the head, a laugh, a way of walking, a touch, a particular conversation as gifts from the life we shared with the one we have lost, gifts that can never be taken away.”
“Sometimes when I am feeling down, I am my own worst enemy. Let me be my friend.”
“Sometimes all I can hope for is that I’ll feel more hopeful tomorrow.”
“In the months after my daughter’s death, I filled four notebooks with entries – writing sometimes daily, sometimes several times a day, sometimes only once in several days. I described feelings, the events of the day, occasions of recall, of sorrow and hope. It was a means of moving the grief away, getting it down somewhere else, siphoning it off.” – Martha Whitmore Hickman
“Weeping is perhaps the most human and universal of relief measures.” – Dr. Karl Menninger.
“I would say to my friends – When I cannot come out from my house of grief, put your hand to the open window and I will hold on for dear life.”
“I will not further burden myself by trying to fit some image of a “model griever.” The strength I have is the strength to be myself.”
“Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.” – Faith Baldwin
“I look forward to the day when images of my loved one’s life are no longer associated with the event of my loved one’s death.”
“Nothing is to be gained by turning away from the truth. When the circumstances of life are grim, I will face the grimness, learn what it has to teach me, and walk on through.”
I have learned that writing about my grief is like snapping off a chunk of it, storing it away for safekeeping, then finding that my load is lighter.
These words keep coming to me this morning. They often give me peace in knowing that there is never perfection in life. And more importantly, there isn’t supposed to be.