Death and Grief

by Wendy
(www.retirement-online.com)

This was written in October 2015:
As many of you know, I lost a good friend, Phyllis, in September. I was with her all summer as life slowly slipped away, it was a long horribly prolonged death, and yet the glimpses of my old friend, a smile here and there, told me that I was there for a reason. I haven't been able to write about it on this site, yet.

Update July 2016: We lost my husband's brother, Mark, this week. Coming to terms with a family members death at age 60... just not easy. He died in his sleep, so I guess, if it's your time, it's really the best way to go. Peacefully...

One year ago, I read this online... One man, G. Snow, left this reply on another site -- and since then, it's appeared on many sites. It's really a great way to look at life and death so I thought I would share it here.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Credited to G. 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.

~ by GSnow

Comments for Death and Grief

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I like that analogy
by: Nancy

This piece helps me understand a couple of horrendous deaths that occurred in my hometown this past year.

The first was a 15 year old girl who committed suicide. My husband worked with her grandfather for years, and I knew the mother. The ripple effect of suicide is far-reaching. If it affected me that much, I can only imagine how her family members felt. She had 3 sisters.

The second was more recent. Another man whom my husband worked with. A murder suicide. There was no note. So many questions, why did this happen. I am rocked to the core as well as the community.

So thanks for posting this Wendy, it helps. Not to mention all the senseless deaths that have occurred in our country recently.

Death and Grief
by: Janet

Thank you so much Wendy for giving credit from G. Snow. "Death and Grief." I read this post and felt inspired. It made me feel better.

I have been dealing with my emotions. I had the sudden loss of my husband, my soul mate, partner and so many things to me. A long lasting marriage, two grown sons. It is going on two years now since my husband's death but it still feels like yesterday.

I can remember in the beginning everyone was telling me that I have my sons. Yes, I thought I am most grateful but what I wanted was my husband but this was impossible. Grief does come in waves but we must go on because we are still here.

I am still here for some reason.

Life goes on, my journey continues. Thanks again!

I will read this post from time to time.

Life, Death, Life, Death, it never ends
by: Elna Nugent Lenox,MA

Hello all: This may sound strange, but I'm going to share it anyway. You don't have to accept any of what i write here, but I personally know it to be real.

If you know someone who has died, wait about a week and then "begin to reach out and talk to them". At least a week is needed for them to fully adjust to their new existence and reunite happily with those who have gone before..even their beloved pet/s.

I had already mentioned that there are two problems with passing on to the next life.

(1) One is to think that the ones you left behind may view you as no longer existing. That is hard to take when you are more alive than you have ever been but can't tell them.

(2) The person who has passed can also feel a frustration that they can no longer share with you what they are experiencing, but at least they know that at some point in the future you will be able to share it with them.

In the meantime, talk to them, tell them how you feel, tell them what's gong on with you, although they usually know. They can't intrude into your life but they know how things progress with you if you talk to them.

A dear friend of mine who is like a sister to me, lost one of her young adult sons to a dread disease. It was a cruel devastating loss.

I shared with her that she can talk to him, by using his given name, and she will be heard And it would mean everything to him for her to do that. That was many years ago, and she still talks with him. It has made all the difference.

I have had some strange experiences in my life that have proven to me the continuous journey we call life. When our day comes to go ( I will be 86 next week) it will all come back to me, all the memories, all the wonder, and I will become as excited as a child.

I wrote about these experiences in my memoir, and I know if someone had expected me to believe what I wrote in the book, I would never have believed them.

Life is an incredible adventure. We are so lucky we were able to come here on this planet. It is an honor. Blessings.


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