Time does not heal wounds. Your wounds will only begin to heal when you tend to them. If you’re ignoring them and letting them fester, what will time do for that?
Be with the wounds.
Going through the pain is the only way to heal it.
If you’re in grief, going within is where you’ll find all of your answers.
In your heart.
In your breath.
In your body.
Leave your mind at the door.
It won’t heal your heart.
Show compassion for yourself (like you would a friend.) Tender, loving-kindness.
If you’re in grief, your heart craves empathy. But not the toxic kind. Not where others try to take it or feel it for you. Your pain is your pain. No one else gets to have it- it’s not theirs to have.
If you’re in grief, it demands a witness.
No advice, please.
No solutions. (You’re not a problem to solve.)
Just to sit (shhhhh…) and listen.
To be heard…
All of it.
To be witnessed is a beautiful thing.
This is sacred.
This is holy.
If you’re in grief, you don’t need to be fixed.
Your grief is your love.
We will all grieve someday.
And still, we choose to love.
“Life is a solo journey, but we can’t do it alone.”
To your healing and to mine.
xo, and peace.
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Bless you, Marie. You understand. Your message is timely for me. This is my journal entry from this morning….
Overall in my cancer recovery I have been feeling pretty good these days physically, with an occasionally down day mood-wise. Today is one of those. I think that is absolutely normal and to be expected with the holidays approaching.
Holidays will just never be the same with Rosie and Jeff gone. Suzi and John and my only grandchild live far away in other states. My sole surviving sibling lives more than a thousand miles away, and my mother and father both passed away long ago. Grandparents and all but one of my aunts and uncles are long gone, their lives but distant bittersweet memories.
Holidays are to be celebrated with family. I still can look forward to seeing Rosie’s side of the family when we gather on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day itself has become just another day to be spent alone with my cats as my only companions. With no one to share them with me, the excitement and wonder of the holidays are non-existent. I have not decorated for the holidays for years. For me they are but reminders of those who are missing.
Once a solitary Christmas Day has passed, on New Year’s Day will come the third anniversary of Jeff’s agonizing death by lung cancer at the age of fifty-two years. Rosie’s birthday falls little more than a week later in early January. On her 69th birthday while we were visiting Jeff in rehab after his release from hospitalization, she was terminally ill, though we did not yet know the terrible news we would soon hear. She would have been seventy-three next year had pancreatic cancer not stolen her away a short two months later. Our fifty-first wedding anniversary will fall in February, quickly followed by my own seventy-seventh birthday in March.
Four days following my birthday will mark the fourth anniversary of Rosie’s death. I remember silently praying as she lay on her death bed in hospice with no hope for recovery, “Please don’t let it be on my birthday! Please, not on my birthday…” Days that would otherwise be joyous celebrations with loved ones have become lonely, dull and depressing days in light of the love and companionship I have lost these past several years.
Others will think or even try to tell me it’s time for grieving to be done. Even the best of friends tire of hearing of the pain of others, taking it on themselves. Grief has no time table, no schedule to which to adhere. It’s easy for others to say “Time to pick up the pieces and move on.” In fact, I have done so to the extent possible for me. What other option is there but to continue to live, to put one foot in front of the other and try to make the best of the days I may have left?
Even so, if I live to the ripe old age of one-hundred and beyond, holidays will never be the same. Life itself will never be the same. I don’t have to think too hard to explain why I hate winter so much these recent years. I have more than the harsh, bleak weather to blame. Still, I know the past is hopelessly irretrievable. I know I must try to focus on the positive and whatever pleasures and fulfillment life has left to offer, as the autumn of my life inevitably turns to winter.
Your wounds are deep, Bob and your losses are many. It is so strange how we are born into this world knowing we will die, yet we have difficulty understanding how to handle death when it comes to our own door or someone else’s. We’re not “taught” how to help, console, or show compassion in ways that are not judged or expected to have a “time frame” around them. As you, I, and anyone else that has suffered a loss, knows… there is no getting over, and no timeline in grief. It is carried with us for our lifetime (I believe.) Our grief is in proportion to our love. I hope you find some peace this Christmas season.
Thank you, Marie. I wish the same for you and yours.