I’ve met many wise and wonderful women online while struggling to find my way through grief, women who gave me the courage to do what was necessary — accept the pain, feel each emotion as it arose, and somehow find a way to live with it. One such woman and I would talk on Facebook about grief now and again — she was three years ahead of me in the process, and had found a new direction in her life, which gave me hope that someday, I too, would manage to find peace and even renewed life.
She posted one of her comments from our conversation on her blog today, Patience, Wallowing and Defragmentation, and explained how the lessons she learned while dealing with grief have helped her in dealing with health issues.
The conversation she referred to in her blog took place two years ago, but that wasn’t the end of our discussions. Just a couple of months ago I wrote: “It is sinking in that I couldn’t make him well when he was alive, and I can’t keep him with me now that he’s dead. As much as I hate his being dead, in a way, it has nothing to do with me.”
She responded:”That’s the toughest part — realizing that their death has nothing to do with us and that we are all, while connected through a web of energy, uniquely created beings following our own individual path. Regardless of how connected we are to some people in some ways, their path is theirs and ours is ours.”
It’s this knowledge that his death belongs to him and my life belongs to me that has helped me move beyond my mourning. My grief for him cannot make him alive once more, cannot change one facet of his life or his death. Of course, I had little choice in my grief — it came from somewhere so deep inside that I’d never know such a place existed. Grief still wells up on its own now and again, but I don’t try to hold on to it, don’t try to hold on to the past, don’t try to hold on to him. And perhaps, that takes the most courage of all — letting him go.
Lucky for me, I had such a wise woman giving me counsel.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.
December 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm
There are indeed a lot of wise women in Cyberspace. In fact, I know one right here.
December 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm
“They” tell us that we need to be cautious in our online relationships because there are people out in cyberspace who don’t have our best interests at heart… and it’s true. But it’s also true that there is a wonderful online community of caring people here, too. I’m glad you found such a wise and supportive friend to help you through your grief.
December 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm
Carol, you were one of those wise and wonderful women. Your kind and supportive words along with telling of your own anger and grief helped tremendously. Thank you.
December 10, 2013 at 8:17 am
Excellent words. After losing my father 2 years ago, my sister still grieves in a way I don’t always understand, but can be compassionate about. The loss of a long time ago friend from high school recently has brought some feelings back to the surface, and truly, I’m confused. I plan to share your blog site with my friends family…and also with my sister in hopes that it will bring them some light. Namaste, dear one.
December 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm
I don’t think we ever get over a significant loss in our lives, but other things take precedence, and we learn to live without them. Even learn to be happy again. But that loss is always there, ready to surface even decades later. I think the secret is to feel the pain, even to wallow in it, for as long as necessary, and then let it go.