A Momentous Day

I came online a couple of times today to write my daily blog, but each time, I just wandered around a few sites and then wandered off again.

I suppose the problem is that I couldn’t find my focus. It’s not as if nothing momentous happened today because even on a day when nothing special happens, something special happens. For example: today I awoke. I breathed. I moved around. I watered my bulbs and bushes and trees. I pulled weeds. I read a book. Each of those moments was special in its own right. After all, not everyone woke this morning, and of those who did, not everyone breathed easily or was able to move around. Not everyone has a plot of land to call their own. And not everyone is blessed with the ability to sink into a book and breathe in the story.

As if that weren’t enough enjoyment for one day, I also chatted with a neighbor for a few minutes. And I was gifted with a miniature gnome and gnome house for my yard.

So a lot of good moments, just no focus for writing about those things. Though, by the very fact of writing these words, I am belying my own premise for obviously I did find my focus.

I suppose I should add “writing a blog” to my list of special accomplishments today. Although many people blog daily, many others don’t write anything at all except an occasion comment on Facebook or some such.

Does this post have a point? Probably not. I’m just fulfilling my self-styled challenge to blog every day. Though on rereading what I wrote, I suppose the point could be about appreciating the ordinary moments of life. Very few of us ever get a momentous winning-the-lottery sort of day. But we can have a momentous day in a common, subtler sort of way.

Or something like that.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

My Take on the World

People who have blogs generally stick to one topic in order to develop a strong readership. I started out that way, concentrating on books and writing and the various aspects of promotion, but after Jeff died, my focus changed to grief. I didn’t really have a choice if I wanted to continue blogging since grief became my life. Besides, I was so shocked by what I was feeling, shocked that I didn’t even know it was possible to feel that way, shocked by the insensitivity so many people showed toward grief, that I felt compelled to tell the truth. Then later, as my grief started to wane, I wrote about my travels. Now, I write about . . . whatever. The topics range from grief to home ownership to gardening to books to aging.

The problem with writing a blog with such a wide range of topics is that every topic has its followers and every topic has its detractors. For example, those who wish me to focus on grief aren’t really interested in my ruminations on other matters. Some people think I should write more about aging since aging, like grief, is rather a taboo topic in our eternal-youth oriented society. (There’s something almost embarrassing about growing old, as if its our fault that we don’t remain young.) Other people, of course, think I talk too much about growing old.

I suppose it would be nice to have a single topic, and just post once a week on that particular topic, but I’ve done grief. I don’t really have much more to say about it. And I’ve done traveling as a topic, and now I’m pretty much done with traveling itself since I spent my traveling money on my house. Although I sometimes mention the books I’m reading, I don’t want to have a book blog. Writing reviews and critiques seems so much like writing book reports for school, and I never much liked doing that. I read, I think while I’m reading, I finish the book, and immediately start another. What else is there to say?

I really don’t want to talk about age, though it is a focus right now since I’m trying to age-proof my yard. And I can feel changes in myself — not just physically and mentally, but how I view the world, other people, and myself. So it’s hard not to let those things filter into my writing.

Basically, I really only know one subject intimately — me. And that’s what this blog has always been about — my take on the world around me and within me.

Is there a point to this particular piece? Probably not. It is fair warning, though, that the topics I write about will continue jumping all over the place. You don’t need me to tell you to feel free to skip any post that’s not to your liking since I’m sure you do it anyway. But I do need to say (it can’t be said enough!) that I appreciate your stopping by to read any of the things I write.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Twelfth Year

I got through the eleventh anniversary of Jeff’s death without a major upsurge of grief, just a feeling of nostalgia and a bit of sadness. For a moment, before I retired for the night, I wanted to cry if for no other reason than a recognition that he is gone, but no tears came. I think I’m cried out, which in itself is ironic because for so many years, it felt as if the tears would never stop.

I once heard a saying that I didn’t understand until after Jeff died: Nothing changes and then everything changes. For years, nothing changed in our lives. It seemed as if we would always be like that — him struggling with dying, me struggling with living. Then he stopped breathing, and in that moment, everything changed.

Well, not everything. One thing has never changed. After all these years, he’s still the person I most want to talk to. We shared so much over the years, it is bewildering to me that we can’t sit down and get caught up. Or stand up and get caught up — looking back, it seems as if we were always standing when we talked. Who better to help me make sense of our lives both before and after his death? I do talk to him, or rather to his picture, though my comments are nothing more than asides, mentioning my day, maybe listing something for which I am grateful, or asking him how he’s doing. It’s hard to have a deep meaningful conversation when it is all one-sided.

I discovered a strange thing this morning. Although I have picked a tarot card to read the first thing every morning, I noticed a blank spot on my tarot journal where yesterday’s card was supposed to be. My morning routine is quite rigid. I do some stretching exercises, make the bed, fold three origami cranes, then shuffle whatever tarot deck I am using, and pick a card. Somehow, after I folded the cranes, I must have become distracted, and spaced out the whole tarot thing.

It’s nothing major, just a weird lapse, but it makes me wonder if subconsciously I blocked it out. After all, the tarot readings are a sort of memorial to my brother, and he loathed Jeff. Or maybe I simply didn’t want to know what the card would say. Either way, it’s unsettling to me — I don’t like forgetting to do things that I thought had become habit. Though, to tell the truth, this sort of forgetting does happen with me.

When I was in my late twenties, I ran a mile every day for years, and then days would go by, and suddenly I’d remember that I’d forgotten to run. One day I stopped running altogether. I simply forgot. It’s the same reason I am adamant about blogging every day — if I don’t blog every day, the days might pass without my ever writing a word. I have forgotten to blog a couple of days, but remembered sometime the late in the evening, so I was able to do my daily stint. Would it matter if I forgot? Probably not, but I do like the discipline of writing something every day, and if I let a day lapse, and then another and another, chances are I won’t be as willing to get back to blogging. (If I do forget to remember to blog one day, don’t worry. It has happened in the past, and will probably happen again, though I do try to remember not to forget.)

But that’s not important. What is important is that today starts my twelfth year of living without the person I thought I’d grow old with. Well, I am growing old; it’s just that I’m growing old alone. I’m mostly okay with that, at least, today I am. Tomorrow might be different.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Celebrating My 3,000th Blog Post

As the title of this blog post indicates, this is my 3,000th blog post. It seems amazing to me that I’ve managed to find so much to write about. It seems even more amazing that after writing all those words, as well having written nine books (all published!), that I don’t feel wiser. But then, becoming wiser was never the goal. The goal was simply to write, and that I have done.

When I was a kid, I often used to get diaries for Christmas. I loved those books with the little key that could lock one’s thoughts away. I always started out disciplined, writing a bit every day, but gradually, perhaps after the first week or so, the entries became fewer and fewer. And always, most of the pages remained blank.

It’s not surprising, really. When one is so young, there’s not really much to say. “I went to school.” “I went to church.” “I did my homework.”

I hadn’t yet learned to try to work out my feelings on paper. In fact, I hadn’t yet learned my feelings were valid. Life just is, when one is so young. You don’t know that life can be different. You don’t know that you can be different. Each day seems so much the same, with the same drudgeries being replayed and replayed again. School. Homework. Chores.

I suppose I could have written about the books I was reading, but I had not yet learned to be critical. I read in the same way I breathed: inhaling without thinking about it.

When I grew up and left town for a while, I used to write letters to good friends, telling about my trials and tribulations, but after a friend found some of my old letters and read them back to me, as if expecting me to share her hilarity at my naivete, I stopped writing my thoughts and feelings to anyone, not even myself. I still talked about such things, but I never again wanted a record for anyone to laugh at. (She thought I would like to know how much I had grown after the letters had been written, but I didn’t see that at all; I only saw that the younger me with all that angst had become a figure of fun.)

And yet here I am, telling the world my every thought, my every pain, even my triumphs.

Although this blog — this weblog — was not supposed to be anything more than a platform for my author-ity (authorness?), it became so much more after Jeff died — a scream of pain, a way of finding sanity in the chaos of grief, a place to tell the truth about what I was feeling. Later, as the pain abated, it became a way of tracking my growing will to live, to become someone who could survive — and thrive — alone.

Even later, it became something of a travelogue, as I wrote about my various road trips, and later still, it became the chronical of first-time homeowner.

What I have ended up with, after all these years, is that diary I never had the discipline to keep when I was younger. I seldom go back and read older articles, but they are here if I ever need to remember all I have done in the years after Jeff’s death.

Mostly, though, I just write for the day. It has become a way of standing tall, and saying to the world — and myself — “This is who I am right now.”

And who I am right now is someone who is celebrating her 3,000th blog post.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

A Better Mood

I was very discouraged yesterday, not just because of the fiasco on facebook (not a typo, it doesn’t deserve the respect of being capitalized) and being banned for unfairly and untruthfully being labeled abusive, but because of several other issues too, the main one being my car.

I had a tune-up toward the end of last year, including replacing the spark plugs, and the venerable 49-year-old VW bug sailed along as if it were a youngster again. Within a month or two, I started having problems with the car bucking. At first I thought perhaps the choke wasn’t working due to the frigid winter weather, because everything seemed to work better once I’d been driving a few miles, but when the weather cleared, the bucking got worse the more I drove.

So I took it back to the mechanic, and he discovered that those new spark plugs had already burned out. At the same time, he found that a part in the carburetor wasn’t working properly, and it was letting too much air into the engine. I’m going to have him replace the carburetor, but those spark plugs burning out so fast sure worried me! After a bit of checking on the internet, I discovered it was due to the engine running hot, which was due to a lean fuel mixture (too much air in the fuel), which was due to the carburetor not working right. Who knew? Well, any mechanic or mechanically inclined person would know, just not me. Now that I know that the spark plugs won’t always be burning out every month or so and that the car can be fixed, it makes me feel a lot better.

At least about that.

I still feel discomfited about the whole FB thing: that people would on purpose sabotage me and that there is no recourse, but I’m gradually finding my way back to a better mood, especially since there’s nothing I can do about the ban. In the long run, I suppose, it doesn’t really matter. With as much as FB is changing, and with as many “friends” who are voluntarily leaving, I have a hunch the site wouldn’t do book sales much good anyway. (I tell myself that because if I really thought it was hurting me as an author, I’d be furious, and I don’t want to be angry.)

I’d considered signing up for Instagram now that I have a phone that is powerful enough and big enough to edit photos and to handle the site, but Instagram is owned by FB, and I don’t see any point in rewarding anyone who treats me badly.

The one good thing that happened yesterday, besides finding out that my car can be fixed, is that while I was outside town test driving my car after I picked it up last evening, I was able to see the sun setting and also the moon rising. By the time I could stop to take a photo, though, the moon had shrunk somewhat. Still beautiful, though!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Abusive?

When Facebook first banned this blog from their site, the reason given was that this blog is spam. Yesterday when I tried sharing the post from the FB share button (which is now removed) at the bottom of the post I’d just written, I got a different explanation. They said: Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.

Abusive? Me? Really? I have posted a handful articles (out of a total of 2,997) that might be considered controversial, though I do try to steer a middle ground. Even so, those articles were in no way abusive, weren’t even very controversial since I wasn’t taking a stand so much as trying to sort out what I felt about the political turmoil. Sometimes when I think I’m being the most helpful or logical or innocuous or agreeable, it surprises me that not everyone agrees with what I say. To be honest, I don’t always agree with what I say. As with those few controversial posts, so often by writing for this blog, I am trying to work through a problem, an idea, a spot of confusion, and sometimes, after I’ve posted the article, I realize that because of the writing, I came to a different conclusion.

But abusive? I cannot think of a single time I said anything that anyone could say was abusive. I always try to be nice, even when people aren’t nice to me. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.

Although I did not appreciate this blog being blocked because of spam, I thought maybe their bots had picked up on the repetitious bio at the end of the article, or perhaps all the links I used in the bio. Even though it did no good, I removed the links and am alternating bios to make sure other sites don’t have the same issue, but as it turns out, that wasn’t the case at all.

Abusive?

That upsets me because it is so unjust and pejorative. What’s even worse is the current system, where anyone can say anything about any person for any reason, and no matter what harm is done, there is no recourse, at least not with Facebook. I have messaged them via FB. I have emailed them. I have sent letters to their headquarters. But apparently a few grouches (that’s the only thing I can think of — that people were grouchy and ticked off that somehow a post of mine got added to their feed) can determine someone’s fate.

FB was my primary means of promotion. I spent a lot of money with them over the years. It’s probably people who saw those posts who labeled them abusive, rather than any of my FB “friends,” but that’s not my fault. I’m not the one that posted the links on those feeds; FB did.

Ironically — and cruelly — whenever I do happen to stop by FB to see if someone left a comment on my page (which I will be doing less in the future, so if you want me to see a comment, please comment here on the blog rather than on FB), I find copious messages from FB telling me I’m not posting enough and I find even more messages telling me how important it is for me to pay them to promote my posts.

If it was me personally they had a problem with, I could simply set up a new account like so many others have had to do, but they have no problem with me personally. Just my oh, so non-abusive and very personal blog.

I have found a way around their ban for now — I reblog my posts to another blog, and then post the link to the second blog on FB. I wouldn’t even be doing that much, but several people said they missed too many of my posts. They could, of course, just sign up for my blog, but these are people who spend time on FB, and so that’s where they like getting their notifications.

I know FB is a huge site, but Google is even bigger, and when I had a problem with Google for banning my blog, they responded to my query, and WordPress helped me fix it. (It was a bit of stray code — innocuous code — that somehow got attached to one photo in one post.) But FB? Nope. Once you’ve been branded as abusive, that’s it for you . . . forever.

No one has to prove their accusation. No one checks the truth of it. To me, acting on unfounded allegations is abusive. My posts are not. If you disagree and can point out any abuse, please let me know so I can change it. Just be gentle. My feelings are hurt enough right now.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Altering the Truth Without Altering the Facts

In the cold war era spy thriller I’d spent the past couple of days reading, a Russian says to an American ally, “You have a unique gift of altering the truth without altering the facts.”

Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem like a unique gift to me; it seems to be the basis for most politics, legal maneuverings, and news reporting nowadays. Often manipulation is propaganda, pure and simple, a way of interpreting the facts to put the best possible spin on what could be a damaging fact. Other times it’s a way of getting people to vote for someone or to approve of something that they would not normally go for.

It’s also called fake news. Not that the news item is necessarily fake, but if someone calls it fake news, then it immediately casts doubt on the truth.

I am currently staying away from all news sources, fake or not. There have been too many times lately where the facts were spun so much that nothing but mush remained. And there were too many times where the very people involved were the ones who vetted the news to prove it fake, which means the facts could be false or the vetters could be playing false with us. I have never, in all my years, been so confused as to the truth of anything. There were so many undisputed facts, false “facts,” half-truths, truth told as lies, lies told as truth, videos and photos altered to show a different story than what actually happened, as well as dirty tricks I’m sure I missed, that it was impossible to sort out the truth.

For example, when it comes to the disease I call the “The Bob,” we the people know almost nothing. Oh, we know a few facts — there is a virus running around infecting people because we all either got sick or knew someone who did. We knew people who died, but beyond that, all we have to go by is what the “authorities” tell us, and those very authorities are the ones who know how to alter the truth without altering the facts.

The so-called authorities are not the only ones with this not-so-unique gift. A lot of people on all levels of society know how to alter the truth without altering the facts simply telling only the facts that leave them in a good light. For example, someone can say, “Yes, I went to the store. I bought a few snacks and a couple of sodas,” leaving out the salient fact that they also bought alcoholic drinks or illegal drugs or that they visited the person they are seeing on the side.

To be honest, I wish I had that sort of talent, to lie by telling only part of the truth, but generally, I’ve found it best to tell the truth as much as possible. It’s a lot easier to remember what I’ve said that way! Now that I think of it, though, almost no one tells “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Unless you are a representative of the people, in which case you owe the people the truth (though the folks in power don’t believe that at all and certainly don’t act on it), you don’t really owe anyone the truth. Or the facts.

As I said, I generally tell the truth, though sometimes on this blog I alter things a bit to protect either the guilty or the innocent, or even myself. I also sometimes use false birth dates and such because I am — or at least was — so active on the social networking sites that I needed to protect myself.

As for “altering the truth without altering the facts,” it also works the other way around. Novelists do is all the time: alter the facts so we can tell the truth.

But however you look at it, in our current society, it doesn’t seem as if there is a whole lot of truth going on.

***

If you haven’t yet read A Spark of Heavenly Fire, my novel of a quarantine that predated this pandemic by more than ten years, you can read the first chapter online here: http://patbertram.com/A_Spark_of_Heavenly_Fire.html

Buy it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024FB5H6/

Download the first 30% free on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1842

Tooting My Own Horn

Today is my 500th day in a row of blogging. I can’t say that I’m proud of everything I’ve written, but I am pleased that I have managed to keep to the discipline of a post a day for so long.

It is also my 222nd day of taroting. I know that’s not a word, but I’m not exactly studying the tarot, nor am I doing what is considered a reading. I am simply picking a card, making a note of all the various interpretations of each card so that when I use a tarot deck where the instructions are in an archaic form of Italian (as a couple of the decks are), I will be able to check my own notes for what each of those cards might mean.

If you don’t know why my interest in the tarot, it’s that I ended up with my deceased brother’s tarot collection, and I started my card-a-day practice as a sort of memorial to him. (In case you missed the posts where I talked about his decks, I have about four dozen different decks, some collectables, some common, some esoteric, and each month I pick a different deck to use to see if there is any one that will speak to me. So far, I haven’t heard a word from any of them.)

And today I’ve folded my 140th origami crane. My intent was to do one a day, thinking that by the end of three years I will have made my senzaburu (1000 origami cranes), but I find myself folding cranes whenever I have a few free minutes because the idea of all those cranes has captured my imagination. The legend is that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will have a wish come true or happiness and eternal good fortune. Since I have no particular wish (except to sell thousands of copies of Bob, The Right Hand of God), I’m aiming for eternal good fortune. Though to be honest, I tend to think I have that now, for which I am grateful.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to hedge my bet. Actually, I think the benefit comes in the folding rather than the finished senzaburu, but since it’s early days yet, I don’t know for sure.

I’ve also folded various other birds just for fun. Those I’m thinking of hanging in my garage to let me know where to stop and park.

This is all I have to toot about. These things are nothing special, really, except that I am doing them, and they all add up to a daily discipline, proving . . . I don’t know . . . perhaps that I’m alive and kicking and still going strong.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Unwanted Thoughts

It’s interesting to me that so many of my daily one-card tarot readings talk of good fortune, windfalls, and such. I don’t really believe what the cards say because each reading negates the previous one, and the cards aren’t always positive, but I have come to believe that things are going to go well for me financially. So when things don’t, I feel affronted. I mean, how is my house insurance going up by 25% good fortune? It seems like a huge increase, though perhaps with more people staying home there are more claims? Or the weather in the area has been more damaging this past year? Or the company took a huge hit because of all the wildfires in the Colorado last year?

This particular area has inordinately high insurance rates, anyway, but whatever the reason for the increase, it isn’t good fortune! Or maybe it is? I guess I could consider myself fortunate that I’m not one of those who had to deal with damage.

It’s things like this — huge increases in expenses that aren’t reflected by increases in income — that made me not want to ever own a house, but I’d be paying it one way or another anyway. If I were still renting, the rent would go up to reflect the current insurance rate.

Luckily, once I get over the panic and affront of the higher rate, I’ll be okay for now because I am working, and so will have enough to pay the bill. Even more luckily, once it’s paid, I won’t have to think about it for a year. It does make me glad I didn’t reward this particular insurance company by switching my car insurance over to them. I would have saved a bit on the house insurance, but my car insurance would have gone way up, so I’d still be in the same position.

I did talk to my insurance agent in case there was a clerical error. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an error, though she too was shocked by the huge increase. She’ll look around to see if she can find a better deal for me, but back when I first got the insurance, this current company was by far the better price.

I really shouldn’t even be writing about this — it’s not anyone’s problem but mine — but it is on my mind, and writing about what I am thinking is how I get rid of unwanted thoughts, and I really don’t want these thoughts in my head!

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Note to My Grieving Blog Visitors

During the past ten years and ten months, ever since the death of my life mate/soul mate, I have been writing about my grief. My grief. Not yours, not anyone else’s. Mine. Many people find comfort in reading about my struggles to live with my grievous loss. Others find resonance with what they are feeling. But whether my grief posts strike a chord with you or not, they are ultimately my thoughts, my feelings, my attempts to make sense of my life both before he died and afterward.

I am not a therapist. I am not an expert. I have no degrees. I have only my own experience of grief to guide me through the chaos, and I don’t pretend to anything more.

I don’t object to your reading what I write; after all, that’s why I post my thoughts on a blog rather than in a private journal. I don’t object to your printing out a blog or two to take to your therapist (as many have) so that the therapist can understand more about the grief experience.

I do object to your chastising me. If you don’t like something I write, if it doesn’t make sense to you at your grief age (how long it’s been since your spouse died), it might in later years. Or not at all.

My experience strikes a chord with many people who have lost “the one,” which made me realize how un-unique my grief is. But although grief is universal, how we express it isn’t. Some people get sick. Some get angry. Some scream. Some cry for months on end. Some do all of those and more.

If you’ve lost someone dear to you to death, chances are I know how you feel. And you know how I felt and still sometimes do feel. Empathy works both ways. I don’t castigate you when you disagree. And you shouldn’t castigate me. I am not the voice of your grief. What I say changes nothing about what you are experiencing.

Often over the years when people were less than kind, I wondered if it were time to pack it in, but enough people find my words and my story inspiring that I keep going. But I don’t have to continue to write updates about grief and what I’ve learned. I don’t get paid for this. It’s not a job or even an obligation. I do it because I feel, I think, I empathize, and I write. It’s who I am.

I’ve written close to a million words about grief. I’m sure I’ve shed a pint of tears if not more while doing so. I certainly don’t need anyone to add to my grief. I always apologize for inadvertently wounding people because I am sensitive to people’s feelings, but there really is no need for my apology. I don’t set out to hurt anyone or even to help anyone. I simply feel it’s important to tell what grief is like — my grief, anyway — rather than what the so-called experts think it should be. If you don’t like any of my words, so be it. It’s not a personal affront. I don’t even know you, though if you’ve read many of my posts, you know me.

So think about that before you rail against me. If I had stopped writing about grief the first time someone told me how wrong I was, either by what I wrote or that I continued to write about grief long past the first few months, thousands of people would not have found the comfort they need, the understanding they sought, the courage to continue living another day.

Neither would I. And probably, neither would you, otherwise you wouldn’t have come here to read about my grief.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator