The Winds of Eternity

In one month, it will be the tenth anniversary of Jeff’s death. I can’t even begin to comprehend what that means — is it a lot of time? A little time? It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been so many years since I last saw him, though looking back over the decade since he died, it’s obvious that a lot of time has passed. I’ve felt much, lived much, changed much.

My grief has changed over the years, too, from unimaginable pain to nostalgia, from angst to acceptance (not acceptance of his death — never that! — but acceptance of the reality of my situation). Grief now is the scaffolding of my life, forming the framework of who I am rather than being all that I am. (In the beginning, grief took hold, and it felt as if there was nothing else, would never be anything else. Grief is still there, deep inside, but is now only a piece of who I am, not all of it.)

The biggest change I notice is that the screech of death and the winds of eternity have receded once more into the background, and my life seems much quieter. When Jeff died, it felt as if part of me had died with him. A whole chunk had been amputated and I have never gained it back. For years, I felt as if I were standing at the edge of eternity the abyss yawning at my feet, the storms of time raging around me, one hand held out to try to grasp something, anything, to balance me and keep me from being pulled into the void where that amputated part had gone. I could feel the breath of the eternal, the awesomeness of life and death. I could feel—or almost feel—the driving force of the universe.

That seems fanciful, and I suppose it is, but it’s also how I felt. Looking back, grief seems so . . . noisy. Sobs and gasps and even screams came from my mouth, and loud questions and clamorous confusion filled my head. Death is shrouded with an element of blank. It is the great unknown and unknowable, and our human brains are not equipped to handle the immensity. And yet, when we lose someone important to us, the very fact of death is thrust into our lives, forcing us to deal with it the best we can.

How do we bear the unbearable? How do we fathom the unfathomable? We don’t, not really. We grapple with the conundrums and wait until eternity recedes and our brains settle into new patterns of thought.

I used to miss the feeling of significance grief gave me, with its great emotion, crucial questions, and the nearness of eternity, but now I am merely grateful for the internal quiet.

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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

Press Release for Grief: The Inside Story

I’m trying to write a press release. Grief: The Inside Story is an important book that has helped many people, but it needs to find a wider readership. To that end, I’d like to send out a press release.

A press release sometimes prompts newspapers to contact the author for more information. Sometimes the newspaper will print the item as a whole if they need a filler. Either way, the release needs to be compelling. Short, but compelling.

Since I am not well known, the press release has to depend on factors other than name-recognition to make it newsworthy. This is what I have so far:

Death is No Longer a Fact of Life

Death used to be a fact of everyday life. Today, however, the average American has a life expectancy almost a decade longer than it was in the 1970s. That’s great news, but as Toby Scott, head of communications at Hospice UK, a charity for end-of-life care says: “It is rare now for anyone to experience being with someone who they know is dying let alone anyone who has recently died.”

For the boomer generation, often the first time they experience death is when their parents begin to fade. It’s no wonder that few people understand grief, know what to expect, have the skills to cope with the emotional upheaval.

Not only do boomers have little firsthand experience of death to prepare them for the many ways grief affects them, but the complex and painful experience of grief for a spouse, life mate, soul mate is not something people regularly see on television shows, in movies, or read about in novels. So, like others of her generation, when author Pat Bertram lost her husband, the very presence of grief shocked her.

In the United States a death occurs approximately every twelve seconds. And almost every one of those deaths leaves someone behind who is shocked and bewildered by what they are feeling.

How long does grief last? What can I do to help myself? Are there really five stages of grief? Why can’t other people understand how I feel? Will I ever be happy again?

In Grief: The Inside Story, Pat Bertram, author and grief survivor, answers these and other big questions in a straightforward manner. Bertram acknowledges the pain that others so often try to hide, shows how important grieving is, and gives hope that yes, there is happiness on the other side of grief.

Grief the Inside Story by Pat Bertram is available on Amazon (www.amazon.com/dp/0368039668), and through all good bookstores.

Any comments? Suggestions?

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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.

Grief: The Inside Story

One common challenge facing all of us — grievers, friends of grievers, and health care professionals — is how to help those who are experiencing grief after bereavement.

Coping with the death of a loved one can be the most traumatic and stressful situation most people ever deal with — and the practical and emotional help available to the bereaved is often very poor. I found this to be true as I recovered from the loss of my life partner.

How long does grief last? What can I do to help myself? Are there really five stages of grief? Why can’t other people understand how I feel? Will I ever be happy again? Questions like these aren’t easily dealt with, and much of the literature aimed at the bereaved can read either like a medical textbook.

My new book Grief – The Inside Story: A Guide to Surviving the loss of a Loved One aims to answer these big questions in a straightforward way, and it may be of help to you or someone you know.  If you would like to know more a free easily-downloadable sample of the book, and a complete and detailed listing of its contents, is available here: https://www.docdroid.net/klBIjLB/grief-by-pat-bertram.pdf

The book trailer is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtLwOpGpm_w

Grief – The Inside Story is now available from Amazon (www.amazon.com/dp/0368039668), and all good bookstores. If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you.