Archive for December, 2009

To My Readers:
Since I began writing this blog in October, I have been encouraged by your comments, whether here, by e-mail, or on Facebook. Each one is a gift to me.

Thank you for being willing to openly share your stories. Your trust in me has been humbling.

May God be close to you, a comfort through the difficult days and bless you in the New Year.

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In a year of firsts after Bill died, Christmas ranked right up there in emotional pain, second only to my first non-anniversary.

My friend, Amy’s husband passed away last June. She laments, “The holidays have approached quickly and I can’t stop them. I just want to forget Christmas…to crawl into a deep, dark hole and not emerge until January.”

Firsts are hard. Even now, after all these years, I’m still not a big fan of the holidays. Bill’s Christmas stocking is forever empty.

In the early after-Bill days, I joined the Going Solo hospice grief group. Just before Christmas, we watched the video, Handling The Holidays (www.griefinc.com). I could only think if there’s a need for me to watch this, he’s really gone. Afterwards, we each lit a candle in memory of our loved one. Our group leader passed around the Kleenex in the loud silence.

In the midst of all this sorrow and heartache though, there is hope. Hope through the Christ Child, born in Bethlehem and laid in a lowly manger. To God be the Glory! Without Him, where would I be?

What is your hope this Christmas?

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Instant Replay

Over the weekend I watched the movie My Sister’s Keeper, based on the book by Jodi Picoult. Most would say it’s the story of two sisters, one conceived to keep the other alive. From my perspective, it’s the story of a mom losing her daughter.

I was coming along just fine watching it, until Sara, played by Cameron Diaz, went into denial as her daughter, Kate neared death. Sara stormed at her husband, “You can’t take her to the beach. It will kill her.”
This led me straight back into my own denial before Bill died. “He can’t be dying. He’s a marathon runner.”

When Sara ran around trying to do everything possible to keep Kate alive, I clicked into my own illogical attempts to force Bill to eat and to get him, half comatose, into his wheelchair to go to physical therapy.

I watched as Sara climbed onto her daughter’s bed the night Kate stopped breathing…something I had wanted to do with Bill and couldn’t, because the slightest movement caused him pain. It was then I came close to wailing. Only I couldn’t get my breath.

Bill died seven and a half years ago. In that yesteryear, I lived this agony on a regular basis. Today I visit. Brief relapses. But once again, in this annual winter of my soul—the months of Bill’s paralysis before his death in the spring—I tend to numb myself. So, this relapse wasn’t all bad. In active grief, I felt Alive.

For those of you for whom it’s been awhile since your loved one died, what hope do you have to offer others immersed in the thick of their grief? Tell me about your relapses. Are they all bad?

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