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Archive for January, 2011

One of the side effects of losing a loved one, is the fear of suffering another loss.

Some time after my husband’s death, the due date of my daughter and son-in-law’s baby approached. 

My fears soared.  With the hospital located forty-five minutes away, what if they don’t make it there in time? Give birth in the backseat of their car? What if they drive through a winter white-out and crash?  After all, we lived in the middle of the Snowbelt. And it was winter. Something could go horribly wrong…

Okay, this is irrational. This is crazy. This is grief.

I tried talking myself down. Tried distracting myself. But dusting every nook and cranny in my entire house didn’t cut it for me. Too much time to think. My stomach knotted and exhaustion fell over me like a cloudburst. Everything seemed irrelevant in comparison to the safety of this birth.

God, help!

And, as He had done for my husband before his death, He did for me. I was at peace.

The child of my child was born in the wee hours of a morning. They had arrived at the hospital in plenty of time, during weather’s pause between a blizzard and an ice storm. 

I swung over to a manic high.

What or who have you feared losing since the death of your loved one? How did you cope?

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Befriending Grief

Is it possible to make a friend of grief?

One of my blog readers…a devoted runner and fellow griever…answers this question in today’s post. Here’s her story:

Blazing New Trails

Running on New Year’s Day is required for my wellbeing. This year, I decided to run the Tobacco Trail in Durham. It was a pleasant day with temperatures in the mid 50’s, a perfect day for Grief and me to put on our shorts and run. I grabbed my most recent CD of Sam music and raced out the door eager for a new running trail. Clouds filled the sky and a mist of rain covered my windshield. The Beatles were singing, “Here comes the sun” and the Five Stairsteps were telling me, “O-o-h child, things are going to get easier”. I am hoping this is all true, but Grief is still sitting next to me.

The trail is a dirt path covered in leaves with muddy spots; completely flat and surrounded by woods and creek beds. It is beautiful and serene.  Grief said we need to run for an hour and let the memories flood our mind. Running through all the mud was difficult to maneuver, but so is life when you get stuck in a rut and need a friend to lift you up, pat you on the bottom and tell you to get moving. That was the way Sam encouraged me on a daily basis.

I stopped at the bridge to take off my jacket and catch my breath. Grief wanted to cry and hang out at the bridge, but NO!  Sam would not approve of us stopping now…”keep running Jenny; you have to keep moving”. I thought of the times Sam appeared at my road races on his bike and would ride along side me with words of encouragement. How proud he was of me when I won my first trophy for finishing 2nd in my age group in a 10K race.

There were bikers, runners, and families walking along the trail. I met so many smiling faces and my heart grew warm. Sam was there with me smiling as I spoke to every one I saw. I stopped to check on a young boy who fell off his bike, and felt Sam’s presence even more. Helping strangers, encouraging children and being kind to others was something he always did.

I looked down to see three pine cones lined up perfectly and it reminded me of Sam on the driving range. He would line up the golf balls and hit them one after the other without hesitation. It was part of his routine there. I thought about how everywhere I look, I see Sam. He is in my thoughts constantly. I can see his expression, hear his voice and feel my heart warm to his touch.

Running the trail was a new adventure for me and Grief. We’ve been runnning together for almost five months now. At first it was horrible and I hated  her presence, but in the past several weeks, I have welcomed her company. Grief  understands my pain, loss, heartache and sadness. She runs with me daily and reminds me how far I”ve come in this journey. Grief will be with me forever and that’s okay. She is a reminder of a love that comes once in a lifetime, and how blessed I am to have found that love. She reminds me that Sam will live in my heart forever.

On the drive home, I thought of the New Year and my fear of leaving Sam behind in 2010. My fear is gone. I am blazing a new trail and he is still with me. He will stand beside me, hold my hand, watch over my shoulder and lie beside me at night. We will take this journey together and I will get stronger. Hope and Joy will become part of my running team, but Grief will not leave me. She is a part of my life and a welcomed running partner.

written by Jenny Lee, January 1, 2011.

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