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|Posted on January 30, 2014 at 6:07 PM||comments (4)|
|Posted on September 17, 2013 at 10:16 PM||comments (196)|
I'm tired tonight. But not as tired as my dear friends who lost a grandson last week. I know a little something about grief--BUT this pain experienced by my friends is the worst horror. The order of life tragically turned upside down.
I didn't know if I would have the courage to travel the miles to give a comforting hug.I didn't know if I were brave enough to stand in a room with my friends (the grandparents) the parents, the siblings, the aunts and uncles, the cousins, the young friends, and the old friends and be strong enough to comfort, rather than yearning to be comforted about such a senseless loss.
But as the lyrics of the song echoed in my head "that's what friends are for--the good times the bad times." These friends were close couple friends--another reason why I was initially weak about being able to attend the memorial service.I would be going alone--and that thought made my decision doubly difficult.
Fortunately, my heart and head got it together--you "show up" for your friends who need you. You do travel the miles just to say for a minute--"I love you, and I'm here." Because that is the worst thing about losing a loved one--not much that you relied on makes sense anymore. But the love of friends and family makes the difference. Hope is rekindled.
These friends were there for me. The room at the reception was filled with friends who carried me over the worst time of losing the love of my life. "That's what friends are for."
I painted this hydrangea for my friends--it's on the cover of the sympathy card I am sending them. I hope they will laugh a bit when they see it--because we used to laugh at my need to collect hydrangeas--even if they weren't mine. Confession--Larry and I lived next door to the parish house in Wellfleet. The house was used for offices for the church across the street. In the late Fall I would go out after dark and snip off the hydrangea blossoms, surreptitiously and quickly put them in a grocery bag to take home--believing that I was doing a good thing--pruning the flowers before they turned brown and ugly. My friends--for whom I drew this sympathy card--would ask me "Con, were those flowers 'taken' from the church?"
I'm tired tonight--but they are bereft. Their friends cannot make their pain go away--but I and we can let them know that we are here with outstretched hands, open hearts, constant prayers and the hope that they know that treasured memories are the strength that heals.
|Posted on July 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM||comments (210)|
|Posted on January 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM||comments (102)|
It's cold here in the Northeast.Just the way it should be in early January.This morning, I put on my treasured hat, the one pictured here.I almost lost it eleven years ago.Can a hat be a treasure?This one is.My husband bought it for me when we were visiting friends in Colorado, and we had packed too lightly.He placed great stock in hats being essential to protecting the body from becoming too cold.He once bought me a woolen hat in Camden, Maine on an incredibly hot day in July.He had a real boy scout "be prepared" instinct when it came to hats.This one though was extra special.I took it with me to Toronto where I fled the day of his funeral.I escaped to a favorite city of ours so that I could steep myself in memories and soak as much of him and our life together as I could so that I would never forget what we had.Some thought my desire to be alone away from loving family and friends was disturbing, but I knew instinctively that I needed to concentrate in isolation on what our life had been like and feel the pain of love lost and the exhilaration of love experienced.I knew it would not come my way again, and I had to make peace with it.Now what does a hat have to do with this story?Just this.I wore it constantly for the first few frigid February days when I walked the streets of Toronto, mulling over my life.Each night after coming home to the hotel, I put my hat on the desk in my room.The fourth day after breakfast I reached for my hat which I always put by my lap top.It was not there.I had kept my roiling emotions under control until then.I panicked, I was gripped with the unfathomable loss that I had held at bay.I came face to face with the horror of losing the love of my life and the loss of this hat brought it all home to my heart.Where had it gone?I spent the day searching for it.I revisited every place I'd been the day before.No hat.I begged the kind people at the small hotel where I was staying--they knew the story-to search everywhere for my hat.They did--but they didn't find it.Neither had I found it.Every nook and cranny of my room had been torn apart--multiple times.I had visited all the "lost and founds" of each restaurant and shop I had gone to the last three days.No hat.The next morning after a sleepless night, I ordered room service coffee, when I went to get the money for the tip I went to my desk--on it was the HAT.There was no logical way the hat could have been placed at my desk.My hat had been lost and now found impossibly.How? Why? I have learned since that there is an expression in the grieving glossary called "metaphor". It is the not-to-be explained incidences that leads the grieving individual to believe you are in contact with the loved one lost.My hat is my metaphor.I know there was no logical explanation about how my hat came to be on my desk.It didn't matter--I had my hat and I had the experience of perhaps the hand of my husband reaching to me from beyond.Magical? Yes.Comforting? Yes.More than that, though, it was a signal that I had to accept things beyond my comprehension.I had to have faith.I had to begin to see that life is in many ways beyond our control.My hat still keeps me warm as it did this morning.It is also a constant reminder to try and believe in those things that don't make sense.
|Posted on August 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM||comments (15)|
When I moved "Beyond Wellfleet", my dear (and talented) friend Patty Adduci gave me this needlepoint. I hung it on the wall of my new home almost before the paint dried.
It followed me to my second home and reminds me every morning to think of flowers
and the fading cold of winter--caused by sorrow.
The subtitle of Above & Beyond Wellfleet is "Welcoming Life After Loss". In this blog, I hope to expand the welcoming part of moving on from loss. I also hope to spur a conversation which highlights just how hard--but possible it is to see the "flowers appear on the earth".
My "flowers" have been the family and friends who have walked with me. It may sound corny, but with this blog, I'd like that garden to grow.