I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor

Grief plays tricks with time. The past three months have passed in the blink of an eye, and they have lasted forever. I never thought I’d last three weeks let alone three months — at times the pain was so unbearable I wanted to scream. So I did.

Yet here I am, a thousand miles from where I started, and generally I’m doing okay. Grief grabs me a couple of times a day, but doesn’t hang around long, mostly because I take long walks and look at life through the lens of a camera. I find solace there, and peace.

This morning, however, I woke in tears because of this new milestone — three months since his death. I needed to scream, to be alone with my pain, so I headed out for a walk. Wandered in the desert. Cried in the wilderness. And screamed. Haven’t had to do that for a while — I’ve been keeping myself too busy to feel much, so it was good, in a strange and agonizing sort of way, to reconnect with my grief.

I’m still going to a grief support group. It does help to be around people who understand this journey, to hear how others are handling their loss. (Loss. What a odd way to describe death, as if the person is simply misplaced, like a ring, and will soon be found.) Each week there is a special focus of attention, a lesson. The lesson for the grief support group last week was about finding a sense of purpose:

 “Each phase in my grief journey allows me to explore where I am right now. By accepting that I am where I must need to be, I am free to live today. The place I am today can become friend instead of foe. The journey into my loss has already created change, and the present and future will create more. Now may be the time to examine my expectations of myself, and accept that I am where I need to be for now.”

I’m not sure that I am where I need to be, either mentally or geographically, but that sentiment hit a chord with me. I am trying to trust in the rightness of my path, and that I will know what to do when the next step comes. What bothers me is that by trusting in the rightness of the path, both mine and my soulmate’s,  it means that it was right for him to be sick and die, and that I cannot accept. But maybe it’s not up to me to accept the rightness of his path, only the rightness of mine. 

As for change? If I were writing a novel about a character who has gone through what I have these past months — first the diagnosis of his illness, then his too quick death, then sorting through the accumulation of decades, and moving from the house where we spent the past twenty years — she would have grown stronger perhaps, or wiser, and changed in some fundamental way, but I don’t feel any different. I’m still the same person, though my situation is completely different than it was six months ago.

But perhaps it’s still too soon for any change to appear. In the world of grief, I am still a toddler.

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116 Responses to “I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor”

  1. joylene Says:

    Thinking of you.

  2. dennisfinocchiaro Says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. This post is so powerful, maybe you should channel these feelings into writing a book.
    http://www.denwrites.com

  3. Marvi Marti Says:

    I found your blog this morning on the Freshly Pressed and was touched by the emotion here. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    Marti

  4. olgaluz Says:

    Pat,
    It has been five years for me and sometimes it still fills like yesterday. It does not get easy. But it does get slightly less hard as time goes by. Where you need to be is where you are. It is all part of the journey. Olga Luz.

  5. L.V. Gaudet Says:

    You are already a new person. Stronger, wiser, and a survivor. You are living in a new world, flying solo, and learning how to do it all over again.

    Who we are changes long before we see the changes for ourselves.

    Keep strong Pat. And keep those loving memories close.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Lori, There does have to be changes when one has become uncoupled, doesn’t there? I like that you think I am a survivor. Thank you for your continued support during this terrible journey of mine.

  6. Susan Tordella Says:

    Pat- you’re still in the acute phase of grief- give yourself time. Of course you’re still going to a grief group! You lost your life mate. You don’t get over that in a day.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Susan. No, you don’t get over such a trauma in a day. Nor, as I discovered, in a month or three months. And yes, I will give myself time.

  7. bookjunkie Says:

    I never thought it would get easier, but it’s been 8 years since my darling father’s been gone. I think a part of your brain protects you and keeps you from the pain. There is no other way I can explain my surviving. I also feel like he is away somewhere…like on a trip….

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I sometimes have that same feeling, that one day I will get a call and he will tell me he’s okay, and to come back home. I dread the day I realize once and for all, that he will not be calling me.

  8. mylittlemiracle Says:

    I am a 15-month grief survivor. I am sorry for your “loss” and agree with you on how it is an odd way to describe death. I lost my brother in a tragic car accident. For a while I would wake up and for a few brief moments, I would not remember. Then, like a volcano erupting, an explosion of grief would overtake me. The explosions have stopped and now it more like a constant and steady flow of the lava, still ever hot to the touch.

    God Bless you and thank you for sharing this.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      And I am sorry for your “loss”. Sometimes, if I get caught up in doing something, I get distracted for a minute, and then the grief slams into me again. It’s hard, isn’t it? I wonder if we will ever stop counting the months.

  9. gmomj Says:

    At the top of my blog page is a quote I have rewritten over and over again ever since my brother died.
    (You can read my post about him if you like.
    It may comfort you.
    It is absolutely true.
    It’s called,”Didn’t Your Brother Die Of Cancer?”)
    But anyway the quote that I keep writing is this,

    Here on the frontier,
    There are falling leaves,
    Although my neighbors are all barbarions.
    And you?
    You are a thousand miles away,
    There are always two cups on my table.

    Tang Dynasty

    I don’t know why it comforts me, but it does.
    I hope it comforts you too.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s beautiful. I like the image of two cups on the table, and the intimation that despite everything, the world continues on. I’ll go check out your blog.

  10. emrocks Says:

    Next Sunday, I will be a 6 month grief survivor. Hang in there. It does get “easier” in time. You will never stop loving, caring, or missing your loved one but they’re always around us. Look for the wind in the trees, the ripples in the water, and stars that wink at you. Good luck on your journey.

  11. Simone Says:

    “In the world of grief, I am still a toddler” – how utterly beautiful. Heartbreaking, yet it speaks a truth, gently…
    I’m very sorry about the loss of your life mate, your soul mate, your love. Your path will now lead you to new places, places full of love, of grief, of joy and tears – I’m sure your mate is there, watching over you, in your heart. Yes, it’s hard. It’s the hardest thing to do, carry on living without your other half. But you are, and I bow my head to your strength, Pat. This dark time will change you, but one thing will remain – the love for the one that has passed on. Focus on that, on the love. When grief takes over, focus on love, like warm sunshine.
    Shine on.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Simone, great advice. I’m too focused on his being gone, so I’ll try to focus on the love. We were together a long time — thirty-four years, and that’s a lot of love.

      • Simone Says:

        Yes, 34 years is a LOT of love, and a lot of strength that can be gained from that amount of love. My gran passed away two years ago – I have this photograph of her, smiling, before dementia took her away, bit by bit – and it’s this photograph that I turn to when I remember gran. Smiling. Happy. Not only a shell… I guess what I’m trying to say is – take a smile, a photo of your love with you, and remember that smile, that love, those moments. Focus on those moments when the skies get dark.

  12. squirrelsloveacorns Says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Grief is just a step in life that everyone goes through, the longer you grieve you realize how much you loved the person you lost. It will take a while to adjust to not having them around, or getting over the feeling of screaming. It’s ok to scream, cry, yell, but make sure you smile, laugh and enjoy life in the mean time.

    Stay strong, those who are there to help will do so, do whatever you need to do to try and stay happy, and also stay happy for your loved one. They wouldn’t have wanted to see you go through so much pain for their loss. They would want to see you happy and enjoying the life you are given.

    When my grandpa died my dad gave me this poem:
    “Death is nothing at all” by Henry Scott Holland

    read this and let me know what you think, stay strong

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I am surprised, but I can smile, even laugh. I’m not yet to the point where I can enjoy life, but I do enjoy moments. That’s a big step.

      The poem made me cry. Thank you for telling me about it.

      You’re right — I know he would not like to be the cause of so much pain, even inadvertantly.

      • squirrelsloveacorns Says:

        Even though it made you cry I hope that it helped, it’s helped me quite a bit.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Yes, the poem did help. I especially liked the lines:

          Life means all that it ever meant
          It is the same as it ever was

          While I was with him, I never worried about what life meant, it was enough that I was with him. But now, just as before I met him, I’m struggling to find meaning, so it’s nice to see that perhaps my life still means what it meant when I was with him.

  13. Jamie Says:

    I am a teenager in grief years. I have realized that I will never get over his death, ever. Instead, I must learn how to live with the pain.

    It sounds sad to say it that way, but when I *feel* it that way it is more comforting to know that the grief will never end than to keep wondering when the pain will be over.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That is very wise, learning to live with the pain rather than waiting for it to be over. I go through times of numbness when I don’t feel much, and I actually prefer the sorrow. I’d rather feel something than nothing at all. The death of a loved one should not be treated lightly, as if it were a case of indigestion.

  14. Vodka and Ground Beef Says:

    I like how you say you are going to trust in the “rightness of your path.” You’re strength comes through in this post. You’re exactly where you need to be. Keep going through.

  15. Currie Rose Says:

    Beautiful sharing. I honor your path and I have faith that everything in your life and on your journey is in exact perfect alignment for your souls evolution…

    Be blessed,
    Currie Rose

  16. kelliejwin Says:

    I think at some point in our lives we all struggle with the idea of finding a reason for someone’s death who is so close to us. It doesn’t seem logical that they would have to be taken from us at all…

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It doesn’t make sense, and perhaps never will. A woman at the grief group told me, “I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience, not human beings having a spiritual experience.” It’s how she makes sense of it all.

  17. Debi Ziemer Says:

    Four years now for me and I had a huge breakdown three days ago….like I had just the week after his death. I thought I was sooo beyond that kind of pain and then there it was all over again. I am so confused myself about this process, or is it not really a process just the way it is now. My breakdown really freightened me because it was so unexpected. I hate to hear of others pain like this but know that we all feel the same. So afraid to show to others, that is why we seek the desert, the long walks, we have to deal with it we know but still so very hard, because the end result is still the same…they are gone!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Debi, that’s the thing that I can’t forget. No matter how strong I am, no matter how well I do, no matter how I accept, he’s still gone.

      I’ve heard that the breakdowns can come years later, even decades later. It makes sense in a way. We do get used to their being gone, and then one day we are reminded anew that they are gone, and it hits us all over again.

      One benefit of a blog thread like this, is that we find out that we do feel the same, or at least go through many of the same experiences. Perhaps it helps.

      I am truly sorry for your grief.

  18. marlajayne Says:

    I can’t remember who said this, but I sometimes find solace in remembering the saying that, “The only way out is through.” You’ll survive your toddler stage and will then know what to do next.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s true. As much as I’d like to skip over the pain, I also know how important it is, if for no other reason that to make me strong enough to live the coming years without him.

  19. the bizzle in the pizzle Says:

    you broke my heart – what else to say? as for the groups, i don’t know – anything that might help is worth trying. i’d rather focus on small things and details, on my own. but those long months when memory flashbacks strike each day, or more times in a day, breathtaking, every time
    for those long months, nothing to do but wait, and they’ll eventually pass. then sadly, you get used to it.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have never joined a group in my life, so it still astonishes me that I attend the meetings. I’m trying to do things I wouldn’t do if he were alive, to try to hurry the process, but it doesn’t hurry. It goes at its own pace whether one participates in a group or deals with it alone.

  20. tdbwd Says:

    I am amazed at similar your sentiments are to those I’ve written in my journal the past few weeks. I lost my husband six weeks ago Sunday. I wrote in my journal that morning: “Six weeks ago and an eternity. I can’t believe it’s only been six weeks. I feel as if I’ve squeezed a lifetime of mourning into that time. I feel as if the calendar must be wrong. It feels as if it must have been months already, yet it feels like yesterday. The pain is raw, right at the surface.”

    I cry at least three times a day, but that’s better than the 14 hours a day I was doing at first. The other day I walked into the public library, burst into tears and walked out.

    Yet I feel progress being made. I start every journal entry with a note to my husband. I started a good memories book that I add to regularly and read at least once a day. I try to keep my mind and my body busy. Distraction sounds heartless but it helps.

    In her book, “Seeking Peace,” Mary Pipher wrote: “Growth is the only cure for great sorrow or an identity crisis. Recovery requires the building of a roomier container in which to hold our experiences.”

    I don’t know where the healing process will lead, but I’m beginning to have hope that I will heal.

    My condolences and deepest sympathy and understanding go out to you, Pat.

    Tammy

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Tammy, I am so sorry to hear that your husband is gone and that you are in such pain. Those first weeks are such total agony, I don’t understand how anyone survives them. It’s good that you write your husband and try to keep the memories alive. Best of luck and all my sympathy on your journey to healing.

  21. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    ” I’m still the same person, though my situation is completely different than it was six months ago.

    IMHO, I think you will always be the same person, Pat, but how you react to life’s changing experiences and lessons is what will continue to evolve. Right now you’re surviving but one day you’ll look back and discover you’ve progressed and you’re living again, not as a new person but as a stronger one in a new season of your life.

    Blessings to you.

  22. lucychase Says:

    I am a two-year grief survivor who got stuck in the anger stage. Mine was a sudden loss, and it still stings. I still have my triggers, but at least I don’t break down in public anymore. I don’t attend grief support groups, as I had no problem accepting the situation (all his life, he chose to take risks in the name of ‘fun’ with full knowledge of what could happen) and I’d really rather move on (as in avoid dwelling on it), but I like the thought about finding your own path. Mine got so intertwined with his that I lost my own identity somewhere along the way. It’s interesting to rediscover yourself, isn’t it? I’m looking at this like an academic exercise in processing an experience and trying to find a reason to be positive about the new direction in which life is taking me. I hope you find something new and challenging to focus on too!

    I think the rightness of any given path is rooted in the cycles of change that are actually a normal part of life. Embrace the changes. Travelling this new road may lead you into a part of yourself that you never knew you always wanted to know.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Lucy, I understand about one’s path being so intertwined that you lost your own identity. Something similar happened to me — we were always together and thought so much alike that we seemed to be a dual person. I started the unentwining process three years ago when he first began to deteriorate, but still, his death felt like an amputation, and left me unsure of who I am. Yes, it is interesting to rediscover oneself. Best of luck on your journey.

  23. wenchhandle Says:

    Hello Pat, My heart goes out to you in your time of life. Death is something we can never get around, and oddly enough people usually don’t want to talk about it. It’s going to happen. Death is final and life is a gift. Thankfully one moment, one breath at a time, is all that we can count on. I like how you are using your camera to focus on life. Photography, with me, just scratches the surface of the beauty of the world around us. It will get better. My thoughts are with you.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thank you for your thoughts and words. The real “coming of age” is experiencing a death because, as you say, it’s something we can never get around. There is no changing it, no doing it over, no rewriting the life to eliminate the death. I hadn’t realized it, but you are right — I am using the camera to focus on life. It’s part of my path.

  24. barrymanana Says:

    You’re right, ‘loss’ is a strange word to use in the context of bereavement. How can a person ‘lose’ the memories of a loved one? If anything, the memories become stronger, more intimate, more cherished. Your partner lives on in yours, and judging by your loving, candid words, I think you’ll find strength in that.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s a good point. You can’t lose the memories, so in a way, one’s partner is never gone. Because of all those memories, I still feel at times as if I’m leading “our” life.

  25. echosofmymind Says:

    I just saw this and I’m sorry for your ‘loss’ although I don’t want to use that word now. Three months is hardly any time. I’m so sorry.

    However I am grateful I stumbled on to your blog. I’m a fellow writer but compared to you, a real beginner. Thank you for this heartfelt post and I look forward to reading your books and your tips on writing.

    Marie McHale Drake (fellow Coloradoan)

    http://memoirsandhalftruths.wordpress.com/

  26. maddnebraska Says:

    “new normal” hard to wrap your head around but very true for anyone working through grief from sudden loss of family and/or injury (no matter how small).

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      When he was sick and dying, I learned the truth of the saying, “Every crisis brings a new normal.” Now that he’s gone, every day almost brings a new normal.

  27. sparklingbytheway Says:

    Beautiful essay. Thank you.

  28. leesis Says:

    Hey Pat this is the first time ive read your blog and my heart moved with your grief.

    Yes you are in the right place! We always are as long as we are not ‘running away’.

    As both having experienced this horrid grief and counselled many, the only way I know is to sit and be, walk and be, wake and be.

    Be with the pain, be with the loss, (and perhaps loss is the best word; perhaps they are lost for now?) just Be.

    As ugly as it is; and there is no denying it is the most horrendous of all pain we feel; the only time i see things go wrong is when folk run from this pain.

    And remember to hold anothers hand when the going gets tough. Toddlers know when to ask for a cuddle :)

    Hoping my thoughts of strength towards you will reach you in some way…Leesa

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Leesa, I appreciate your reminder to “be.” I sometimes keep too busy to experience the pain, so I’ve been trying to slow down and be with the pain. I can see that it’s a necessary part of the process. Thank you.

  29. Abby Says:

    “I am where I must need to be” – I love that – it’s very releasing. Thank you for writing. I think tears and screams are so important because they show us that pain matters, that grief matters; you matter and what you’re going through is important. I hope you continue to find peace and solace in this most difficult of journeys.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Abby, I never thought that pain mattered, or that grief did until recently. I always thought grief was a selfish and self-centered experience, and perhaps it is. And perhaps it needs to be. Thank you for your words.

  30. James Rafferty Says:

    Pat, in your own way, you’re finding a way forward. Life is much less crisp than fiction. The denouements and revelations are often slow to arrive. In your walks, photography and letting go — yes, even the screams — you’re being and shaping yourself for the journey ahead. My thoughts are with you on this lonely path.

  31. Kathy Holmes Says:

    I can only imagine! Hugs, Pat!!!

  32. ~Sia McKye~ Says:

    Grief is such a funny thing, oh not ha, ha, funny, but the process. We who have lost someone, are all on the same road, yet the scenery is different for each one. As are our perceptions of that scenery.

    I’ve learned:
    *you do what you have to do to get through each day.

    *I need to laugh and celebrate life

    *I need to talk about my brother

    *My family has the right idea. Gather and share the fun stories and share a shoulder for the tears. Most important, WE are alive, so LIVE, don’t merely exist.

    *I know what grief is, but I can never really say *I understand what you’re going through* to another grieving person. I don’t. No one does. All I can say is I understand how hard it is to lose someone deeply embedded in your heart.

    *I’ve especially learned there is no *right* or *wrong* way to grieve. It’s an individual process.

    *that no matter how long a person has been gone, there will be days grief will grab you. This is true. I lost my dad 15 years ago and just the other night, in the middle of a peaceful walk, it attacked me and brought me to tears. Granted, the pain wasn’t as sharp but it was still there.

    *Time does really help. I letting time have time work for my the loss of my brother. Only 7 months and still rough.

    Hang in there Pat. Find your peace where you can, enjoy the beauty around you, as you are. The rest will take care of itself.

    Hugs

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Sia, such words of wisdom! Thank you. I am sorry about your brother. I know it was a tremendous blow to you. It doesn’t help much knowing that our loved ones aren’t suffering any more, does it? I wish they didn’t have to suffer in the first place.

  33. Rakeysh Says:

    your words simply touched me and it proves we are all human n feel the pain of others to some extent. Must say u are real survivor and winner in fighting with ur grief. Salute to you.

  34. Joyce Norman Says:

    Pat, you challenge me every day! For someone to have the strength to say, “I’m right where I ought to be”…..whether they FEEL it or not, is giant steps toward sanity and wholeness. All of this is slow in coming but you are, it seems, doing the things that will replenish your soul. You are a light for many.

    You are allowing nature to hold you in her arms and minister to you. So many people are sending positive prayers and thoughts to you every hour of every day!

    Love and respect,

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Joyce, you touch me, as always. I’d forgotten, but my early journey, before I met my soulmate, was about finding sanity and wholeness. It makes sense that I’m back on that path. Should be interesting to see where it leads.

      Thank you for your continued prayers and positive thoughts.

  35. greengeekgirl Says:

    I’m so sorry to read about your loss. I’ve dealt with grief many times in life and I can say that it’s early yet to be expecting yourself to feel better. But you seem to be on the right track toward healing. :)

    I don’t know if you’ve read A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion; I found it wonderfully poignant and helpful.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I sometimes wonder if I’m dragging my grief out too long, so it’s good to know that it’s too early to expect myself to feel better. I’ve added A Year of Magical Thinking to my reading list. Thank you.

  36. Sherrie Hansen Says:

    I can’t begin to imagine what you’ve been through, Pat. I’ve never even lost a parent. I can only hope that when my time comes, I will handle things as well as you have.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thanks for stopping by Sherrie. Until three and a half years ago, I hadn’t lost anyone. Now a brother is gone, my mother is gone, and my soulmate is gone. The only advice I have it you ever find yourself in this situation? Scream if you feel the need. It does help relieve the feeling that your chest is going to explode.

  37. pbandchutney Says:

    Your words were really touching and I am sorry for your pain. I lost my Dad 8 months ago and every day is still very hard. The only thing that keeps you moving forward is the good times you shared with your loved one. People tell me that it gets easier… so I’ll tell you the same. Let’s hope it’s true. Hugs to you.

  38. christinehusom Says:

    An excellent post, Pat, and a wonderful outreach to others who have a similar experience with the death of a dearly loved one. I can relate to your words, in many ways! Thank you for your frank and touching post.

  39. Angela Says:

    Pat,
    It has been just over 5 years since I lost my mom…my best friend. I’m sure I’m not finished grieving. Honestly, I’m fairly certain I really haven’t begun properly anyway. I guess I’m “dealing” with my loss. Some days better than others. You appear to be in the right place for you at this particular moment in time. Keep doing what you are doing and you’ll know in your heart whether you are moving forward or remaining a toddler. Take care,
    Angela

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Angela, I wonder if we are ever finished grieving? I do know that by not letting ourselves feel the grief that it prolongs the pain, but maybe the pain never goes away completely. I guess I’ll be finding out in the coming years. I’m so sorry you lost your mother.

  40. debbe Says:

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure the other 70+ people before me have said it better than I have, but I am sorry for your loss.

  41. Abby Says:

    Thank you for the way you have responded to all your readers. That is very moving and thoughtful of you. I really wanted you to know that you matter, and that your grief matters because your loved one matters so much. Your pain is important because he is important. How much more terrible would it be for no one to mourn his “loss”? The world spins differently without the weight of his presence here, and that matters. You have really touched me with your writing and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Abby, The world does spin differently without the weight of his presence. I could feel it in my stomach — was queasy for weeks because the world was off balance.

      You helped me put things in perspective. I am glad I’m grieving — he does deserve that. He is important, was the best man I ever met. I am honored that he shared his life with me, and I will learn to celebrate that.

      Thank you again for your comments, thoughts, and prayers.

  42. deadpoet88 Says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. I know it is hard dealing with grief, but everyone becomes stronger. It just takes time. I know these are just empty words, but it does become better over time. The grief may stay for life, but eventually you will start living again. I hope you become a stronger person. Just be patient.

  43. katesanford Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Here’s a page that might help. I put it together for a friend whose wife died of Leukemia. It has a section for helping children deal with grief (they had two), but it also has a section on some really excellent online communities that can potentially help. One of the things that my friend said was that after a while her friends and family didn’t really want to hear it. That’s when she was happiest for a community of people who really understood — and she could talk with. May you find acceptance, grace, beauty, and sometime in the future, joy again, in honor of what you had.

    http://www.anachronisticmom.com/Medical-KK/Grieving.html

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      People do seem to get tired of hearing about our grief. They seem to think that we should get over it quickly and move on, but grief doesn’t work like that. Thank you for the links. It’s a valuable list.

  44. Songbird Says:

    Very good idea to write about it. Writing, (and or other creative pursuits) can be very healing. I wish you strength during this difficult time.

  45. Khean Says:

    I am sorry to read about your loss. I stumbled onto your blog this early morning. Please do not dwell in grief and pain. I understand it well. Everyone of us go through life and at some point of time, we may suffer griefs and pain. I just want you to know that GOD knows the pain that you’re going through and HE is always around you, comforting you and you just asked of HIM to relieve you from it.
    I pray that you will start looking at Sunshine and dwell in HIS presence. I am sure the one that you have lost do not want to see you in pain when he looks down from heaven. He wants to see you all happy and smiley..knowing that someday he will be able to see you again….
    GOD bless my friend….will pray for you.

  46. Brian Steere Says:

    I lost my 16 year old first born daughter to suicide. 15 years ago.
    Loss has come up sharply as a fundamental thread of what I call ‘my life’.
    I grieved my daughter – but I was also grieving ‘my life’.
    The heart opens in ways that the mind cannot long abide – and yet the story of the mind is not the purity of the loving.
    I associate the loving with Soul.
    The Soul of me opened through FEELING the love – but the mind subverted that purity by asserting its story – and grabbing my attention in ways I couldn’t altogether be free of.
    I didn’t fight anything during the grief – I don’t find fighting to be a way of peace.
    Our minds are so entrenched – so in the grip of a willfulness to make sense of everything so that I GET what I need.
    But despite the fearfulness of that sort of survival intent, love arose within my life and undid me of my grip.

    I might seem whacky – but I feel to discern the gift no matter what the appearance. At least, there is a love of truth in me that prompts and uncovers this willingness in me despite experience of unspeakable hurt.

    For a long while the world was simply the footprint of where she had walked. The absence of her light and being. And I had to do whatever I felt I had to do – or leave undone.

    I had to let love touch me deeper than I had ever allowed anyone or anything to touch me. Words aren’t going to say much now – I’m not going to be able to say.

    We put our love outside ourself and do not recognize where it really is. But you are the love – and the giving is the way you remember. Screaming and stuff can be an act of self love – for if something doesn’t release that limits us unbearably – we need to find any way to find the flow – the being – the life.

    It is here – always. I forget this a lot – but I remember it more.
    My mind seems to be designed to protect me from sharing love – but I don’t regard that as the truth or nature of Mind itself – but as a sort of complex story of me that once seemed so real and now really doesn’t speak for the love and life I feel graced to share – (yet still have the temptation to usurp or lose by following my own thinking-mind instead of listening in the heart).

    I am glad to feel your presence- though a shared sense of loss has touched us both.

    In Peace

    Brian

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Brian, I am so sorry for the tragedy you experienced. But love does win out, I think. I hope. I do know there is something in us deeper than words. Love is as good a name for it as anything.

      • Brian Steere Says:

        That’s ok Pat – it wasn’t your doing. I guess you are offering a ‘touch’ to a sense of me being hurt. I welcome the touch. I feel the hurt – but I don’t seek to soothe it – buut rather allow it to rest in me as one with my love. And as such it isn’t hurt.

        One of the things that came up strong in me while in grief was how others projected their stuff onto me and then acted out their fantasy on me – with expectations that I fit their needs.

        Whilst it was easy if I paused, to understand the self defence mechanism at work I none the less felt at times outraged or completely unrelated with. In the former is my unmet desire or need for love – albeit in terms I can accept and understand – and in the latter is a true insight into the surface meaninglessness of much of what passes as currency as human relationship.

        We are so unseen in this life – but then are we not ourselves likewise so often too ‘busy’ to notice and discern each other – until suddenly we cant find each other! We deprive ourselves of love.

        I don’t believe love is involved in struggle – but when we calm of our preoccupation in struggle, love’s nature rises of itself – as the simple truth. And eventually we accept and align with the simple truth rather than fight with reality. At least to find the next step.

        But all of us together – humanly – try to ‘make a self’ in a world that does not and can not last – and do so in ignorance of the love that we are. Searching for our own meanings in shifting and conflicting conditions.

        When love finds its name written in our hearts – we begin to look out upon a different world – from a fresh perspective. Love’s loss – lived humanly – re opened me to love – because it is the loss that I would lose and the love that I will cleave to.

        There is much confusion in the human heart to be healed and this can only come one willing step at a time. We generally don’t like living in or through the territory of raw exposure and seek to cover it with a regained sense of self.

        It took me three years or so before I freely came to a sense of willingness to move on. Until I felt it, I trusted myself to be as I was moved to be. I also lost my marriage at the same time. I knew it in my heart – but couldn’t let that come out – that took many years of pain and in many ways is a kind of grief that is hard to speak of – losing a beloved one while they are alive.

        I wore myself out going round and round the same thoughts, over and over. Seeking love where it was not.
        I sense somewhere that that was the point – for me to live this and be changed by having lived so.

        All things are known in silence. A fullness that cannot be found from within the noise.
        I don’t say this as any kind of answer – but simply as a possible direction.

        To live each day – to live this day – from even a little willingness for the heart’s blessing to abide and share.
        When we neglect or forget to love, we starve ourselves of life.

  47. holessence Says:

    Pat, I am very sorry for the grief you are experiencing.

    As a Holistic Health Practitioner I use energy-based modalities in my practice. In the current manuscript I’m writing I have a section on death. I cut-and-pasted part of that here in the hope you will find it helpful:

    “As human beings we are energy. Each of us has a personal energy signature. One of the fundamental laws of physics states:

    “Energy can be transferred from one form to another, but neither created nor destroyed.”

    As such, birth is not a beginning; it’s a continuation. That lends tremendous comfort because we then understand that equally true, death is not an end; it’s merely a continuation. In either case, it’s a change from one form to another.

    Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel laureate by winning the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the writings that he’s best known for is, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”

    When recognized as a continuation, death is no longer a threat or a tragedy; it’s not a defeat or necessary evil that we must brace our self against. Rather, it’s a fruition we can enter without fear.”

    Copyright 2010 Laurie Buchanan, PhD
    HolEssence.WordPress.com

  48. spirit2go Says:

    It feels like I will always be in a state of grief for my husband. 2 1/2 years ago and at times, seems like I still look up with complete surprise to note that he will never be with me again in this life. It is a pain too great to bear. I am so tired of crying great rivers of tears…yes — they are less than 2 years ago, but they do come with consistency.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I wish I had words of comfort for you, for me, for all of us who have shed buckets of tears out of grief, but even if I could find words, the sad truth is that our loved ones would still be gone. It just does not seem to sink in, and I’m realizing I may never fully comprehend his absence.

  49. rhodasommer Says:

    I really appreciate your sharing. So much so that I’ve linked my own post on grief to your page. http://www.relationshiprealities.wordpress.com
    Thanks, Rhoda

  50. Lorri Says:

    I am a nearly one month grief survivor though it doesn’t feel like surviving, my husband , my best friend was 44. This was a very well written blog and I found comfort from it.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Oh, Lorri, I am so very sorry. I know from experience how important — and how difficult — it is to find comfort in anything when the grief is so raw. I wish I could offer more help than these few words. My heart aches for both of us.

  51. Michael LaRocca Says:

    My brother killed himself 25 years ago. Mom died 4 years later. Both events on her birthday. Your posts move me. Thank you.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It amazes how much pain we all live with. So many people gone out of our lives. I am sorry you had to go through that. And sorry for your mother, too. My mother died almost a year to the day after my brother died of brain cancer. I always thought his death brought hers on.

  52. Shona Says:

    Hey this is really truth & i believe that bcoz even i have lost my mom but life has to go on so even you have to move so seeing your blog i have learn something gud that we have to move thx & sorry for the lost you had?

  53. My World At Large Says:

    I can’t begin 2 imagine what you’re going through. I’ve never lost anyone close 2 me so i feel very sorry for your loss and its good 2 scream and let it all out.

  54. gritandcharm Says:

    Something I have found through my grief process is that grieving is loving. The grief is pure love.

    I am sorry for your loss. Stay strong.

  55. joylene Says:

    I think the amount of replies says a lot more about you than you realize. You articulate well how many people feel but can’t say for themselves. Maybe that’s why writing all posts like this is so important. You give words to those emotions so many of us want to express in words but can’t.

  56. Treasure Hunt — 6/30/10 « Wayword Wind Says:

    […] on a mini promotion blitz on the internet. It started with an incredible turnout for my blog post I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor (Thousands of views and dozens of comments), then segued into a launch party for Second Wind […]

  57. Kiera Says:

    I love these videos. Just thought something to look at to pass some time or to have a little laugh. My heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing.

  58. huggy666 Says:

    grief is a feeling in order to be human one must have a heart not just a physical one but an emotional one grief, just like any other feeling is part of being human if you were not human you would feel no such things in fact you would feel nothing would you rather feel pain then nothing at all?I have yet to see a benifit to feeling at all but I have been told it is something wonderful there are creatures out there that feel no grief nor do they feel joy you always have to take the good with the bad when being human
    none of us are pure evil or pure good we are forever trapped in the middle when you feel grief or joy you simply know that you are alive enjoy your grief, let it fascinate you

  59. Brian Steere Says:

    “Soul” is the capacity to Feel. The ego or sense of independent self existence is the capacity to think. Though the Feeling may seem unbearable, it is pure. Note the intervention of the thinking mind, its stories and its desires – and ask in your heart – “Is this my true desire?
    For the desire for peace is the desire to be whole at at rest in wholeness. Your love reveals itself to you in your relationships, but is not confined or defined by the forms of those relationships. If you look outside yourself for love you will overlook the love that you are. Relations are the opportunity to let the love you are, shine. We DO need to give – or be the love that we are – but love, to be love, must be freely shared.
    The essence and truth of love cannot be lost – but only covered over. In the desire to be shown truth, it will be given – but the truth can never be fitted to a desire for independence from life itself – or a special love that fits the mould of your thought.
    So we are broken or weaned from the world and opened to our Soul. But initially we may scarce recognize the Soul-truth for the clamour and conflict of the heart and mind, reflected in the body, emotion and our experience of the world.
    In stillness, the wisdom may dawn for the step you are taking now. Do not fight the voice that fights within you – but let it be as it is while you turn again to discern your true desire.
    In mistaken desire you can experience your self as separated from all that is. “I want it thus”! But if your thought-desire demonstrably brings pain – and you do not want pain – then ask yourself, “Is there another way of looking at this”?
    You are never alone.
    Yet while you try to manage all by yourself you push away the companioning support of a greater Will.

    In Peace

    Brian


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