Tag Archives: grief

Sharing Life’s Journey

20 Sep

It’s funny that sometimes I can get so caught up in my own “stuff” that I sometimes don’t notice that there are folks around me experiencing troubles that are much more challenging than mine.    Even though I’ve been overwhelmed at times with my Dad’s health care concerns, I know that I am not the only one struggling.  In just the last few weeks several friends have shared their circumstances with me.  One friend told me that her house had flooded, another spoke of a family member who has been suffering from depression, still others are grappling with their finances,  and sadly several friends have lost loved ones.

We are all travelers on this journey called life, and while we cannot walk someone else’s path,  we can help our fellow voyagers get back on their feet when they stumble or offer them respite when they are weary.   Often the things we can do for one another will not change the circumstances of the situation.   When someone dies, we are helpless to bring that person back to life.   But that does not mean that we are powerless to help.  We can offer to cook a meal, or help with some chores, or we can just sit and cry with them.   Being willing to share another’s (sometimes painful) experience helps to make their journey a bit more bearable,  a little less lonely.

These past few weeks I have greatly appreciated the friends who called to ask how I was and to say that they’d been thinking of me.  That simple gesture was like a life line tossed out into a stormy sea.   These friends were recognizing my struggle and offering assistance if needed and I am most grateful for their concern.

quiche for beth

In that same spirit of helping one another, a few days ago, I brought a quiche to a family mourning the loss of a loved one.   A simple offering to let them know that my heart aches too – and that they are not alone in their grief.

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”  ~Edmund Burke

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   Maya Angelou

 

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Day 355: Winter/Spring Center for Transforming Grief

26 Mar

Black-Bottom Chocolate Pie

The name “Winter/Spring” symbolizes the seasons of life and death, particularly the transition from the darkness of winter to the reawakening, lightness, and hopefulness of spring (taken from their website).   The mission of Winter/Spring is to support grieving children, teens, and adults.  If know about the not-for-profit, Winter/Spring, chances are that you have experienced a significant loss in your life.

It was almost twenty years ago that I found myself in need of a place like Winter/Spring.  I was the mother of two small children and in a ten week period, I lost my sister, my uncle, and my brother-in-law.  It was an incredibly difficult time and I found myself crying continuously.  I knew I had to do something to get help because my children were always asking me, “What’s wrong?” and I couldn’t even explain it.

My husband discovered that the local hospital had a grief group starting up and encouraged me to attend.  At first I thought it would be hard to do, but I soon found out that it was exactly what I needed.  The meeting was lead by a married couple who had lost their daughter in a biking accident.  When I heard their story, and saw that they had survived that loss, I knew that I would also survive.

Each week, one by one, the members of the group would tell their stories of loss.  I found myself crying at each and every one and found that at the end of the meeting, I was exhausted and all cried out. I wouldn’t even feel like crying again until the next meeting.

One of the interesting things that happened during that time involved an older woman whose husband had died.  As she told her story she did not cry… and when she saw me crying, she looked at me with a look that I thought translated as, “Buckle up kid, get a hold of yourself.”  At our last meeting, she approached me.  I thought she was going to chastise me, and instead she said, “I am so envious of how easily you cry.  I am still so angry at my husband for dying, that I haven’t shed a single tear.”  What I had seen as judgement, was instead a longing to express her pain.

Today I wanted to make a special pie for the people at Winter/Spring and so I researched and found this recipe for Black-Bottom Pie on Epicurious.   I want to recognize all of the people who work at Winter Spring for the valuable work that they do. The services that they offer are very important and very much appreciated.  And if you are living with grief, I urge you to give them a call.  There is help waiting.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

Day 137: For Mikey

21 Aug

My daughter Alex writes a blog that you can see here. She shares her thoughts on fashion, food and living in Copenhagen. About a week ago she shared a post about a food blogger named Jenny who had lost her husband suddenly.

At the time, I was not able to read Jenny’s blog because I was gearing up for this past weekend’s wedding. However, today I took the time to read through some of it. If you can do this without crying (or at least choking up a bit) you are probably made of stone. My heart goes out to Jenny and her children during this very difficult time.

And this from Jenny’s blog: For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

How amazing that in her grief she came up with such a wonderful idea – asking us all to take the time to show our loved ones how much they mean to us – and to do so with such a delicious treat. It is similar to what I am doing with my pies – taking the time to focus on someone and let them know that they are cared for and appreciated.

Because this weekend is sort of an unusual one (our neighbor Daniel is visiting from Houston, and our Rotary exchange student Stephan is visiting from Germany), it seemed fitting to share this pie as part of our Sunday night family dinner with our dear neighbors. (I made only one change – I used gluten free peanut butter cookies for the crust).

I encourage you all to follow Jenny’s suggestion and make this pie- the recipe is easy, the pie is delicious and you will be spreading love in the world. What a lovely thing to do.