For years, I have heard that there are five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining (with whom? I don’t know. God?), depression, acceptance. And, well-meaning friends have reminded me to remember those stages as I go through this terrible time of loss. Others have told me it will take at least a year before I get better. I don’t agree. I don’t think there are “stages”. I will grieve the loss of Steve – forever. And, I don’t have a year to get better because I don’t think it will ever be “better” or that I will ever get “better”. I will miss Steve for the rest of my life. We had something special that I don’t have any more. I don’t get over that. It cannot be replaced. My friend Carole Lilly Jones said to me – most of our families of origin and friends are dead. Yet, for some reason, we are still alive. Go live. Yes, I am alive. I am going to go live. Now, I am not sure what that means just yet, so I will keep on keeping on. Keep showing up – for my walks, for coffee in the Park, for groceries, for lunch with friends, for doctor appointments….
So far, everything is painful and disorienting – without a finish line. But, I already feel my moods and emotions shift and change. Highs, then lows. Laughter, then tears. Anger, fear, peace, joy, guilt, confusion. I don’t believe in “closure”. Grief is a part of love, and love evolves. Acceptance is not final. It shifts around, changing often during the day. This is a poem that spoke to me today when I read it – it came on a card in the mail from our friends in Sarasota…
“Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.” – Mary Frye (Thank you, Carole and Cliff)
Below are some selfies and other pictures we or I took during this year in France. Each day was sheer delight. And, those who knew Steve KNOW he hated having his picture taken. Love that guy!
He fought a good fight. He so wanted to live. I will miss him forever.
5 thoughts on “THOUGHTS ABOUT GRIEF”
Thank you for sharing your photos and the experience of the path you now walk. As you know, I’m a fortunate admirer of your work and it’s blossomed into several spiritual gifts. Your honesty, strength, appreciation for life – your journey shared – are the real gifts. Concerning grief, I’ve heard about the stages one goes through, have been through it and I rebel against that in hopes of skipping straight to understanding through faith. It certainly helps, yet the separation of a partner is something that is also felt physically. How surprised I was at that first time of loss! Fortunately, that pain fades. Again, thank you for taking the time to write this. We can all learn something here.
My thoughts and prayers have sincerely been with you daily. – Scott
Jay, for several months I haven’t heard from you on facebook, all of a sudden I see this news about your husband. I am so sorry. Are you still in Nice, France.
Jo Ann Alexander Powell
Yes. I am. Thanks for saying hello. Sad times. A shocker.
When Mom died, I ordered a book titled: The Five Ways We Grieve: Finding Your Personal Path to Healing after the Loss of a Loved One by Susan A. Berger. The author doesn’t deal with stages of grief. She says each person grieves differently, and eventually a new normal emerges, sometimes after many years. Dad also read it at least twice, maybe three times. I like the author’s approach better than the stages approach. She says we never are the same again, but we continue with a new world view. I think of you every day and send all of our love. Debby
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