All posts by Ginger

Precious L

A few days ago I had lunch with a precious young friend, L.  Precious L has suffered a tragic loss almost two years ago.  She has so much to teach me about loss and grief, or I should say I have so much to learn from her.

Our lunch lasted about 2 ½ hours – that would be ½ hour of lunch and 2 hours of crying, laughing and remembering.  Precious L is still hurting and has been so kind to share with me what her deepest feelings are – how sometimes she just doesn’t want to be here, how she’ll never “get over” her loss, how other people view her.

Our circumstances are not the same.  I’m many years older than Precious L.  We are at different places in our lives.  The situations that have caused our grief are not the same.  But I’m learning for both of us our grief is great.  It is very painful.  It is life-changing.  It doesn’t matter if your loss is from a spouse, parent, child or friend, your loss is your loss.  And I’ve come to the conclusion that the greatest loss, the one that hurts the most, is whichever one you’re going through.  Because it is your own personal pain.

It makes me aware that there are people all around me dealing with their own pain and grief from loss.  I guess I’m just more keenly aware of it now.  I think that I’ve not really appreciated what my own mother-in-law’s life has been like.  She’s been a widow for 33 years now.

Maybe the sadder thing would be for someone to be gone and not have someone that loved them so much and mourned for them.  The saddest thing of all would be for someone to be gone and not to be in the arms of Jesus, not to know beforehand where they would be going, not to have the assurance in this life that they would spend eternity in heaven.  I’m thankful for that – I’m thankful that I know where Michael is, that I have no doubt he is in heaven.  I’m as confident of his salvation as I am of my own.

As lunch progressed Precious L and I found many things we agreed on and our corporate response quickly became “That sucks”, followed by the clinking of our glasses in a toast.  People that tell you you’ll get over it (and lots of other stupid things, which I think will be the subject for a future post).  Clink!  Seeing other people celebrating anniversaries and birthdays together that you know you’ll never get to celebrate.  Clink!  Going to places you used to go with the one you’ve lost or knowing that you can never go to those places again.  Clink!  Having to deal with the personal clothes of the one who’s gone.  Clink!  There was a lot of toasting going on at that table.  Which was fine because we were drinking water and tea.  But next time Precious L wants to do margaritas, so I think I’m gonna need to call a cab.

Also, Precious L is the consummate animal lover.  So she’s had this incredible idea that I need a dog to keep me company.  She’s even been looking at different dogs to gift me and is talking about just leaving one on my front door step.  For anybody that knows me, you know this is NOT a good solution for me.  For the sake of the dog, this is not a good idea!

Thank you Precious L for what you are teaching me.  That grief is universal, yet very individual.  That grief cannot be defined by a timeline.  That grief shows up in many ways.  And that most of us don’t understand until we’ve had to walk through it.  And Precious L — I look forward to the next meeting with margaritas and queso, BUT NO DOG!

Where I Go From Here

On July 21, 2014, life as I knew it changed when my husband of 36 years died.  Michael had lived for many years with liver disease.  In his last months his health deteriorated as the disease and the treatments both took their toll on his body.  On June 1, 2014, Michael received a liver transplant which we thought would restore him to good health and give him many more years, but it didn’t turn out like we’d hoped.

Now life looks different and I will be trying to find my way without his presence and his partnership.  If you decide to come along with me through this blog, I hope you will find some sort of encouragement and that I can let you in on how Michael lived his life, influenced others around him and how I’ll somehow find where I go from here.  This is my first attempt at a blog, so I’m setting only two goals: first, to post at least three times a week; second, to be transparent (though I warn you – transparent ain’t always pretty).

Welcome!

25 Days, 600 Hours

 

By the time today is over Michael will have been gone for 25 days, 600 hours.

During this time I have planned and attended the funeral and burial, looked over pictures, told and listened to thousands of stories, laughed and cried.  I have eaten too many home-cooked meals, gained 5 more pounds, resumed Pilates classes and my daily time on the treadmill.

I have read countless cards, emails, texts and letters.  I have had lunches and dinners with friends trying to keep me busy.

I have planned one trip out of town and have three others in the works.  I have gone to three movies and 1 concert (I tried to go to another but was just too teary to go).  I have watched more mindless TV than I have in the last 6 months.  I have tried to go back to reading, but can’t seem to concentrate on it enough.

I have written some posts and blog ideas and lots of thank-you notes and I’ve even been offered some opportunities to do some other writings.  I’ve been asked when I’ll go back to teaching Bible study classes many times, but still haven’t been able to come up with a good answer for the question.

I’ve avoided sitting in Michael’s chair because I can’t stand it and I’ve sat in Michael’s chair to find comfort; but I can’t bring myself to lay on his side of the bed.  I’ve emptied the medicine cabinet and vanity of all his medicines, but I can’t seem to touch his clothes, papers or the Hummer.

I’ve returned to the blood bank at the hospital, but don’t know when I’ll be able to return to the ICU.

I’ve gotten through a day or two with no tears and just when I think I’m making progress the flood returns.

I’ve prayed and been prayed for.

I’ve remembered.  And I’m already afraid of what all I’ve forgotten.