With great relief, I turned the calender from 2009 to 2010-- I did so with the hope for a kinder new year. But before I could figure out if I'll call it "two thousand ten" or simply "twenty-ten", the Grim Reaper knocked on our family's door again and we gathered for yet another funeral last week.
I came home after a painfully long funeral day and reread, for about the twentieth time, this post on grieving by Holly Dietor. Her words touch me deeply and I share it with you in case you missed it's original publishing. Although I've never actually heard Holly's voice, as I read, I could see her in my mind's eye and heard her speaking to me about loss and grieving. It helped tremendously.
Last month, just before Christmas, Beloved husband and I traveled to Israel on short notice, in a rush, to visit a cherished loved one who was near passing. It was important and meaningful for us to spend one last time with him while he was still alert and communicative. We made it just in time.
The grieving process for this loved one overwhelmed Beloved and I on our return flight to Los Angeles because we knew he probably would, and in fact did, pass away while we were flying home. In my jet-lagged, sleep-deprived state, I tried to remember Holly's words to share with Beloved in hopes of bringing him comfort.
As she so eloquently stated, grieving is an individual process that we need to experience and move forward through. But with the loss of so many loved ones in the past year, I often feel stuck, even paralyzed sometimes, with heartache. I am blessed that Beloved has nurtured, nudged and occasionally pushed me forward through the grieving process which helps make some of it more bearable but I know I still have a long way to go.
Earlier today I called a close friend whose husband passed away several months ago. She'd been having a very difficult time and her first holidays without him were especially painful. To my delight, the phone was answered by her 6 year old grandson who was visiting, along with his younger sister and parents from out of town, in hopes of cheering her up. He proudly spoke in his most polite and grown-up voice-- "Hello, Grandma's residence, James speaking." We chatted for a few minutes before I asked to talk to his Grandma. His words spoke volumes....
"Grandma is on a playdate with her friends."
Aside from it being a very cute answer, it meant that, for the first time in months, his Grandma was up to going out of the house with a few friends for lunch. I thought of Holly's words about moving forward through grief and admired her bravery as I know it wasn't easy to do.
Today life is much quieter for me-- A year earlier I would have never dreamed it imaginable that several of my "playdate" loved ones would have passed away. But now, thanks to Holly's wise words and the sweetness of a child's response, I am reminded that grieving is part of the process-- and so is moving forward.
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins