This blog is for all who desire to create with words and images.
You are encouraged to participate in any way that is meaningful to you.

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All prompts beneath the photos are only suggestions.
You are free to use the photo to be inspired to write any way you desire.
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you may offer your writing to any prompt anytime.
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Write and you are a writer.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Grief


Photo by Lisa
Lisa's blog - Wearin' My Heart on My Sleeve
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Suggested Prompt...
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Write a piece where grief or grieving is the theme.
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There are too many personal, beautiful pieces here to chose just one.
Please click on comments and read all that the writers here offered.

20 comments:

Simply Heather said...

I have so much more to add than what I will say in this very moment, but I have to share this now.

Grief fills each person differently. My mother left us in August after a long journey living with breast cancer; which resulted in other types.

Everyone told me I should feel a certain way, that they'd expect me to react this way or that way, that there is a definate process to grief; as though our feelings are in a certain box.

It has been a journey of discovering for me; discovering me without her here. Yet, she is here and even more so. I have changed. Where once I was rebellious, now I am proud to have such parts of her within myself. Through the holidays, I'm experiencing an inner music playing. Her life, the beauty that she saw, is a part of me and now I will celebrate that life each day in the ways that would honor my mother.

Now, grief for me is so much different than other daughters who have lost their mother. I did go through the lossful moments and continue to do so...but the sting hits only for a brief second, then I'm filled with an appreciation of having such a blessed moment with my mom. Death of Christian leaves a loss for the ones left behind, but proves a glorious life awaiting; a life without the ugliness this world has made, a life of freedom.

I wrote in my personal blog "Days With Grandma" about the journey, the days that we had together, my feelings and thoughts and how I dealt without her in those first months. It's only December now...that was just August...still a bit fresh, but I am continuing to learn.

My dad, on the other hand...he's living without. Dad is grieving and it fills his every bit of being with ache and hurt. To be with him is to feel the sting in a sense of explosion. To him, all that he knows no longer matters and that is where my hurting rests...discovering grief through my dad's heart.

~Much longer than expected, no poetry here, no simple story; nothing more than the truth of my heart to share.

So The Lord enables me to understand that grief doesn't have to fit in a box, it only has to pour from our heart. To keep it held in is to cause our heart death. This is what I've seen.

Laura Jayne said...

Heather... thank you for sharing this. Beautiful.

Dan Felstead said...

Heather,
The first Christmas is always the most difficult...I've been there. Keep your faith and knowing that she is with you as you said...with time your grief will turn from sorrow to fond memories of the good times without stigma of separation. My parents were married for 52 years. Mom passed away and my dad had those same feelings. Your support is important to him now and he is blessed to have someone who understands his grief. Thanks for sharing and we will be thinking of you at Christmas.

Dan

Jessica said...

I remember sitting by her bedside holding her hand. The nurse had called saying she was fading fast and may last an hour. I didn’t know if I would get there in time. Two days later, I still sat holding her hand and praying. Whenever I asked if she was in pain, she would smile and nod her head no. I knew she was, but she would never tell me. I was her youngest granddaughter. She had always shielded me.

I sat by her side while the other slept. My heart was breaking, but I never shed a tear. Neither did she. We were both trying to be strong for the other.

On the third day, my mom asked me to go home for the night and rest. I refused, but my grandmother patted my hand and kept nodding yes. I finally agreed. Kissing her check and telling her I loved her, I left for home. It was only a little later I got the call.

I think she knew it was time. She didn’t want me there to see it.

She passed two weeks before my wedding. I wanted to move the date, but no one in the family would allow it. They all said that she held as long as she could to try to make it to the wedding. Until she could no longer speak and no long after she was bedridden, all she talked about was what gift she was going to give me and how she couldn’t wait to see me walk down the isle. She, of course, never could have made it.

I requested a song to be dedicated to her at the wedding. We placed her photo at the alter. My dad, husband, and I placed her corsage there with her photo. I never looked up. I couldn’t. It wasn’t until I watched the video that I saw everyone in the church crying. Those who knew her and those that didn’t.

Many came up to me after the wedding saying they had felt such a spirit during our ceremony. Happiness and peace they had never experienced before. I know we had a special visitor there with us that day.

It seemed to ease the pain.

cw2smom said...

Again, I am humbled and honored to have inspired such raw emotion with this photo! Simply Heather...OMG..your words are so beautiful and touching! Thank you! Laura, I may have to write something for this too, since I am still dealing with grief. Blessings, Lisa

justsomethoughts... said...

jessica, incredible. very moving.


like an eternal sin
always there
waiting to be moved
disturbed
it bubbles up to the surface
to some, a friend
to others, an enemy
but always in stone
hard
unforgiving
questioning
but unanswering
loud
but silent

Scriptor Senex said...

Been there,
Done that,
Got the T-shirt.

My son was....
It was ..... years ago
He died of....

Didn’t want to go there,
Didn’t want to do that,
Didn’t want the T-shirt.

And the Angels
Wept.

Proud Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simply Heather said...

This subject inspired me to write this morning. It seems as though everywhere I turn, someone has lost or is in the process of losing someone they love (even on the television).

Thoughts stir up emotions and I feel for those who are hurting. I suppose this may be a gift within me, the ability to feel the hurts of others. We're all made so differently; yet we all feel and even though we feel differently; there is a oneness in feeling.

I appreciate every one of you (Laura Jayne, Dan Felstead and Lisa?) for touching my heart with your words. You've created warmth within; an appreciation.

Here in VT, we've had quite the winter storm all day. I think I'll write about it in my blog in just a moment, but I wanted to share an example of the grieving heart.

My driveway holds about 6-7 inches of snow, unplowed; except for the end where the state trucks have pushed another inch or two. The roads are covered and people shouldn't be traveling on them unless it's necessary. I came home this morning from visiting my son at school and there was a message on my machine. My dad was lonely and looking for me. I then tried to call him back, with no success. He didn't answer.

I sat down at the computer for a minute and heard a knock at the door. He drove here from about 13 miles away. I scolded him because he just won't stay home. I know that he's restless and being at home causes loneliness but he shouldn't be out traveling in this mess. He stayed for only an hour, just long enough to feel comforted I suppose.

~thought I'd share a little more :o)

Proud Mom said...

My first real sting of grief happened just as I was celebrating a new life. It's ironic how our worlds can collide, how one day you can be filled with such joy that you feel that your skin will burst, then the next you can be brought to your knees with devastation.

It was November 10th, 1998... my very first day home alone with my newborn son. I was nonchalantly rearranging the closet while the baby lay nearby on my bed when I heard someone open the front door. My first thought when I saw my husband was "How sweet! He's come home to have lunch with us." But when he took my shoulders to turn me toward him, I saw something other than joy on his face. Finally, after a stale silence, he said my nephew was gone. "Gone? Where?" I asked. "Lisa, he's dead..."

All I remember is having my knees buckle and screaming in shock. He was only 21.

Realizing that the baby was just a few feet from me, I ran down the hall, as though to hide my pain from him. Once my husband reached me, we melted together in grief, all the while me mumbling "no, no, no, no!"

To this day I will never forget the feel of his hand on my leg the last time we were together. I was in labor, and he had come to the hospital to be with me. Just before midnight he left my beside, promising me he'd be back in the morning to see me & the baby. He whispered his love to me as he softly caressed my leg. He smiled, winked and left my room.

I never saw him again. Yet, ironically, every time I look into my son's eyes, I can see Michael. Both of them have a very similar set of the most exquisite eyes... a unique mix of ocean blue & green.

Every year, on the day before my son's birthday, I sit alone in the dark and rub my leg. Then I wink as I blow a kiss to my son's guardian angel.

Killerwit said...

I was sad to see you go.
You had a lot left to offer,
but instead you bled your head
and the tears came tumbling after.

You were a wordsmith, a genius,
a weirdo logophile,
babbling to yourself
but the masses listened on all the while.

I know why you bit the bullet.
I know why you went out with a bang.
Yes, life is cruel in its taking
vital youth in constant drain.

You should've learn that mirrors
don't show you who you are.
You should've sensed the angels
hidden among the stars.

I know it seems an oblivion,
a black hungry hole with teeth,
but existence is a miracle
and a thing beyond belief.

I'll miss you Hunter S.
You were the best addict I've never known.
I'd've like to sat with you
and old William Burroughs.

You both flew sky-high
intoxicated on chemical dreams.
But you were the one too close to the sun
with your Icarus wings.

_we_the_pieces_ said...

the last time i saw you
you looked so peaceful
so serene
but i know that you were broken
and we couldn't fill the spaces in between

i want to be angry
at you
for hurting us like that
for taking yourself away

but as hard as i try to be angry
the fact is
instead of you
now it is us
all of us that are broken

J Cosmo Newbery said...

The Dark Ship

What ho, my Captain! What lies ahead?
He stood a while, as savouring the brine
Before turning and locking eyes with mine.
He spoke and, with a hollowness, said
“I sail the dark seas in inner dread,
Dark is the world within my head”.
And the ship sailed on through the night-o,
The ship sailed on through the night.

What ho, my Captain! What hope is there?
Surely there’s hope the dark will lift
When your vessel is strong and travelling so swift?
Wont you progress past the seas of despair?
He reached and gently touched my hair
“We’re going at speed but I know not where.”
And the ship sailed on through the night-o,
The ship sailed on through the night.

What ho, my Captain! Can you be saved?
This took him aback and he thought a while
“I can” he said “but the voices beguile.
Our thoughts are to darkness enslaved,
No matter how much release is craved,
We are on a trip that cannot be waived.”
And the ship sailed on through the night-o,
The ship sailed on through the night.

What ho, my Captain! Can we turn back?
“There’s no going back, what’s past is done.
The only way’s forward once it’s begun.
And this is why things look so black
And things weigh heavy upon my back
But I look for some light, the barest crack.
And the ship sailed on through the night-o,
The ship sailed on through the night.

What ho, my Captain! When comes the dawn?
“For every dawn, must precede a night
Passage through these cold waters is a rite
That lives in you, it is never gone.
At best, the dark is just withdrawn
And we can but bravely struggle on.”
And the ship sailed on through the night-o,
The ship sailed on through the night.

Don said...

My daughter calls it "Cancer Park." It's the park where she learned from her dad that her mom had cancer. My daughter was 11, her mom was 36.

The next five and a half years were ones of joy and grief. Joy because of the extra time we had to share as a family. Grief because we knew at some point our battle against pancreatic cancer would not be won. Grief because a point would come when we were no longer making memories together with Patti.

Grief is another name perhaps for being brokenhearted. It never completely goes away, but it does subside. It grows less painful, and less ever-present. But grief is also another name for being compassionate.

Grief can be the doorway into what I call the fraternity of the brokenhearted -- it's co-ed. The price of membership is steep, but you get to keep good company; in fact, God knows what it's like to be brokenhearted -- He lost a Son.

Maryanne said...

To what depths do we sink when the hand of fate cuts the thread?
We sink hard and we sink deep. We sink to a place where silence speaks volumes and pain knows no bounds.
To what place do we find ourselves when grief is all we taste?
A world without colour and grace, a barren wasteland of bitter scent standing alone with nothing but waiting.
To whom do we call when we can no longer abide by life?
We stretch out our hand to touch the memories of a life since evaporated. We stretch out our tears to a light, long since extinguished.
To what ends do we walk bound in our own torment?
Till fate turns her cruel hand. Till life no longer wishes to breathe. Till the world withers and bleeds.
To when shall time release to where we no longer endure?
With our heart bound and our soul torn asunder. Time eternal racked with pain shall this suffering we endure. For grief has no Master but only a follower.

badthing1 said...

We Will ALWAYS Be Furby's Parents

On a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in the month of June on the 15th day of the year 1999, Chris became Furby's daddy when he pointed to him and said, "Let's get THAT one" as soon as he saw that cute little striped face inside of his cage on the day that we adopted him.

It was at our local PetCo when they had their weekly "Kitten Adoption Day"

The lady placed this tiny 8-week-old tabby kitten in Chris' arms and he held him tenderly and I could see that Chris was happy with his choice immediately. After a while Chris looked at me with a great big grin and I grinned right back at him and then Chris handed me this baby cat.

I became Furby's mommy from that very moment on when he looked up at me and snuggled in against my chest and began to purr like a motorboat.

That first night Furby slept on a pile of fluffy towels inside of a clothes hamper which we kept right near the side of our bed, but it wasn't close enough for Furby because his cries became so piercing that I had to take him into our bed and only then did he fall asleep.

For a few weeks he ate and drank his meals from a tiny kitty bowl which was placed on top of our kitchen counter and as soon as he was finished he would look up at his mommy and jump into my arms for an after-meal cuddle.

There was one thicker stripe under his neck that I used to love stroking and he would stretch his neck higher in sheer bliss whenever I did this.


Until three days ago on Thanksgiving morning when he passed away he continued to come to me no matter WHERE I would be in our house and lick his chops and wash the rest of his body right in front of me, so that I would know that he had just eaten and could cuddle my boy as was his wish for me to do.

He used a low-sided big aluminum tray as his very first litter box and I was so proud and felt that he was so intelligent as I watched him climbing in and doing what came naturally.

Whenever we threw any of his toys he would retrieve them right away.

One of our favorite games was that we would be on the bed and throw a little toy mouse, ball or twist tie and he would go running after it immediately. With toy in mouth he would run straight back to us, and then while still on the floor he would then look up, flatten his ears against his head, and with a determined look upon his face would make that big leap back up onto the great big bed where he would proudly deposit the toy for us to throw for him again.

We called him our "Ear-Back Baby".

Sometimes a toy would be a little too big for him to hold onto and he would drop it along the way, but we would praise him and cuddle him anyway for his efforts to please his parents.

Chris' dad George enjoyed this game immensely and we enjoyed sharing this pleasure with him as often as we could.

As most cats (especially indoor cats) love to do, our Furby also loved to gaze out of the window at the exciting world around him. It was without a doubt his very own personal living tv screen to him. One of his favorite gazing subjects was a personable little dog who lived directly across the street from us while he was looking out of HIS window directly back at Furby.

Oh how I used to love watching them watching each other, wondering what they were thinking in their minds at this particular time.

One day I went to a local store and bought some silk Birds of Paradise plants because as my favorite plant I had wished to display them in a vase within our home. They were packaged in a heavy, crinkly kind of plastic type of bag that Furby claimed as his very own and since I kept it upon our bed during the day, he would delight in its crinklyness. Often he would take a flying leap into it and we could hear the bag crinkle if we were near enough and we would laugh at the sound of it because we knew that he had just jumped in.

Furby was a skittish cat and under the bed was his sanctuary spot. If he knew you he would be affectionate - if he didn't you knew where he would be.

Loud sounds would cause his tail to grow quite large...in fact it earned him the name of "Squirrely Boy" whenever this would occur.

On wash days he could be found burrowing beneath the warm, clean clothes which I would place upon our bed knowing he wanted this. How we laughed to see him rolling around only to end up with Chris' sock or one of my tops lying upon his contented Furby self. There he would curl up and have a nice long nap, hopefully dreaming happy dreams that caused his feet to twitch away.

When I went to the bathroom he would go with me, sometimes doing his thing, sometimes just sitting on the sink. When I put the water faucet on he would sit there watching me wash up, knowing full well that a game would soon begin. I would leave the water dripping for a little while, because he loved to lick the droplets once they hit the sink's bottom.

When he was done he would come right to me and show me how wet his face was from his water game.

When Chris and I ate a meal he would want to know what I was eating, so he would walk up to me and I would bend down and show him my plate of food and he would gently sniff it, satisfied. Very often after that he would go to his own plate of food and start to eat it...I think he liked when we ate meals as a family.

When I went to bed he went to bed with me, kneading his front paws into the crook of my neck. Then he would twirl around a bit like cats must do, before stretching out beside my head right near my pillow to go to sleep. I placed my arm around his body and talked to him and all was right as we snuggled cozily.

When I woke up he was snuggled against the backs of my knees, making it rather difficult for me to move them comfortably. Sometimes I would just fall back to sleep anyway even though my legs were stiff, sometimes I had to move so I could stretch them and I DID. Don't misunderstand because I adored having him there. It's just that I needed to move my legs into another sleeping position.

What words do I use to express my pain at the sudden loss of our little Furby? He was my baby...my catchild...I am an open wound...Chris shares my grief...he has his own...we are soulmates suffering...I look at others in the street walking dogs with envious eyes at what they share...food has no taste...I need pills to get to sleep...I want my FURBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very lucky to have had the life and love that we shared while this beautiful little soul was here among us.

I also am very lucky to have my family and friends who care and who are trying to show their love at this terrible, terrible time.

Jim Pankey said...

Beautiful, happy little Eva Mae, God bless her soul, left us at age 4, victim of a drunk driver.

The event, long ago, shocked everyone in my very small (pop.450) home town in the midwest. It shouldn't have, since all the town produced were drunks. There were twelve bars and one church. Even as a teenager, my friends and I were not asked for ID in most of them. The 'law' was a drunken constable.

Little Eva and her mom, my aunt Violet, are long gone now, and all I have is the sobering picture in my mind of a little girl in a white flowered dress with bright blue eyes blowing dandelion seeds into the air.

I should have quit drinking then and there.

TesoriTrovati said...

Today I had the good fortune to sing for a funeral. That might sound funny to you, strange to say that it is good fortune to be where sadness reigns. But I really feel that I was blessed by this opportunity and that I was called to be there.

I agreed to do it, even though it meant that I had to re-arrange my schedule and make room for it in my life.

I agreed to it, well, frankly, because I was asked.

I am a cantor at my parish so I am used to singing on Sundays and leading the prayer. That might seem to be an easier time to sing, but actually, no. I always have to force those nervous butterflies to fly in formation on Sundays. Today, I had none of that angst. It was just pure love flowing out of me. Perhaps it was because I was supporting the family and loved ones by raising my voice to the heavens.

As I walked in to the chapel, I met his wife and daughters. They were so relieved to see me, so pleased. In their grief they were excited to tell me that they were so thrilled that I could agree to be there today. You see, their father often commented that I was like an angel when I sang at church on Sundays, particularly during the Litany of Saints. Today, I sang that litany in our sung prayer, including his saint name among the many. Before he died he actually requested that I be the one to sing the celebration mass of his life. I did not know that until I that moment.

That touched me so deeply.

I had never really known this man, but I know that my witness in song was a great comfort to him and hsi family. I feel that his good fortune was shining down on me as I sang, and he will be a forever angel for me whenever I sing at mass again.

So, I thank the family for allowing me the good fortune to be an angel to them in their time of grief. And I know that God was calling me to be there, exactly where I was supposed to be.

Laura Jayne said...

I stood before a group of strangers. The only people I knew in the room were the people sitting in the front pew, my mother and father, my two uncles and my sister, and the woman sitting on the opposite side of the aisle, my grandfather's second wife. And while the tears streamed down our faces she never shed one. I don't know if she was grieving inside and I am not sure if she cared that my heart was breaking.

I stood when it seemed I had no choice and I walked to the front of the church and spoke. I still don't know if I spoke to my family or to the strangers or maybe to this woman who seemed so cold and uncaring.

I spoke of a grandfather who is missed more than seems bearable. I spoke of the best hugs in the world. I spoke of a caring and loving man who's heart physical heart at last gave up, but who's heart he loved with will go on beating inside those he loved forever. I honored my grandfather as best I was able through the sobs that laid me bare, I honored him with my words and all the joy I have for the love of him and all the sadness for the loss of him. I did my best, and I think he would have been proud and pleased.

Grandpa, I love you and I miss you. I will live my life remembering all the lessons you taught me.

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Cross posted on my personal blog - http://abitoflaurajayne.blogspot.com/2008/12/grieving.html

Lebhorcham said...

Grief. To grieve. Remembering the person who has left this life and taken a piece of our heart with them. Memories tug and pull and push and nudge. Sometimes they tear and rip. Thus it was this evening – Christmas Eve. Both my mother and father have now passed from this life, leaving me behind with many, many, many memories. Fifty-six years of memories. I remember well back to when I was two. Mom left us more than twenty years ago. Dad just a couple weeks. Their leaving has created a huge hole in the fabric of my life. I thought I would never fully recover from my mother’s death. I was right. And, experiencing Dad’s leaving, so fast but not unexpected, brought Mom’s absence zooming right back to the surface. Tonight, with my two daughters, their husbands, and both my two grown grandchildren and the two little girls who will be our last grandchildren surrounding me, I cried. I was overcome with grief I had not felt for Mom’s long absence or Dad’s recent passing. I could no more stop the tears that rushed to the surface than I could push back the clouds surrounding the top of the mountain on which we live. I’m still in a place of sadness for being, now, the oldest. I’m now the elder in my family. That overwhelms me when I think of it that way. So, I won’t. They’re still alive in my memories. Will live as long as one of us remembers and my daughters will remember the grandparents who loved them without reservation. Unconditional love. The best analgesic for grief.