The Box

I have felt the urge to open the box. You know, that box I put neatly together nearly six years ago that would forever hold safely the memories of my daughter. I typically reserve this ritual for her angel date 10-13; however when the spirit moves you – you move. I got myself a cup of coffee, not sure why, as I have found it difficult to go through this exercise without large volumes of tears, tissues and drinking anything seems nauseating. As I sat down to open the chest that contains the remains of my daughter’s life I felt that this time something would be different. And I was right.

I first took out the photos I have of her and family, with her friends and the few picture of us together. They still make me smile. There have been some incredibly beautiful photos of her taken over the years. In two instances by my dear friend Cyndi at Inspirations Photography in Grand Rapids Michigan. Those I cherish so much because Cyndi was able to capture the beauty of my daughter in ways we had not seen. We knew of the beauty in her heart, as did some of her closest friends – but to capture it on film – priceless to a grieving mother.

As I moved through the chest I remove things and look at them like prize possessions. Then I arrive at the “box”. This box contains some of my most private memories of Brittany. They contain stories, emotional significance and most of all my connection with her.

As I remove the lid and see the first picture of her – the one we put up at her celebration of life – I am left with a feeling of wonder because she was truly a beautiful spirit and taken way too soon – in my opinion. As I lifted up the photos to uncover the next memory – her blanket. The one that used to cover her bed and at the hospital covered her body while she fought for her life. I grabbed it and buried my face in it hoping to smell her – but it was no longer there. That scent I had become used to when I opened the box in previous years – I cried tears of sadness into that blanket and then moved to the next item. Her stuffed bear that she received from her boyfriend Andy while she was at Cleveland Clinic weeks before her death. I hugged that bear and cried some more.

Then I saw a couple of the t-shirts I had saved because she loved them and wore them often. I brought them to mu face and again, her scent has faded and they no longer smelled like her. Things have changed. Something is different this time. I was hesitant to move forward in fear of finding that the last remaining connection I had with her would be gone.

Next I moved to her glasses. I have written about this glasses before. They had a powerful connection in the early years. You see Brittany had her glasses on while working at her desk. Sensing something was up, she removed them and placed them safely on the desk, and then she must have begun her seizure. So the last thing she saw was through those glasses. The first time I picked them up – there was such energy with them. Now, it is gone and they are just simply a pair of glasses. This made me so sad and I cried a river. There was too much change going on here and I almost closed the box again as I couldn’t take it anymore. But I pulled myself together as something else caught my eye.

After Brittany passed, the Child Life team came and took pictures of her and they took a casting of her hands. Her father and I have one of her hand prints that is cast in this plaster casting. I painted it a long time ago in a color that would represent a life-like skin color and put it away. I reached for it and set it out. I looked at it, like I’d never looked at it before. Then I placed my left hand on top of her print and there it was – the connection – knowing it was an extension of her. Each finger was just like hers at the time of her death. I sobbed.

After reading a few cards, the newspaper stories about her passing I realized that again – she was such a gift from God. That for a short time she was the best thing that ever happened to me. She made my life complete. And now that she is gone – it no longer feels complete. It’s empty in a way that I cannot begin to explain. I know that only mothers who have lost their children understand it. There is no filling it back up. That is not possible. The one thing I do understand is that love has been taken from me so many times; my heart has been broken by loss more than once. While I am able to keep moving forward and building my new normal; there is a price.

Love doesn’t come easy for me any more. I don’t trust it. Each time it as visited me it has left me broken in pieces and my faith in love is once more reduced to the thought that it is not what I am supposed to be doing with my life. It would seem that the normal life would contain love, joy and happiness. I’m not saying it’s not going to be mixed with time of sorrow. But for me – maybe I was never intended to have a normal life. I haven’t had it so far and maybe I need to quit trying to find it. Because it’s not there. It’s not what I am to be.

Today, I am in a succesful job which I love. I have done great things with my career. I have continued this blog in hopes of helping other grieving moms – but love – I find that to feel odd, not normal and just plain painful. Love to me equates to loss. It has been repeated over and over in my history. It is what has made me a strong person. Why I am so successful in my business life. But my personal life…. I’m in a place I don’t know how to move forward. That means I’m stuck somewhere. I will need to continue to process that.

until next time

m

It’s the small things….

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

I carried this verse in my pocket wherever I went for months after my daughter Brittany died. Even if I was somewhere I couldn’t bring it out and read it, I could reach in my pocket and grasp it and say it to myself – it always brought me such peace.

I would encourage anyone who is in grieving the loss of someone dear to them to try something simple that may turn out to be profoundly helpful. The example above is just one of few that I have done over the years. Journalling has been and probably always will be one of my most comforting processes. And what is most interesting is that I’ve seen my writing change over time. It has evolved from a moment of pain and agony to a moment of peace and grace.

I can now look back at my journals and see how far I have grown in my grief. My grief has changed me. My loss changed me. While I am grateful for coming through to a place of peace, I would never have wanted this to be the reason I got here. But if you want to bring any light  back into your life, you must open the door.

Opening the door to joy is hard. It seems wrong. But trust me when I say it is what we need to do to grow outside of our pain and begin to find the sweet memories of our loved ones. Pain serves as a block to our growth. Pain will be in my heart for the loss of my girl; but it has also been covered by the love of many and by the grace of God I know and understand the reunion will be more joyous than anything I’ve ever experienced here on earth.

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Let in the light, let in the love and let in the peace to the inner part of heart that is in pain – and you will see and feel the light, love and peace transcend your grief.

until next time,

m

Stepping Stones

Chapter 15 – Stepping Stones
Grieving Forward – Embracing Life Beyond Loss
by Susan Duke

Throughout my life I’ve had many experiences with moving on past a tragic or bad event. Each time, the movement forward was propelled by the people that were present in my life. Whether be a friend, a family member or GOD – there was always someone there who helped to clear the fog from the path I was walking.

I think for the most part it was my mother that consistently believed in me and helped me to believe in myself. Ultimately the choice to move forward though is our own. After my mother’s death in 1988 I was so angry. Even while 7 months pregnant, I found myself in such a state of depression that I wasn’t sure where to step next. It was my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter that helped provide the stepping stones for my journey. While it took close to 5 years to come to terms with the death of my mother, it was my daughter and her desperate fight for life near her 1st birthday that forced me to look beyond my pain and put my faith back in God.

During Brittany’s first 5 years of life, my thoughts frequently would go back to my mom’s death and the lingering questions I had that remained unanswered and have been even now. After Brittany was diagnosed with Epilepsy at age 5 many things in my life moved forward because there was so much to do. I was also in nursing school at the time and juggling so many stressful events. It’s as if I just kept moving forward – whether I wanted to or not. Life was happening so fast I could barely keep up.

I always wondered why God chose me to have Brittany when for the majority of her life she would deal with life-threatening illnesses and the eventual untimeliness of her death. Why would God put me through such a tragic time? I just wanted to know why. In retrospect I think back and see that God put one of the most profound people in my life for a reason. That reason was to teach me that I wasn’t in control of my life, God was. To teach me that love conquers all pain and sorrow. To teach me that God wants us to know him, to love him, to believe him and to extend that love to all.

I learned all of that through my daughter. She so understood the most simplest of lessons that God teaches, yet we as humans fail to recognize in our daily walk in life. To walk in love without prejudice. To walk in love without judgment. To walk in love without looking back. Today I still find myself shaking my head because I struggle with remembering that lesson. It’s only when I look at her life and the grace with which she chose to live her life despite many setbacks. It’s only then, that I know I have to, we have to – look for the stepping stones of our lives and keep taking those steps – one by one – out in faith.

It is through those steps that we can move beyond our loss, beyond our pain and into the light with a zest for life. If you are not there, you will  be. There will be one day when you can wake up and remember without crying. There will be one day when you can look through mementos and not cry with anguish, but perhaps with the joy of a great memory. There will be one day when you can know that part of your life was a gift, and so is the part – where you are now – right now – is the greatest gift of all. Embrace it. Live it.

until next time,

m

The Silent Scream of Pain

* Continuing through “a grace disguised” by Jerry Sittser

Chapter Four

The Silent Scream of Pain

In this chapter the author talks about the experience of pain one can experience with loss. The words “unspeakable” “unbearable” were just a few he uses to describe the pain felt by those who’ve lost a loved one. I know that pain.

Interestingly enough he goes on to reflect what pain means. The value of it, if one could find that unfathomable. The following quote puts it  into perspective and gives one some type of rationale behind why pain is experienced due to loss.

“What is true of the body is true in the soul. The pain of loss is severe because the pleasure of life is so great; it demonstrates the supreme value of what is lost.”

  

How we go about dealing with our pain is a whole different story. I found myself identifying a great deal with his examples of how we face our pain, or how we don’t. Just yesterday, Christmas, I found myself in a familiar place – avoidance. I tend to do one of two things: I either put on a happy face and pretend it’s all ok; or I withdraw into my “space” and avoid personal contact as to avoid anyone seeing my pain.

I have found over these past four years is that the pain has to be heard, faced, dealt with and acknowledged. While I understand this to be true, it’s harder to live it. To share this pain is one of the most difficult things I have experienced. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want anyone else to know how bad it hurts. Sometimes it’s because I don’t want to seem vulnerable. That could be a whole other chapter all by itself.

Another way of dealing with pain is by “drowning it” by indulging in various types of activities. For example grief and pain have many friends and for me the worst was the loneliness. The author speaks of watching endless hours of television during the hours of 10pm to 2 am for about two months. This was the time when he missed his wife the most. I found ways of avoiding that loneliness, I buried myself in my work and church. But in the darkness of the night – the loneliness returned.

I slept on the couch for three months after Brittany died because I couldn’t bring myself to pass by her room to get to mine. The nightly routine was I would pass by her room and say good night before I shut my own bedroom door. Just that simple action and memory was profoundly devastating to me. I could hardly breathe. But one day I had to face it. I could no longer sleep on the couch. What I was facing was more than just a ritual – it truly meant I had to face that she was gone. That she wasn’t coming back.

The author does speak to the problem of addiction and how it can occur after someone experiences a loss. Finding ways to avoid, derail, bypass the pain – problem is, it’s still waiting there behind all that avoidance.

“Loss disrupts and destroys the orderliness and familiarity of their world. They feel such desperation and disorientation in the face of this obliteration of order that they go berserk on binges. They saturate their senses with anything that will satisfy them in the moment because they cannot bear to think about the long-term consequences of loss.”

That quote was never more true for me than the first six months of journey. Once I returned to work, I put everything into it. It was an exhausting time and my body paid dearly for it. I found some sense of relief from the relentless attack on my heart while at work. It was once I pulled into the driveway at my home, the one I shared with my daughter, that the pain came crashing back. I had no place to hide.

I spent some time in the anger phase. It just so happened to be winter in Michigan and for those who know me know that this is not my favorite time of  year. It snows a lot in Michigan and I really don’t like snow. So when it snowed, I found myself outside shoveling, screaming at God and asking “why”. I’m sure my neighbors thought I’d gone off the deep end. But in looking back, it was a great time of healing for me. I was so angry at her doctors, her father, so many people who chose not to listen to me when I knew something wasn’t right with her.

Once I realized that the anger was just another way of dealing with the pain I was able to move on. So often people tend to get stuck in the anger phase of grief. As the author states “anger, like denial or bargaining or binges, is simply another way of deflecting the pain.” He goes on to say that pain will keep returning and will not let up until it has had it due time. I still find times I get angry, I go through the stages of grief over and over. I just don’t stay as long – I manage to go through them like a revolving door. I’ve learned to live with it.

At some point it becomes exhausting to fight it any longer. Yesterday I felt this disconnect and sense of nothingness. Devoid of emotion if you will. That is grief and pain knocking at the door. Over the years I’ve learned that I can’t run away from it. I have to let it have its moment and then in prayer I have to release it. It’s then and only then do I get some peace.

until next time,

m

As Time Passes

As time passes I find I no longer look for those moments when I am overwhelmed with a wash of grief that suddenly comes over me and when I least expect it. I stopped expecting it a year or so ago. But funny thing – it still comes, it still stings and it still hurts just as badly.

As I wandered about my place today I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling disconnected, unmotivated to do anything, talk to anyone or spend time with anyone. I was upset with myself because it is not like me to be that way. Then tears filled my eyes and I felt as if I’d been stabbed in the heart by the sting of grief.

You see if you have never experienced it, you can’t even imagine it. But if you have experienced this type of grief – you know perfectly well what I’m saying. Try as you may to not think about it, dwell on it or give it any residence in your mind – it still shows up. It’s like a bad ache, an itch you can’t scratch, a feeling of gloom that comes over like a black cloud on a sunny day that brings a burst of rain so strong it blows you over and you are covered in tears like a watershed of rain.

The hard part is letting it happen. Letting the work of grief do it’s thing and then releasing it into the world giving it it’s due. Because I’ll tell you if you fight it will fight harder. I have found it’s easier to just let it happen. Let the pain come, the tears flow, the sorrow cry out in prayer to God because that is how it gets released.

I miss my daughter with every part of my being. More than I can ever share. More than I could ever write about. There is nothing that I could write that would describe the emptiness I have in my heart that will never be replaced. As this fifth Christmas comes to an end and the tears flow I am still thankful, still grateful and still hopeful for the future.

until next time

m

To Live and Mourn Simultaneously

Continuing my journey as I blog through Jerry Sitter’s “a grace disguised”. Chapter Three: Darkness Closes In

I used the phrase “To Live and Mourn Simultaneously” for the title of this post because I truly think Sitter could have labeled this chapter that way. As we go through this chapter you will see why as I believe it became very apparent there is a theme in this chapter that will bring light on this very delicate topic.

“Sudden and tragic loss leads to terrible darkness. It is an inescapable as nightmares during a high fever. The darkness comes, no matter how hard we try to hold it off. However threatening, we must face it, and we must face it alone.”

Sitters speaks of the darkness that came over his life after the tragic loss of his mother, wife and daughter during an automobile accident that left him, and three children to live on with this burden of grief. I have related to this book on so many levels because I believe the author writes and believes what I feel and what I know to be true about grief. It validates if you will my own struggles with how I grieved and where I grieved.

The darkness is a topic I’ve written about before and it’s primarily because it’s a place I resided for a long time after Brittany’s death. In fact, it’s a place I’ve resided for a very long time. Throughout my life of what I’ve coined as “unfortunate events” I have found myself to become a familiar resident in the darkness.

When I say darkness, I don’t mean black, I mean like murky water – sometimes unable to see my way through to the light. To find any good in what has happened to me. However as Sitter reveals – darkness is unavoidable and necessary to face one’s grief. Because you really have to face it. You cannot put it off nor can you dismiss it away to face another day – it will haunt you and it will keep haunting you until you face it squarely and walk through it. This is what I know to be true.

My walk through the darkness has had some good days and some not so good days. In the early weeks and months after my daughter’s death darkness was a scary place. I wanted to run away from it. I wanted it to go away because I didn’t like what I saw or couldn’t see but only felt. The pain was so gut-wrenching that I felt I couldn’t bear it another moment more. But I did. And I still do today. It’s just different.

Sitters believes, as I do, that we have a choice in how we grieve. How we look at our journey and how we can exist in the darkness and still see the light. The power remains within us to take the walk in the right direction. To face the pain and the sorrow right where you are in that moment can bring you to a place where light begins to crack through and the life you see before you can and will be joyful. Just different.

I have to say that facing your grief in the darkness can be exhausting. I continue to fight exhaustion to this very day. Why? Because the battle isn’t over. My struggle, anyone’s struggle with loss lasts a lifetime. It’s not over in a year, a couple of years or a decade. The loss changes you. It re-molds who you are right down to your very core. Life looks different, it feels different and some days it just doesn’t feel right. But you keep moving forward because it’s the only way to let the light shine through.

Sittser says “loss itself does not have to be the defining moment of our lives”. He goes on to say, “the defining moment can be our response to the loss.” I am in total agreement with the author here. I have written about this numerous times and I stand by it – we have a choice. The choice we make during these moments in life, whether it is personal tragedy or horrific loss – will define our future. It will mold you into who you are to become. Because, as I’ve said before, you are never the same after a loss. No matter how hard your friends and family wish that you are that same person, you are not. You can not.

“I absorbed the loss into my life, like soil receives decaying matter, until it became a part of who I am. Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it.”

That quote from Sitter really spoke to me as I have lived that and breathed that for the past four years. I have grown from my loss(s). I am a new person, one that sees life from a different perspective. The world didn’t stop revolving when I lost Brittany, although many times I wanted it to. Life kept moving on and I had to move with it or remain stuck in it. It was a choice I made then and I continue to make now. To live and to mourn simultaneously.

Until next time,

m

Chapter Two: Whose Loss Is Worse?

Continuing the series…Blogging through “a Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser

Chapter Two: Whose Loss is Worse?

In this chapter Sittser tries to open our eyes to what loss is and how we often see a loss as worse or more catastrophic than the other. I found that in this chapter I really came to understand that my multiple losses, no matter the type, have been all different, have all changed me to who I am today. But to say that losing my only daughter has or has not been the worst is a conversation I’d like to debate with the author.

Sittser discusses the many types of loss one can experience over a lifetime. He reminds us as we read about an experience he had as a teen while traveling with his family and while they had stopped during their trip at a gas station he noticed two extremely mangled vehicles. The story told to him made him shiver. Two cars, nine teens playing chicken and nine lives were destroyed in a moment of foolishness.

Even in his own experience of losing his three loved ones in a horrible crash, he often heard from others how people would compare his loss to others. That his loss was the worst they had ever heard of. But Sittser believes, as I do, that a loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter how or why it happened and that no two losses can be compared. Each loss has its own significance. Each loss leaving behind in its wake a devastating and cumulative effect on those whose lives will never be the same.

Sittser speaks about the difference between a lingering loss and one that is quick and immediate. It made me think back to when Brittany was first diagnosed with Epilepsy. The loss I felt then because after doing some research and also having a brother wi th Epilepsy, I knew her life and our lives would not be the one I had forever created in my mind as a girl growing up. The perfect family. That vision, that dream broken, fractured like a mirror falling from the wall onto the floor – never again being whole.

Caring for Brittany over the nearly 18 years was a gradual type of loss, one that is a constant reminder of what will not be. The ebbs and flows of the many years brought moments of joy and sorrow. Disappointment after disappointment left me feeling as if I had smacked down by God for some reason unknown to me. I really felt for the longest time that God was punishing me for something I’d done in my past. To bring upon me such pain was so cruel. But I know now that is not the case. Loss is everywhere you look, and it is definitely not exclusive to just me.

Loss has been an unwelcome visitor throughout my entire life, yet I have learned that you can still get up and dust yourself off and move on. But the one thing I think is the hardest for people to understand is loss changes you. It has made me more sensitive to others who have experienced loss. Yet it has also made me less tolerant of people who don’t understand how blessed they are with what they have. For it can be taken in an instant. It pains me to see mothers and daughters fighting. I just want to say to them “stop it love each other for one day one of you will regret this moment for the rest of your lives”.

Sittser finishes his chapter with this thought and question:

“No one will ever know the pain I have experienced because it is my own, just as I will never know the pain you may have experienced. What good is it to compare? The right question to ask is “what meaning can be gained from suffering, and how can we grow through suffering?”

That is where the author plans to take us for the remainder of this book. I found this book to be extremely helpful in taking me to the next level of my journey in grief and it is my hope that if you are experiencing this journey along with me, you too, will find it helpful to move forward and grow through the experience.

until next time,

m

A Grace Disguised

I’m so excited to blog through this next book “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser. As some of my dedicated readers know I have found it rare to find a book that can come close to seeing grief through my eyes. Although our experience of loss is not the same; for his is much more tragic, he chose the right words that so creatively and accurately describes my pain.

I hope you get something out of this series as I did reading his book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has suffered a loss for it offers hope, spiritual rebirth and a new-found belief that the soul can heal and grow through loss.

“The experience of loss does not have to be the defining moment of our lives. Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss. It is not what happens to us that matters so much as what happens in us.” – Jerry Sittser

In the beginning of the book the author writes about the previous edition and reflected back over the years of his experience. What I related to most was on page 19 of the book where he talks about writing. I believe as he does that writing about one’s experience, thoughts, feelings, emotions can be healing.

At times during my four years I felt as  if my writing would either make me or break me. In the early days the writing was so porous one could see my pain on the pages of my blog. I allowed many of my readers to “feel” my pain as much as I could. Not because I wanted to bring everyone else down; but to allow you to see that the clichés of the past needed to go about what grieving people need to do or should do. But to allow you to see what’s real about grief.

Sittser talks about being able to read his own journals and was able to see his journey and how far he’d come. How he had changed as a person. He believes as I do that the hope is that our words can bring help to others. But in no way does it diminish our own losses. That our losses are as real and horrible as they were the day they happened.

“The good that may come out of the loss does not erase it’s badness or excuse the wrong done. Nothing can do that.” – Jerry Sittser

So much of what the author writes about in this book has been very validating for me as someone who has suffered so many losses. So it is my hope that you, my dear and cherished followers and any of you who have come upon my blog for the first time, take a moment and reflect that even though our losses have been great. The power to heal resides within  us. It is how we live on that makes the difference between living or just existing.

until next time,

m

The Ugly Truth About Grief

And I’ll be alright
And I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I’ll get back my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken

words by Joss Stone

It occurred to me that grief has a way of creeping into one’s life from many sources. Pain can be caused by so many and yet often it is not the intention of the person it’s coming from. But when that person knows they are responsible for it – it hurts more. Intention is a significant part of how we deal with one another each and every day. It’s easy to forgive the unintentional behavior. But for behavior or actions that come from intention the forgiveness comes more slowly.

During my life I have seen the many faces of grief. They have looked at me from many people and many situations. Some intentional and some not. The pain inflicted is still the same. The wounds remain sensitive although the healing has taken place. When wounds are “touched” they bleed, they open and they cause grief.

I have overcome many wounds and I have succumbed to many “touches” of those wounds either intentionally or not. At times, I have bled until I cannot bleed anymore. I have cried until I cannot cry anymore. I have forgiven and I will continue to – but just know rubbing salt in anyone’s wounds can bring more profound pain because it is intentional. Be careful my friends not to go down that slippery slope of being caught in the net of someone whose intentions are not good. It will bring you pain and sorrow. It will open “old” wounds and create some “new” wounds.

The unintentional pain is often through words spoken. I’m not saying you have to walk on egg shells around someone who has lost someone or is grieving over something or someone, but what I am saying is that being mindful of how or what you say in the company of that person is respectful. I have found over the past four years that some of the comments made by a few people have rubbed me the wrong way. I had to check myself to make sure I wasn’t being overly sensitive. Because a person going through such a significant loss as mine can be overly sensitive at times. I’m not denying that. But comments like “I hate my children” or “I can’t wait for them to go off to college” makes me want to just cringe.

I know those are unintentional comments because they don’t mean them. But for me I want to just shake them and say “count your blessings you still  have  your children” “get on your knees and be thankful you still have them” because I don’t. Another example is when there is a wedding, or grandchildren born, or college graduations – they are a part of everyday and everyone’s life – but mine. I have come to understand that and I have come to terms with it. But when it is constantly talked about in front me, it’s a bit much. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy for my friends whose kids have gone on to graduate from college, get married or have kids of their own. I get that. Just asking not to talk about it incessantly in front of me. I assume that perhaps why I have many new friends. Friends that are more like me. Single, no kids and no prospects in the future.

It’s another form of grief, the ugly truth about grief – one loss = many losses.

until next time

m

The Path of Least Resistance

“When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful.” —  Oprah

 

Over the past four years since my daughter’s death, I have found that healing comes when I have moved with it, leaned into it and accepted it. I know this because when I have chosen at times to fight it, to avoid it or be angry about it, my healing became stagnant as if I’d taken the wrong turn.

In retrospect I guess it’s what we all do as grievers, we move through our journey at different speeds. Traveling along the path of either “least resistance” or worst a powerful resistance. I can see times when I moved along the path of least resistance and when I did I found that I coped better with life. That the joy could return to my life. For me that was a true gift. No one could  have told me that I would ever see joy again in the early days, weeks and months after Brittany’s death.

At the times when I saw myself struggling to breathe, to move, to exist – those were the times when I chose the road of powerful resistance. Perhaps believing that if I fought it, her death, the feelings that came from seeing her die would somehow leave me. The nightmares that ensued for months and months just kept pursing me night after night during those times. But as I began to see that I was creating the atmosphere of resistance to something that was out of my control, I was able to let it go.

In letting go, I was able to follow a path that led me to a place of acceptance of what had occurred. Now I’m not saying that I it made all the pain go away; but I am saying that it created an outlet for my pain. Fighting something that  you  have no control over is exhausting. Trust me when I say I found myself tired and at the end of the day unable to do anything.  Always in a constant battle with what had happened right before me on October 13th, 2006 made it virtually impossible to see that it was all out of my control.

Once I gave up the fight and began to follow the path of least resistance I was able to release my pain and use my energy to help others. I believe following the path of least resistance allows you, me, anyone who is grieving to allow the ebbs and flows of sorrow come and go with little or no resistance, thereby allowing yourself to release it and in doing so you create a place that allows healing to begin.

until next time

m