Tag Archives: grief

When there is nothing

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”     — lines from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling Over 200 posts ago, on my second-ever post on …

Continue reading

Just three days

“Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart!“– Susan Coolidge The gospel story of Jesus and his victory over death was foreshadowed centuries earlier, and not only in the writing of the Old Testament prophets.  In the book of Psalms we find this hopeful verse: “Weeping may endure for a night, but …

Continue reading

To all of you

“I want to say to all of you that are reading this right now: You are not allowed to lose hope, because maybe a miracle will happen. DO NOT LOSE HOPE.” — Malka Chana Roth We interrupt these re-runs to bring you a new real time post. I started this blog seven and a half …

Continue reading

Hidden inside

“Sometimes what you want is hidden inside what you don’t want.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Just as the prickly cactus produces beautiful blooms, so harsh circumstances can result in positive change and growth.  This does not negate the pain of grief and loss, but it does provide a way through darkness.  Christians believe “in all things …

Continue reading

Every exit

“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” — Tom Stoppard Sometimes a painful change can be eased by choosing to have faith that good things may lie ahead.  Perhaps we can re-frame a forced or unwanted exit — from a job, a relationship or any phase of life — as the beginning of a new direction.  If we focus on the discovery of hidden …

Continue reading

The moment’s impermanence

“What solidity of sentiment it takes not to let an awareness of the moment’s impermanence dilute its richness, its sweetness, but purify it and saturate it with the utmost ‘fullness of being’.”― Maria Popova There’s a brief interval each year when many of the flowers, though fading, are still in bloom, and the weather is …

Continue reading

But you knew

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”― …

Continue reading

Overheard by the soul

And we dance to a whispered voice overheard by the soul undertook by the heart. You may know it… —Neil Diamond There’s an intriguing story in the first book of Kings, in the Old Testament. The prophet Elijah was fleeing for his life, because the queen, Jezebel, had sworn to kill him. It was no …

Continue reading

Packed up, but still

“Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land. My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave…”    —Thomas McGrath Many years ago, when the movie Dances with Wolves came out, there was a sort of fad of people thinking up American Indian names for themselves that were …

Continue reading

A book of hope

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom…possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz The past few weeks have been so …

Continue reading

Perhaps the greater

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien Let’s just say it had been one of those days. Following one of those weeks. …

Continue reading

To share our pain

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” — Henri Nouwen “…losing love Is like a …

Continue reading

Mostly standing still

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.  — Mary Oliver Bereavement, grief and aging are slicing through much of what once seemed inviolable …

Continue reading

Sealed inside

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” Brian Jacques …

Continue reading

Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

Continue reading

Alchemy in sorrow (2017)

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck Dear readers, as always when I take even a short break, I find myself far behind on urgent tasks. In addition …

Continue reading

A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

Continue reading

A willingness to wander

“The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief…requires patience, presence, and a willingness …

Continue reading

More present

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery At times the pain of missing Jeff stabs me with a grief so severe and sudden that I wonder how I will survive without him. More often, though, I feel …

Continue reading

Through the rain

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be. —George Matheson Sometimes a poem, song, quote or Bible verse stored in my memory will become more relevant, and therefore more appreciated, …

Continue reading

The strength

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” —Helen Keller I’m not exactly sure how we’ve gotten through the past three weeks, but somehow we have. Some days are much worse than others, but all of them bring small reasons to be grateful. I can acknowledge that in my …

Continue reading

The arabesques

The arabesques a hope can do…       the dances dreams can make… the patterned pain a mind may shape…      before a heart will break — Joan Walsh Anglund Despite the risk of heartbreak, hope is a better way to live. I really believe that. I am so thankful you are with us …

Continue reading

A friend knows

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” — Donna Roberts In April, during the weeks Jeff was recovering from the surgery to remove his brain tumor, we were unable to travel to our York home. I started to worry about various things I needed to take …

Continue reading

Such a secret place

“I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more. It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Whether or not one is alone, …

Continue reading

Odd but true

“It’s odd but true that there really is consolation from sad poems, and it’s hard to know how that happens. There is the pleasure of the thing itself, the pleasure of the poem, and somehow it works against sadness.” – Carol Shields When I first read this quote, I thought about the song  “Fast Car” …

Continue reading