Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grief: Thank You

I wanted to write a separate post to thank all of you who read this.  I also want to thank those of you who comment or e-mail me.  If you read from the beginning you will see that after my husband Artie died there was a time when I considered suicide.  It seemed, in my skewed way of thinking, as simply a trip I was destined to take to rejoin my husband.  It was not the right thing to do.  It can be forgiven, but it is rarely the right choice because it is an act that brings great harm to others.  I owed it to my daughter and my friends - and even the people who would have to deal with my dead body - to stay alive.  When I decided to live I asked myself what I could do to give the life I had left some meaning.  What was the answer to my Why?  My husband was a recovering alcoholic who, whatever he failed at, always made himself available to other alcoholics and addicts.  I decided that I would honor him by following his example.  I would make myself available to other grieving people.

When I started writing it was partly in response to the idea of "complicated grieving"; that grief is somehow a disease or a mental disorder instead of a normal response to death.  I decided to be honest and share my journey no matter what twists and turns it took.  I thought that if I was able to reach even one person it would be worthwhile.  I get a smile sometimes from a young person when they hear that this 61 year old woman with the snarky sense of humor is a blogger.

Instead, what has happened is that my words have manage to touch many people.  I have many friends both known and unknown because we share similar feelings and because we support each other.  I don't know how many people actually read my posts because the blog is sometimes used by grief counselors and other professionals.  Any post I write belongs to anyone who reads it.  Alway feel free to share it, to include it in a newsletter, to do whatever you want with it.  When I talked to the literary agent, one of the reasons she was willing to look at my book proposal was because of the blog.

I talk a lot about showing up whether you feel like it or not.  I didn't know how to write a blog.  I didn't know if it would have any effect besides the fact that I could share my feelings in cyberspace.  The fact that it has become something more is not a fact I take for granted.  I am honestly touched, surprised, and very grateful that you take time out of your day to read what I write.

I'm not a "group" person.  In spite of that I believe that the people who I call grief warriors are a very brave, courageous, special group of people.  We work hard to live the kind of life that comes more easily to other people.  Grief may not involve just death - it could be any kind of loss - divorce, depression (which in a way is the loss of self) - anything that gets in the way of our being fully alive.

So...thank you.  Thank you for doing everything you do, for being everything you are, for mingling laughter and tears.  Thank you for letting me know that even if I feel alone, I am not alone.  Even if you feel alone, you are not alone.  Together, we will get through this in a way that when we die if we are reunited with our loved ones they will say, "Hooray!  I'm so proud of you."  xo

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