Monday, June 6, 2016

Now to then and back again.

Grief is heavy
If it slows your steps at times
It is  to remember who you lost
Without getting lost yourself.

Three years ago today, my brother Bill died.   
In the still fog of the days that followed, I wrote this  about grief

June 14, 2013

"I made you laugh. I LOVE when that happened." --Bill Cook (1960-2013)

Grief is a boulder in the middle of the room.
It can't be budged.
If you push it away, it won't yield
When you aren't watching where you walk, you fall over it
And it hurts
You can't pretend it isn't there
You can move the furniture to walk around it
But it still blocks your view of something
You can try and live in another room altogether
But you have to pass by it eventually to go from now to then and back again
Grief is like a boulder in the middle of the room
It doesn't belong there
You don't want it there
You throw a blanket over it
It feels too big for the room
Too big for your life
You cry

And finally, grief speaks
It says: I might be in your way, but I used to live in your heart
I am your memories
I am your loss
But I am what you cherished for a long time
I am trying to find a way back in
But you won't open it
You walk around me
You avoid me
Open your heart
And I will live there again

You sit next to the grief boulder
Because you understand
You need to fill that space in your heart
To feel whole again.
So you make a deal
You will honor grief
And grief will help you heal.

You let it in.
It feels heavy, hard to carry
But your view is clear
Your travel is unobstructed
from now to then and back again

Without that boulder in the way.


  1. Hugs and healing to you. Beautifully put. Yes, it is like a big boulder - and sometimes it's in the middle of the room, where we stumble over it, and sometimes in the pit of our stomachs, and sometimes stuck in our throats.

    But for all the pain, we would not want to wish away the joy of knowing the person we lost.

  2. This was so beautiful and moving. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  3. Grief is new for me...I've never lost anyone in my immediate family. I can't believe how it's connected me to others, I never expected that. Thank you.

  4. So well put. When my father died I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest, I was so sad. Eventually the elephant got up and walked away. I am thinking of youl

  5. Susan, this is lovely. We lost our dog and then five family members in 2012, so I spent a year with the boulder in the room.

  6. Stephanie, my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine how you coped, but I would bet it's been a time when your own heart and strength have surprised you. I hope you're on the path to some well deserved peace and happiness. Thank you for your comment.

  7. I know this is a difficult topic to write about...but you have done an amazing job of showing your feelings. So sorry for your loss.

  8. Thank you Sherri. I'm sure you know I wrote it after that very encouraging response from the GenFab group. Thinking back, I wrote what I needed to read myself, if that makes sense. I hope it will help someone else in some way.

  9. I loved this..I lost my mom about 2 months ago and sometimes the grief overtakes me when I least expect it. But then I remind myself that I was incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing mom and I begin to smile again...

  10. Emily, such a recent loss for you, I know you must have very hard moments. For me the gut punch comes when I see someone who looks like my brother and it's usually in a grocery store. I fight tears, but once I'm in the car, I reflect like you do on the way he made my life better. Sending you good, healing thoughts.

  11. I am learning to read your stuff through my tears. May I share this with a friend that lost her Brother and Mother within 30 days? Both unexpected.
    Thank you for letting me visit and sit in the living room of your thoughts. I feel as though they have always been a good visits, and you have always made me feel welcome. It has always been warm, and challenging, but comfortable.

    1. Dale, I'm honored to think this could help anyone through the mist of grief. Please, absolutely share with my hopes for their healing. And as always, those words of yours mean so much to me. Thank you.