Category Archives: Healing Grief

An EnDEERing Moment

© Captain Kimo

I’ve been working on my attitude toward life and living, trying to make sense of why I’m still here while one of my sons is deceased. I’ve been driving myself insane, searching here, digging there, talking with this one, crying with that one, even went to a church service to find something – a speck of knowledge which would ‘click’ with my spirit – opening the doors of wisdom where all answers are discovered through tenacious inquiry.

Nothing seemed to help. The knowledge seemed to be hidden in a secluded cavern, never to be found – until I opened my mind’s eye, and there it was, right before me – within me – where it had always been, waiting for me to look within.

© Unknown

A realization flashed the truth that we are all here to live our own lives, on our life’s path, making decisions that steer our own – individual life – we all live our life alone, in the midst of each other. Our paths may intertwine, but never blend into one. Only one life per path.

Somewhere in that realization, and much thought about my surviving sons and their lives, caused me to release myself from the guilt of outliving one of my children. I am on my path. My sons are on their paths. My deceased son walked his path as a good man, father, son, brother and soul. His path reached its end, as all of ours will. He is now, wherever “next” is.

© Unknown
Source: Google

I am still here, and as I revelled in the knowledge within, I went to the patio to take in the beauty of my “church” – the outdoors – nature. While the birds twittered at the feeder, a squirrel spied from the tree trunk to see if I noticed he was about to become a trapeze artist and fling himself onto the bird feeder. I pointed my finger at him and whispered, “no.” I did not want his acrobatics to make such a noise as to frighten away the deer which I had been admiring in the distance – a doe and her two fawns.

Thoughts raced through my mind for the deer’s safety since hunting season has just begun out here. I wondered how I could somehow save them from poachers. Hunting is legal out here, and I don’t want to debate on the ecosystem, but it made me sad to think how one or all of them may be killed during this season.

© Michael Dougherty

Quieting those unhappy thoughts, I chose to silence my speculations, and merely feel the beauty of the moment, knowing how privileged I was to live this moment of natural beauty, watching a young mother and her two babes, doing what they do in their natural home.

I am back on track. Truly, I feel this admission deeply. In this moment, this very moment, I am thankful for all with whom my path has ran alongside, intersected, circled, dead-ended, began anew, and intertwined.

Life is good. I’m back on track, and all the stronger for learning and living through this trying time in my life.

© Unknown
Source: Google

Blessings to all who suffer.
I hope you find peace, as I have.



Searching for Healing

Here it is.  Here is my post after one year+ after  losing my son to pancreatic cancer.  This will not be a letter to my son, but a letter to the Universe and all who reside within – including you.

If you are judgmental, if you think you know the answer of how to cope the loss of a child, no matter their age, do not comment unless  you have been there – do not read further.

All death-losses are unique.  Losing my son is not the same as losing a spouse (I’ve been there, done that), nor a parent (been there, done that).

My stepson told me that upon the death of his two-week old child, they mourned.  His wife and he ended up divorcing.  His ex-wife, 12 years later, still sets a plate at the table for their dead child.  He told me that he could not imagine losing a child who had a “personality.”

“Dead” is the truth, it’s an ugly word.  It’s ugly, but, it’s the truth, and I will use the word “dead”.  If you’ve been where I have trodden, you know the blatant truth of the use of words.

Do not read further, if you cannot handle the truth about the death of an adult  child.

I have “survived” the first year anniversary of Michael’s death.  I lived my life striving to “do” what was denied to my son.  I listened to the mocking birds.  I savored the scent of the lilacs.  I tried to live for my son in my limited existence.

I thought that every breath I took was a breath he was denied, and pushed myself to make it worthwhile.

Every sight I saw was something he couldn’t see… the deer in the woods behind our home, the mocking birds, singing every song they memorized.  Even the crazy squirrels who chewed up my bird feeder – I found purpose in every living thing.

Problem was/is, I could not find MY purpose in continuing to exist in this plane.

He had so much for which to live – his 2 yr. old son, 4 yr. old daughter, a loving wife, 3 brothers, co-workers, friends… and me, his mom.  His dad was deceased when he was only 8 yrs. old.

I have lessened my activities.  I perform that of which my life requires and nothing more.

The second year is the year of awakening.

Recently, I  have had three “breakdowns”.  Talking with those whom I trust, who love and know me.  No, not siblings, lost them a long time ago – breast cancer.  Friends who really know and love me listened and shared their stories.

Yet, there is something I need to release.  I have identified it as “guilt” for outliving my child.

When I broke down, three nights ago, I realized that I need help.  I searched local churches for bereavement groups.  It seemed my quest was a failure.  However, I am impatient.

I did attend an online support group today, to which, I will not be returning.  It was more of a cackle of hens…

I was new to the group.  Another woman had just lost her son only a week ago and little attention was paid to her.  It seemed as though “regulars” were there to talk about camping and weeding their gardens.  I was, at first, angry, and then dismissive.  I will not be returning to that group.  I will not be judgmental.

Meanwhile, I received a phone call from a church, actually, the first church I contacted – I have a really, really, really difficult time with organized religion – however, this non-denominational church returned my request via phone message with an opportunity to meet with its Pastor.  Oh, I had contacted four churches – one responded with something to the effect that I could have a phone conference.  Uh,… no.  Did you not understand my request?  Did you not understand my circumstance?  I can phone my friends if I want a phone conference.

Anyway, this church was my first choice in requesting help, and … patience must be a virtue.  I don’t know that I will find solace, but, I am on a journey and I’m going to exhaust every avenue available to accomplish that end.

The first year is not the hardest.