Category Archives: Surviving 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.


Signs from Beyond

Two months and six days from today will be the one-year anniversary of my son’s death. Am I ready for this anniversary? Will Grief overcome me with uselessness, or have I learned how to live with it?

I believe I am learning how to live with Grief everyday, for the rest of my life. I do not think that Grief is something that anyone “Masters,” it is a part of who one is. As I have compared it before, to an appendage, like an arm, or leg, that hurts from time to time for whatever reason, and calls for attention. That is how I live with Grief, accepting it as an appendage, and for right now, this moment, it is not belly-aching for attention, and I can move forward with recounting something that occurred just the other day.

When a loved one dies, caring persons lend thoughts of healing, many of those thoughts are telling the bereaved to “watch for signs” sent from the departed loved one. Folklore and friends tell us that feathers, cardinals, music, fragrances, etc., can all be signs from our departed loved ones. For me, I do not believe in those particular “signs.” I require something less familiar, like, say, maybe an ostrich showing up in my backyard. Yeah, an ostrich, quite non-native to my locale. I prefer something quite out of the ordinary to become a believer in everyday “signs” from the other side.

Yet, that is not to say that I believe the departed cannot contact us. I have “felt” the presence of my late husband many, many times over the last 29 years, and had extremely vivid dreams (more like visitations) from him that I do believe were signs/messages from him.

My son, however, does not seem to have sent me any “signs” from the other side, that is, until a few days ago.



While sitting on the patio, looking at all the leaves in the yard which need to be raked and bagged (we have not been able to burn with such a dry winter,) I noticed something purple where my sickly lilac bush lives. Taking a closer look, sure enough, there were five blooms on it! This, this is what I will accept as a “sign” from my son.  Each bloom represented one of each of my sons, and myself.  That is my interpretation and belief.

You may think, “You’re settling for lilacs? Ordinary blooming lilacs when you wanted something outrageous, like an ostrich?”

Yep. Ordinary blooming lilacs are what he sent from the great beyond, and here is why:

Ten years ago, we moved into our home in Oklahoma. On the other side of our small patio wall, a scraggly lilac bush was trying to live. My first thought was, “What kind of dummy plants a lilac bush where it will grow 20 ft. tall, and block the view from the patio?”

Apparently, that “dummy” knew more than I did, for lilacs do not grow well in Oklahoma, at least not in our particular location. Anyway, shortly after moving in, I re-located the lilac to a sunnier location, watered and fed it for ten years. It has barely grown and never bloomed. As a matter of fact, during that moment of surveying the leaves in the yard, I thought about transplanting it to the opposite side of the yard where I had planted more lilacs (I’m a sucker for punishment) which have actually doubled in size in just two years!

Now that my scraggly lilac has finally bloomed, I will not be transplanting it any time soon, at least not until, maybe, next fall, and move it next to its own kind — away from the crepe myrtles, who might not like living next to lilacs.