I was Touched by the Raw Pain
As I watched My Sister’s Keeper I was touched by the raw pain of Kate’s own struggle to make sense of the changes her family faced through her illness and the devastation of her loss as they watched her die. At one point in the movie Kate’s sister asked the judge how it felt when her daughter died. I could answer immediately, having faced the loss of my daughter and my parents as well as others near and dear to me in the last decade.
For me their loss feels like life has ended. It feels like all the blood has drained from my heart; I’m standing and breathing, yet feel empty and dead. It feels like my life is over. Lisa Overman
Handing Grief Differently
I was touched by the honesty of what this family faced and how they each handled it so differently, yet in the end when Kate passed they found a way to honor her memory with a yearly family vacation to a place she loved; the wide open spaces of Montana. For each of us how we bear our grief and find our way through our pain differs. Yet honestly no matter who we are, what we do for a living or where we live we each feel the depth of our losses deep in our soul. No matter if we reach out or go within we must take steps, baby steps forward, coping with our grief and loss.
Yes, our life as we knew it is over; the life we desired blown to bits and we’re left to take one tiny step at a time into a future we really don’t understand or care for. Our loss is deep and lasting. With time and effort our healing will begin.
Nate Burkus and His Healing
I heard Nate Burkus say on Oprah recently that after his partners death he didn’t want to do much of anything for four months, that he was living but felt dead. He often thought, what’s the point of it all. He would often stay in bed grieving. It’s true as we are coping with our grief and loss many of us have those times, I certainly had them.
Moving Through a Loss That Devastates Us.
I had days when dying felt easier than living, when my mother’s loss felt like the end of my life. How do we move beyond the loss that devastates us? We take small steps. We find support whether it be talking to a grief therapist, our family or friends or a healthy combination of all three. Maybe we talk to a minister or we take comfort in silent prayer. The important thing is to take a step toward coping with our grief and loss. Each small step will lead to a bigger step when we’re ready, until we reach a place where we can take a breath again without feeling pain.
Many Small Steps
With many small steps we will reach a day when we wake up and feel a smile cross our face; when for so long there was nothing to smile about. There is no magic that will heal us. Somehow, with time after living in our pain we realize we can honor the memory and love of the one’s we’ve lost better by living joyfully. As many, myself included can attest, when a loved one is dying they usually express their desire for us to live fully. They want our happiness. They don’t want us living daily in pain or living empty lives, wishing for them. For me the best way to honor my loved ones is to touch other lives and show people through my example that there’s a way through the pain and loss.
My Life Looks Different
My life looks different than I expected. I’m actually laughing as I write that statement. It’s as if a bulldozer destroyed my life and one block at a time, through a sea of tears I began to rebuild it. Did I want this life? Not so much really, but clearly God did. I now focus my life teaching, writing and maintaining a website that supports and inspires others in grief or loss. I treasure those I love deeply. I’ve learned life is short, pain is very real and we are best served living life with as much joy as our hearts can hold. It happens one step at a time. Take that first step with me.