Lover's Key, Florida

Lover's Key, Florida

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Waves of Grief

Not only is grief painful, it is also sly, sneaky and cunning.  Just when I think it's not going to appear in my life quite as dramatically as it initially did; something happens that lets me know how wrong I am about that.  On Tuesday a gentleman from the funeral home where Gwen's wake was held called and informed me that he was a grief counselor.  (Good, I thought, grief could use some counseling!).  Among other things, he told me that he had a little book for me, and would I like to come by to get it.  Of course, I did, not having any idea what he might be talking about; I hadn't ordered any book.  He presented me with a book that had tastefully and beautifully incorporated Gwen's obituary, pictures of her, and on-line comments from friend as well as quotes apropos to the pictures.  Needless to say, as I read through the book, my old friend grief  came to visit and, as usual, overstayed its welcome.

It is important for me to remind myself about what my therapist friend told me about grief.  First, it is a healthy and important part of the process of dealing with the loss of my perfect partner who occupied such a large, loving part of my life for so long. Second, when grief has me on my knees, my only choice is to find a way to stand up.  I now find myself standing most of the time, and, when I am on my knees it's usually because I'm in church.  As the poem below tries to explain, I have found ways to leave behind the stormy seas and cling to higher ground:


I will find other seas.
A line from a song
sung at her funeral
now sustains me
when waves of grief
pound my shores
and take me to their depths.

Feeling the pain
of their relentless surge,
I struggle to stay afloat.

Then I recall warm summer nights
swimming at the lake
gently floating in her warm embrace.

Once fierce waves
that carried me out to stormy seas
 now take me to higher ground.

 John A. Bayerl
December 14, 2010

How fortunate we were to have those warm summer nights at Chicaugoan Lake in Iron County, so long ago.  How fortunate for me, to have them now.

1 comment:

A Myeloma Widow's Journey said...

I, too, remember getting that call to pick up Vern's book. Yes, grief paid me a lengthy visit then as well.

Love your comment, "when grief has me on my knees, my only choice is to find a way to stand up."