A Grief All My Own

Listen to this obituary

One of the saddest things I have to do is to delete a deceased contact from my phone. It’s an action statement that I realize that loss has occurred and reality has set in. It’s a practical necessity for the practically obsessive (like me), but it’s not something I enjoy doing. And it is not something I HAVE to do.  Keeping that number of the deceased in my list of contacts can bring up good memories when I scroll past it. You decide about yourself.

Author Deb Caletti said, “There’s grief and then there is the loneliness of grief. The way it’s just yours and yours alone.” I still grieve some of my losses from more than thirty years ago! How about you? We’re not in competition with each other to see how fast and how completely we can get through our grieving process, because each relationship is unique and we each grieve in particular ways.

It should also go without saying that while many other people may miss my departed loved one, that doesn’t make my grief recovery a shared activity. The specialness of a relationship makes The Loneliness of Grief special, too!

Kellie Elmore said, “I miss your face. That big bright smile. You always had it, in any weather. It’s hard for me to find one these days. These cold November days. Except when I think of you.”

In our losses due to death, it is not just any old smiling face we miss. I usually miss one face in particular at a time. So, I drag out the photo album and peruse old Face Book photos. I go to the cemetery and cruise the old neighborhood. But time marches on!

I have so many questions that have no answers. Our world can shatter, and we can’t seem to find all the pieces, much less put them all back together again! This is where a grief therapist or grief support group can really help. Unresolved grief is really unfinished business.

Hellen Keller said, “What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” It comforts me to realize that while death, desertion, or demotion can take away my fellowship with someone or something I loved — it cannot take away my enjoyment of the good times we had together, unless I let it!

Today’s homework is to get out a sheet of paper or a new page in your word processor, number to ten and list your greatest losses that come to mind, then go back beside those losses and rate from 0 to 10 how well you’ve gotten over, through or past that loss. Do it now before you forget! 

A guess that any loss that has not been grieved higher than a 5 still has some work to be done to get through. 

I still have some grief work to do. Do you?

Doug Greenway

Doug Greenway

These blog articles are written by the retired minister and former educator and counselor, Doug Greenway. He'd love to hear from you with your comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You may reach Doug at doug_greenway@yahoo.com.

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