Remembering . . . Can Be Inspiring

Remembering is painful, it’s difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom.” ~Paul Greengrass

A friend of mine suffered what I believe is the absolute worst nightmare for a parent – losing your child. It’s been over 19 months for her, but her heartbreak and struggle continue even to this day. Three months ago, I, too, suffered a tragic loss; something that I never imagined.

Jean was the first person to reach out to me and provided the greatest gifts – a listening ear, words of comfort, empathy, the gift of her time. She invited me over for lunch. She let me cry on her shoulder without giving advice and instruction. She bought chicken soup over which we cried more and let grow cold. She disclosed that most friends and family eventually became weary of her grief funk and slowly distanced themselves from her. She confessed that she used to be “one of those people” – she avoided the griever because it was too uncomfortable — until it it happened to her.  Their tears continued, they didn’t smile even after months.  “Stop it already”, “be strong”, “get over it”, “get professional help” is all she could think.

She told me that well-meaning people want to fix you. Some will try to label your grief; after all, if it is correctly diagnosed, then there is a solution, right? Some psychiatrists and counselors have identified “stages of grief”; unfortunately, they aren’t linear. She told me you won’t move from one to the next in a nice step-by-step process. Or like C.S. Lewis describes “am I going in circles, or dare I hope that I’m on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down?”

She shared that the one and only thing she wants to do is talk about her son. She wants to tell everyone she meets about her son. She wants to remember all 28 years of his short life. Despite the pain that remembering brings, it provides comfort to share because she remembers the beautiful person he was while he was here. She told me that some choose to forget or not acknowledge because it’s less painful for them – “out of sight, out of mind”.

I am experiencing everything she shared with me like it’s a well-scripted play. Like her, remembering John is not an option; it’s a conscious choice. I remember my gorgeous husband, my friend, my companion and my soul mate. I remember because we were blessed with 20 wonderful years together; to not remember means these years didn’t exist. I remember the beautiful memories we created together which motivate me to write. I write because I promised to share our love story. Eventually, I will share our story because we want to inspire others to pursue their dreams and make them reality.

My request, if you have read this post, is that you develop empathy, not unresponsiveness.  The greatest gifts you can provide to someone like me and my friend are a listening ear, words of comfort, empathy and the gift of your time.

Love Letter from Heaven

To the love of my life,

I want you to know that it is beautiful here, and Jesus is even more magnificent that we ever imagined. The King of Kings welcomed me with open arms. He and I are holding you even though you cannot feel it physically. Let Him take your sorrow and pain; cast your cares on Him.

Always remember like I told you last week, I am blessed, we are blessed . . . We are blessed. Repeat those words over and over when you feel like you do right now. While you can’t hear me speak to you, you have my words all around you. Read them so you know how much I truly love you. Yes, I say love, in the present tense, because I will always love you. Don’t ever doubt that.

You’re like the lovely little lovebird that was in the cabin in Nancy’s Secret Garden on the day we married. She, too, lost her mate, and Nancy told us that she quit singing. I know you’re not singing any more . . .but you can write. We said we would write our story together. You have my written words in poetry. Now you need to fill in with your words as only you can write.

Share our Bea-utiful love story. Tell everyone how every day, hour, minute, second is precious and will never come around again. Bea my Bea . . . Bea Beautiful . . . Bea Positive.

I love you,

Your JB

It’s in the Valleys I Grow

Back in the early 2000’s, I was on a major roller-coaster of emotional turbulence.  My friend, Angie, gave me this poem, and I’ve kept it all these years.  It seems that just when things are going well, you get thrust into a valley.  So when you think you may be stuck in a rut — or in a very deep valley — pull out this poem.

I hope this poem gives you encouragement and strength to grow through whatever valley of life you have experienced or may be going through right now.  “Bea Positive” that any storm in your life has a purpose!

Growing in the valleys

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