I would like to start out by introducing myself. My name is Deborah, Deb to those that know me. For those of you that don't know me, and are wondering what I know about grief, I will tell you a little about me. I lost my son Joshua on August 30, 1996. He was two months away from turning 16. He was killed in a car wreck, along with the young man driving. I lost my father on December 28, 1996, and my mother on Oct 13, 1997. So I do know about grief, and the heartbreak it causes.
For those of you just starting on your journey of grief, or those that have been on the path for awhile, I will try and answer a few questions for you. Your first question is probably how long does grief last: Unfortunately there are no clear answers. Every person's grieving is unique; we all have our own personalities and coping behaviors. Our relationship to the one we lost, and many other factors. As to how the person died and if it was expected or sudden, and whether someone caused it. So my answer to that is grief will last as long as it takes you to start to heal, to come to terms with it. Your background, your faith, all play a part. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. It is a roller coaster ride for most, it peaks and falls. Yes at times you feel as if you are going crazy, don't you are in company with many. Just do what is right for you. It is also not nuts to talk about your loss. They were and still are a part of you. It is a heart and now a soul bond. Do whatever it takes. Write in a journal, take walks, and talk with others that understand. Do things for other people. These and more are ways to help you get through the bad days.
By now you are probably asking, where is the hope, what is there to be thankful for? Well I am going to tell you. As time goes by you WILL feel yourself growing stronger, more mature, and most of all more understanding and compassionate. You will learn new and valuable lessons on the real meaning of life, and of love. These aren't lessons we wish to learn, but they are there for you to now be able to help others.
There is no denying it hurts to lose a precious child, a parent, a sibling, and any loving relationship. It is painful to be the one left behind. But there is more to losing than the pain and hurt. You gain courage, a strength of heart. It is also a time of learning, a time to learn some valuable lessons. When you lose , there are things to find. When we let go, there are things to grab hold of. Endings, means finding new beginnings. You will grow from your loss. You are not alone.
Now as to what I am thankful for. There are memories to be cherished, and for that I am thankful. The days are not as long and the nights not so painful, for that I am thankful. The pain is still there, but not as harsh, for that I am thankful. Days and months go by, and my spirit remains, for that I am thankful. There's a quietness in the house, a precious face missing, but my heart remembers, for that I am thankful. The sadness is less, and I can now smile and laugh, for that I am thankful. I can trust my heart to keep on loving others, and to help when I can, for that I am thankful.
I hope this helps in some small way to give you some hope and to give you something to be thankful for. My love to each and everyone of you on this your journey.