Monday, August 4, 2008
Coping with Loss
I lost my aunt (my mom's sister) this past week. My aunt is the mother of one of the participants on this blog who also lost her husband and father. I know another one of you lost your husband. I lost my father. Most of us have experienced loss along the way. A couple of my facebook friends have lost grown children....so I was wondering if this would be a good topic for the blog. I'll start with some quotes of people who have lost loved ones because I think that in sharing comes healing. Glenda Brenton who lost her husband says, "When you experience the loss of a loved one, your whole world is turned upside down. And so it's very necessary to be in a caring, confidential, supportive environment so that you can share your thoughts and your feelings and experiences with others who are going through the same thing." Virginia Conard who lost her seven-year-old son forty years ago and then her husband just recently said that she cried for a year behind closed doors in silence when her little boy died. When Virginia lost her husband, she said that it wrenched the heart in a different way. She said there is a difference in the way you grieve when you lose your parents than the way you grieve when you lose a spouse. Losing a child is still a different kind of loss. She said, "At one time I had my husband dying of cancer at one end of my home and his sister, my sister-in-law, dying of cancer at the other end of my home." Virginia joined a support group and began looking at her home differently. The same place where her husband and sister-in-law slowly said goodbye became a place she could greet warmly again. "I've always been surprised at myself...that I'm going around saying, 'I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful. And here I don't have my wonderful husband, but he left me this nice home; he left me with 60 years of happy memories. He left me with three wonderful sons and three wonderful daughters-in-law. I am grateful.' One of the most effective ways we cope with loss is gratitude for the time we were given with our loved ones.