Monday, December 22, 2014

Dear Grief

Kate Motaung, the hostess of Five Minute Friday, is hosting a special writing link-up on Monday, December 22. She is asking that we write a letter to grief. As you know I have written a bit about grief on my blog lately. I accept her challenge.

Dear Grief:

I remember the first time that I met you. It was in January of 1959. I wasn't quite an 8 year old girl. So young, yet so much sadness already in my life. This was the year my dad committed suicide. And left behind 5 young kids. The grief at that time was brief. I don't think I really had the ability to understand death. Or that it meant he would be gone for a lifetime. I wasn't capable of feeling intense grief at that age. Thank goodness kids are resilient.

With this very Christmas season you are once again visiting my house. We recently lost my granddaughter, Paige's, other grandma. And then another call came to tell me my best friend's mother died on Saturday. It seems that we are surrounded with you right now.

Through the years you visited me time and time again. I've lost grandparents, parents, a child, dogs and cats, friends and in-laws. And every time I paused for reflection and sadness. But you were fleeting at those times. You didn't stay at my side. You didn't smother me.

And then you paid another visit. In July of this year, when death took my husband. I felt you come in the door. I knew you were standing, just out of the light, in the corner. Waiting. Waiting to grip me by the throat. Waiting to squeeze my heart until my chest felt as if it would rip open. Waiting for the continuous flow of tears. I feel they will never stop. I feel your intense hug. I want you to go away. And yet I beg you to stay. Don't leave me yet, grief. 

What I have found in holding onto you, my friend, is that I am holding onto memories. I am re-living moments that were so important to Richard and me. Now I look through hot, wet tears and miss him. At any given moment a memory will flood over me and I will feel as if I am drowning. But the fullness in my throat soon passes. The deep, red-hot pain in my chest passes. The tears begin to ease. And I just simply remember him. 

Surely the day will come when I tell you good-bye and you will silently creep away.The way that you came.You are not a friend. You are just you. You will visit us all at one time or another.

You will probably pay me more visits. But I don't feel that any will ever be as intense as this one has been. Don't be offended if I don't like you much right now. I need you to go real soon. Maybe only visit me 'lightly' if you know what I mean

I am linking up with Kate at Heading Home on Monday, December 22 with my Letter to grief.


  1. This strikes very close to my own grief. We lost my dad this summer. He was 67 and was sick less than a year. I am one step over from everything you wrote about the closeness of your grief right now, but I'm also seeing it closely because my mom is living with us until she feels ready to live somewhere else. Maybe soon, we'll both be able to simply remember, without the memory bringing pain along with it. Blessings to you this Christmas.

  2. Great expression of the hate - and, at the same time, the longing.
    I've no authority, but just sense you'll know when it's time to bid Grief adieu, and be OK with your decision.


    1. Thanks end of the year post on grief me thinks!!

  3. Great post Paula...recieved a call from our pastor today. We had a young man and father of a 2 and 3 yr old take his own life. The visitation at the funeral home will be Friday and they need food provided for after the viewing so I was called upon to provide that for them. Tis the season I guess......

    1. How sad. And so thoughtless of the father. I just will never understand that a person can be so far into themselves that they cannot think of their family before they do something so selfish! Thank Goodness a 2 year old and a 3 year old are not old enough to remember or beat themselves up as to why their dad did not want to stay with them.

  4. Oh, I'm so very sorry for your many losses, Paula, and especially the loss of your husband. May the God of all comfort be your source of comfort and strength as you navigate this intense journey of grief. May His grace be sufficient, and His power made perfect in your weakness.


I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!