This is one of the most beautiful and meaningful expressions of the grieving process that I have read. It poignantly describes my own journey as I seek to weave the love Linda and I shared for sixty years into the fabric of a future without her presence. Norma Sessions has a special gift for using images to capture the deepest and most profound insights and experiences.
I was at a meeting for Alzheimer’s caregivers when Dale called. There was fear in his halting voice: “Where…are…you?”
It was a first.
It was also a last. I could no longer leave him alone.
Now I am alone, and Dale’s words are mine: Where are you?
Weren’t you just here? Wasn’t I just preparing your lunch…singing and laughing with you…helping you get ready for bed? Where are you?
Although the words come directly from my grieving heart, they also seem crazy. I was with Dale when he died. I composed his memorial service. I helped bury his ashes.
And yet, the feeling that he should still be here can be strong. It’s easy to “hear” his resonant voice, to “see” him sitting next to me, or to just assume he’s resting in another room. All of our years…working, living, loving together…wove countless threads of a shared life throughout my…
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Thank you for sharing this very moving story. I know I can relate, regarding my mother. Before dementia took her away, she pointed me toward appreciating and being in awe of the natural world in which we live. I can think of her whenever I look around me to see a flower, a butterfly, a star. We are intertwined.
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Thank you, Jean, for sharing your meaningful experience with your mother. Dale’s appreciation of the natural world grew as his disease progressed. Everything, from the blue sky to a tiny bug on his clothing, was amazing. Sharing that awe is a meaningful way to remember him. Yes, we are intertwined.
Thank you, Ken! You continually bless me and others with your postings. In all the ways you share your authentic self, you give us glimpses of God. Even these many years later, you might be surprised how often you are quoted by this pastor and colleague. “My friend and former Bishop would say, “Hold me in love and accountability.” (Those words took me by surprise. I’d never considered a Bishop being asked to be held accountable!!). “Who do you know that is poor?” (I’ve learned over the years that it is in developing relationships with those who are poor or marginalized in any way, that our hearts that are changed). Thank you, Ken! for the ways you continue to open my eyes and my heart!!!
I am deeply moved by your comments, Joy! I value the memories of time spent with you and Dan in mutual ministry and friendship. Thank you!