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Grieving Through Writing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been reading through this board and am so glad we started it. A special thanks to the moderators as they were the strong push behind bringing it to life. Bless you all.


I lost my grandmother last year. Her health was very, very poor and she surprised us often by rising up several times from what we thought was the beginning of the end for her. She would go from having to be carried around the house to getting up the next day and walking out of her bedroom with her walker on her own. She loved to get out into her yard and sit on the porch. She was prepared to die, yet no matter how close she came to it I was never ready for it.

I remember a conversation we had about five years ago when she first became very ill. She told me she had lived 80 years, and a very full and rewarding life she had. She was thankful to be able to face death knowingly and to say good bye rather than a sudden occurrence without time for words. She told me to "stay home with them babies. Don't you leave them to travel all that way to come to my funeral. We can say our goodbyes together in life, not after death."

I did travel to see her after that. And called her many times thereafter just to talk. My son in his innocence even told her when he saw her, cheeks drawn, pale and bone thin, that he would likely not see her again. She never forgot those words of knowing from one so young and she mentioned it everytime we talked.

Then last November I got The Phone Call. She had gone to the hospital because she had pneumonia yet again. Her recovery seemed imminent and her death so unexpected that noone called to let me know she was sick. She just slipped away.

I struggled between going to the funeral and honoring her advice to me to "stay home with them babies". The distance between us is not one of a few hours on a jet plane. I stayed home. And I grieved long distance with my family. Sometimes I'd call my mother or my aunt just to cry. I needed to expell my feelings and share my treasure of her in my life. I needed to let everyone hear and feel and know just how much she meant to me and what I had lost. Not being there where everyone was likely doing just that made it all the more difficult. So I wrote. I poured my feelings out onto paper. Lots of paper.

Then I decided that those words on paper would be my way of saying goodbye after death. A way of honoring her request yet fulfilling my need to grieve and contribute to the final words of goodbye that those present at her funeral would share in. I gathered together what best expressed my feelings about her and her life and I sent it to my family. They read it at her funeral service and my mother swears there was not a dry eye in the church. That somehow made me move through the grieving process in a way I probably couldn't have done alone. The tears of others from listening to my tribute to her gave me validation of my own feelings, of how deep and real they were and continue to be.

I still cry. I still grieve. I still must go home, to her house, to the house she has always lived in, and face her not being there, face feeling her but not being able to touch her or talk to her. Perhaps when I do that I will write again. Maybe this time I will write with fabric and thread.

My tribute to her is here: www.mamaclyde.homestead.com

~Cynthia
post #2 of 8

Thank You

Cynthia~

Thank you for sharing your grief, loss and your Grandmother with us. I feel as though I knew you better now, through your gentle words you shared with us. I went to your website and was deeply touched. Your Grandmother has touched me.

I have kept a journal since Rob's death. I remember, my good friend Doris, taking me to the store to buy it. On the front cover is a picture of a person walking through a sunlit forest and it reads "As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not Hurry there. You will arrive soon enough." Writing has helped me as well. My anger, deep and utter grief, fears and frustrations. I still write, but not as often.

Last year during December, I gathered all of the poems and writings I had kept and compiled it for my grief and loss group. Somehow, it felt like "I WAS DOING SOMETHING", by typing it myself.

Thank you for bringing up such a wonderful way to deal with grief and loss, especially during this time of year.

Warmly & With Hugs~

Lisa
post #3 of 8
I cried and noded as I read your words. You're moving through your greif in a very healthy way.

I'm so sorry that you lost such a wonderful person in your life. But I'm glad that you had her. Your a beautiful person and I can't help but think a part of her made you the person you are.

Writing is a wonderfull way to travel through grief. I remember when my daughter died I got stuck in anger. One day I was in the shower and was hit all of a sudden with words. They flooded my head and eventually ended up on my laptop. over 50 pages! This was the begining of my healing.

I write a lot of poetry now and it helps me put my thoughts togethger. Having lost my Grandmother and Father over the past year, I've needed the outlet.

This a poem that has brought me a lot of comfort. I don't know the author, but It's a lovely poem.


Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
post #4 of 8

I am so sorry

I lost my grandmother a week after Abigail was born....

I grew up very close to both of my grandmothers...we would visit them often...both of them were amazing ladies that I expected to be able to get to know my children.....I never expected to lose them both before either of them ever saw my dd....

I guess thats what makes it so hard to stop grieving...I grieve for myself as well as my daughter....
post #5 of 8
How wonderful that you were able to honor your grandmother's wishes, but still be a part of the service for her. I'm sure your words are remembered by everyone who heard them. I wasn't able to be a part of the services for my grandparents or my father (because of distance), and I'm still sorry.
post #6 of 8

Here are some poems...

Because I really care about you, I'm not going to pretend and wish you a Merry Christmas as if nothing's happened.

Instead, I'm going to reach out to you and tell you I realize this must be a very difficult time for you.

It probably doesn't seem fair that everyone else is smiling and laughing and enjoying the holidays as usual, while your heart is aching.

- Renee Duvall
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you, each and all, for your beautiful words and sensitivity. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful women!

~Cynthia
post #8 of 8
Ms. Mom -

Ouch, the poem made me cry. But that's OK, it was a good one. I only wish I could believe all the words.

I'm also writing something, but I don't know who would want to read it, or if I would let anyone read it, or if I'll ever really even be done.
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