As I was preparing to leave my office at the close of a busy day, my phone rang. A gentleman asked if he could speak with me about the recent loss of his dear wife. His anguish was heartbreaking and as he recounted his experience and emotions to me, I was impressed in so many ways by the depth of his love for her, his devotion to her, his ability to evaluate his spiritual reliance on her, his awareness of his emotional wound without her beside him, his ability and willingness to express his loneliness and fear of life without her by his side, and his desire to openly seek assistance. There were so many impressive attributes expressed during our conversation, that when it was over, although I remained worried and deeply saddened for him, I was comforted that he was on the right track for recovery.
A loved one’s death is overwhelming. Prior to your loved one’s death, you understand that you love that person deeply; however, you may not realize that without that person, your life is barely manageable; barely maintainable. Upon the other’s death, your life is suddenly in danger as well. Your life is filled with turmoil. Disorganization rules every aspect of your functionality. Indeed, at times, your will to live may be called into question. These are very frightening facts. Moreover, upon the death of a significant loved one, someone with whom you have been married for decades upon decades, with whom you have created generations of descendants, with whom you have established reputation, successful business, wealth, and happiness; these facts do indeed become burdens of distress, that if not properly managed will end your life. The gentleman caller on the other end of my phone understood the gravity of these issues and wanted to understand and apply the remedies for them.
Unfortunately, the only quick fix for grief is to be a shallow person – a person who does not love others. To be this type of person is undesirable. To live this type of life is empty and lonely. For my caller to swiftly recover from his wife’s death, he would have to forget about the many wonderful years they spent together, the trials they conquered together, the foes they battled together, the fears they triumphed over, their accomplishments, their setbacks, their hardships, their disagreements, their makeup’s, their holidays, their illnesses, their recoveries, the births of their children and grandchildren, the accomplishments of their children and grandchildren, and the list continues. These are things this man would not give up if his life depended on it, and at this point, it does.
These experiences that have built his life with his wife, strengthened his resolve to be her eternal companion and solidified his love for her are exactly what have caused his grief upon her death. They are also the exact same experiences that will save his life and cause his recovery as he begins to reorganize his existence without her by his side. Day by day, he will understand more and more that these sweet memories are what get him through his days and allow him to keep breathing. Although his heart is momentarily rent in two, these memories that he sees as reminders too painful to recall, are slowly turning into bandages that will spiritually bridge his existence to that of his wife’s beyond the veil. As he opens his heart to celestial infusion, he will realize that his wife’s love remains with him, that she has not and will not forget him, and that she awaits his arrival with the greatest anticipation just beyond his view, but never beyond his reach, in that glorious place called paradise. And that one day, they will reunite where families are forever, where love is eternal, and where the trials and sorrows of this life will become cherished memories.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and certified grief counselor. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.
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