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OCTOBER 5, 2009 11:18AM

Grieving, I Choose to Make it About Living.

Rate: 57 Flag


 He fades



To ignore things you have to be heavy into denial.  If you are spending that much time and effort to deny something, then you are going to miss the point.  There is no time for denial, only acceptance.  For when we accept that the choice is ours, then we have understood the preciousness of any time we are allowed.  We must open our eyes to making the right choices, the ones that will be for the benefit of not just you, but those who surround you, and those who will be left behind to deal with the aftermath if you don’t get out of denial.


Denial serves little purpose in the overall scheme of life.  Deal with whatever it is and try to move on.  Do not waste much time on “what ifs” either, unless it is moving you forward toward the goal.  Even so, make a list and check it off, spend your time doing not saying “what if”.  Try at least.  


Trust me, we don’t have time to play with the choices, they are completely visible, as long as you’re open to them.  Make a decision, right or wrong and you will get something out of it.  The satisfaction of having tried and succeeding is wonderful, and believe it or not, so is having tried and failed.  You learn lessons either way.


Regrets...don’t bother.  Make changes, adjustments but move forward in life.  Memories are reserved for lessons learned and noted.  Good or bad.  In the scheme of things, you should be letting go of the bad ones and concentrating on the good ones.


I know it may sound simplistic, but why complicate matters by avoiding the simple answer?  


There isn’t an hour of the day (or sometimes minute) that I don’t thing about Lance and something we did, and sometimes those things we didn’t do.  But I don’t spend much time thinking about what we didn’t do, because the fact is, I cannot change it.  All I have is the ability to do is to do the things I need to... and even a few I want to.  


Life is not just full of needs, but there is room in it for wants, as long as they are fulfilling some sort of need.  It’s really this simple.   


I bought a (another) book today, it’s title is, "The Other Side of Sadness”.  It is written by, George A. Bonanno, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is dealing with a loss of a loved one.  Finally, I am hearing about people who feel similar to me, who find it easier to grieve than has been previously talked about.  I recognize so many things;  what inappropriate things people say because they do not realize we all grieve differently.  What a concept!  He recognize and debunks some previously taken as the gospel studies and theories.  I hear myself in his words...well some of them, but that is way better than reciting by rote what others have surmised and written about.


I know many of you are surprised that I seem to do well, but it seems as though there are three graph lines, trajectories which represent how we deal with grief; a) chronic grief b) recovery and c) resilience.  The criteria for each having been taken into account the only one I readily identify with is resilience.


A-h-h-h...resilience.  I completely identify with the calmest line of the graph.  You may know me as one who seems to be coping well enough to be wounded, but not debilitated.  That would be an accurate reflection.  I do have very positive experiences, and these seem to help carryover a positive influence to those other people who interact with me.  This has shown to be of great help to me in this process of grieving and moving on. When the people I interact with recognize that I am able to move  forward, in direction of my new life, with some sense of purpose, they may find it difficult at first, but ultimately it will seem natural and in character. 


I have observed some people speak to me of the devastation of loss, but what I see is their perceived devastation at a contemplation for of their past losses, or those which they may reasonably project to lose in the future.  The sudden oncoming of death is a tough and individual response, and it would wrong to assume we all handle it in the same way.  


Being a woman who has dealt with and will again (in all probability) be dealing again with a great loss, I handle it as best I can.  The best I can do is to take it as another blow which knocks me off of center, but never knocks me out of my senses.  I keep my wits about me, and allow those moments of grief to come, honor it, experience it, own it, but then move on because I do believe our time is finite, and I have much left to do in my own life.  There are only so many things I can do which have any affect on Lance’s death; honor his life, respect his wishes, continue on with the work he left undone, and get on with enjoying the rest of my life.  It seems simple enough to do.  I’m on my way.













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A gentle bump and then move on...
Safe journey, my friend.
Profound, Buffy. Glad your on the calm graph line; it's a good place to be. Denial, of course, is just a river, one which can carry you away from who and where you really are. I salute you for embracing the present and not looking back with regrets.
You do life's audible well. I'm always learning from you. xox
You are a brave lass Buffy. I wish you well in the healing process, however difficult that may be. Rated.
You have a strong and unbreakable spirit my sweet friend and you will indeed continue your journey and Lance will be right there with you, cheering you on, as will your friends. Mel and I send all our love and supportive thoughts your way.
Yes, you are moving on. And moving on in your own strong and resilient way. You are an inspiration. God Bless.
I believe in the power of laughter. I don't know you, but having read many of your posts, I am not surprised that you are resilient.

Death leaves a wake. Glad you're riding it, not drowning in it.
Wow. Such widsom and depth. Brava.

What can I say that I haven't before, except that you remain an inspiration to OS denizens. Oh wait. I've probably said that too.

Rated for resilience. And arret.
Buffy, you just plain rock. And thank you for sharing your journey. I'm learning all the time.
I admire your resilience, and yes, you are a positive influence on those around you.
A huge, giant hug and a thumb from one resilient woman to another. This too shall pass. It will have been what it was. Something else is in the future. It too will pass. The nature of life itself is transience. Some of us grok that sooner/easier than others.

Love to you, Sheila.
Wow... this resonates on so many levels. Grief ... doing not "what-iffing"... honoring and living... When my Mom died I felt guilty for not crying enough. Then I realized that it was because, to me, it felt like she was always in the next room. She's still in that next room, wherever that is, and that's cool. Thanks, Buffy. This is a rare take on grief that will resonate for so many. And I say DITTO on the "you rock" thing! Rated for DOING!
My mom lived by this same philosophy after my dad died when she was 50. It has served her well and we, as her children, were given a great example to follow. I am so happy that, given the hand you were dealt, you have found yourself in such a good place. You are one wise lady!
We all grieve differently. I never understood why people want to make some things universal when they are really so very personal: love, grief, fear, pain.

Sounds like you are going in the right direction, Sheila.

Part of a poem I wrote a very long time ago:

And I see now that life
Was made only for living;
To be, for today, what tomorrow denies.
To briefly inspect
Each yesterday's passing,
But to let it go by
And move only ahead.

Sheila- You may be flying solo, but you'll soar like an eagle! I have no doubt. You're the best...Lance was blessed to share your love.
Wonderful writing again. I'm familiar with how you handle your knocks and know you have suffered more than most. I'm also familiar with your knack of calming others when trauma strikes. You are indeed a great example to follow.

I will never have the positivity you radiate, but acceptance is something I've worked on a lot. A lot of that is down to knowing you and reading your words. Attitude matters much.

May your journey be filled with fulfilling and rich experiences. Love you.
i saw a study that showed those who were in happy marriages "recover" (if that word serves) much more quickly than those from troubled marriages. you show and in some ways provide testimony to a worthy union.
"I do believe time is finite". So do I~
Well spoken, my friend, and a valuable message for all to hear (read). Keep on keep'n on, Lady. You are quicky soaring back into Eagle status!
Dynomyte--Nice to see you stop in Bruce! Thank you.
AthomePilgrim--Thank you for taking time to stop in. It is the support of people like you and the others which let me know I am on the right path.
Chuck--I’m so happy you are feeling better:) I’ve missed you.
madcelt--thank you! Love your avatar. I have good and bad days, but mostly they are good!
Wally--Thank you my friend. I always appreciate yours and Mel’s friendship and support.
GJIPenguin--Happy to see you back again...and I look forward to following the continuation of your own love story. Thank you!
littlewillie--Me too! Actually you probably know me better than some, and I’m glad!
John--Why thank you for such acknowledgement. You are a gem.
Boanerges1--There you are...such a sweetheart for being my supporter all of this time. Thank you.
Spotted--I don’t like the alternatives to not being resilient :) Thanks sweety!
Verbal--I love your resilience too...we come from amazing stock:) Thanks...should I pack my drill yet?
CK - Love the photo :) I’m glad you were able to relate on such a personal level. It really is cool that there is no right and wrong way to deal with losses, and we do it as it feels natural to us. Thank you for sharing.
Mamoore--Your mother sounds pretty wise herself. Life is for the living...so we need to! Thanks for sharing your story.
Bill--Sounds as if you have a firm grasp on reality, and I love the poem. Is it around ion Salon to read in its entirety? Thank you.
Mothership--I feel both of us were blessed. He left me with such great life lessons I have to move on to be able to honor them.
Linda--You are very resilient yourself, and anytime I can give you a hand and help you on your path, I’m there. Friends can provide us with so much. Thank you for being here always, even if I can’t be.
BenSen--That’s a good thing to be able to observe, thank you.
Scanner--It is a truth we need to observe or we are not living as best we can. Thanks!
Thoughtful reflections and sage advice to all of us who will have to go through the grieving process. That, inevitably, will be most all of us.
you're an example and an inspiration
Thanks for showing us a template that works for you.
I marvel at your bravery with all that has been on your heavy plate. I do hope that posting here is helping you get through all of this. You have a best selling memoir here if you ever consider it. That said, we simply can't effectively move forward when our eyes are focused on the past.
Oh, Buffy...I don't agree with a lot that C.S. Lewis wrote, but when he finally found the love of his life and then lost her, he wrote the brilliant and honest book: A Grief Observed. It's a beautiful description of the journey after losing someone so beloved.

Sending you waves of strength and compassion.
I admire you so much I can't even find words right now but thank you, just thank you.
"...allow those moments of grief to come, honor it, experience it, own it, but then move on because I do believe our time is finite, and I have much left to do in my own life. "

This is so helpful to have put into words. The idea of honoring our grief, truly experiencing it, and then allowing ourselves to move on is so profound and yet, so simple. I like your attitude--I suspect your resilience has helped you thru much in your lifetime. Cheers.
Ben Sen said "i saw a study that showed those who were in happy marriages "recover" (if that word serves) much more quickly than those from troubled marriages"

I think anyone who is well-adjusted recovers from any loss faster than someone who's not.

And though I don't know you well Buffy, I think I can safely say, you're a basically happy & well-adjusted person.

p.s. "well-adjusted" = "happy" in my book.
You are one amazing woman. I wish you were a man.
And isn't this what Lance would want? You are such an inspiration. I'm not so sure about the Lance "fading" picture, though.
Ha! that´s my friend Sheila! Life is an adventure; sometimes it hurts, but the adventure itself is while worth living it. There is a place for everything in life: for grief, and for happiness. I agree with you.
Thanks for the bump, Buffy! You speak universal truth.
You are, indeed, on your way. Indeed, all of us have to face loss and grieve, at one time or another. I'm honored to be learning from you. Blessings and prayers, as always!
Someone was very astute in saying that we learn from you, and we do indeed!
First, denial is more than just a strip club in New Jersey.

Second, a One-Size-Fits-All philosophy pretty much doesn't fit anyone.

And third, I'm glad you aren't a man.
Beautifully worded and very thought provoking post. I think you have the right train of thought on things. Moving forward is the only way to go and the journey will get better as time goes on. Thinking about thing you have done, and not thinking about things you didn't do, I believe this is the best way to think..
Lots of hugs and love your way..
Carolinablue50-Thank you. I’m, just a reporter of life...and hope it can help someone.
Roy Jimenez--I hope a good one on both counts! Thank you so much.
Deborah Young--I hope all of us can recognize what works for ourselves...nothing is wrong or right, just what gets you through it.
Michael Rodgers--Thanks, I don’t know any other way to get through this. That is the beauty, you just manage. You do well yourself.
Gwendolyn--A pleasure to receive, thank you. Always welcome.
Lunchlady2--Hope it will be of some use for you as you go through your own life path of pain. Write anytime you need someone t lean on and to listen and tell you it will be okay.
mypsyche--I’m glad it resonates for you, and it felt good to share. Thank you so much.
skeletnwmn--Oh, it seems you know me better than you think, Decades have that effect on me,lol.
O’Really--takes on to know one in my book. Keep spouting the truth, I got your back!
Trilogy--Yes, it is exactly what he wanted. Lance and I shot that self portrait on our previous cruise...I thought it was horrible...until today when it seemed to illustate the spotlight of our lives shifted...and he knew it was. He was smiling...he was proud.
Maecela--always such nice things to say. That is one reason to love her dearly. Ans she is honest and thoughtful. What a great friend.
randypd--many do... when we listen. Thank you.
Eva T.--My pleasure Eva...so happy this is free to help by being here. Lance would have loved it too.
luisG--Oh, it probably was me, lol. Thank you for the endorsement.
Skip--Always to the points...and I’m so glad not to be a man too!
Fireyes24--Great minds :) Hugs and good thoughts your way!
Lance would be proud of you, as we all are. x
Good girl! You are so healthy emotionally and I imagine in most ways byt the attitude you display here. You are inspiring and so right on about moving on with your own precious life. Denial simply eats our guts out and prevents healing and enjoying a full life, while we have it. Our choices can be the best gifts we give to ourselves.
I know that perseverance isn't new to you. This new journey will take you down some paths that bathe you in sunlight and others that will be more difficult to maneuver. Either way, you'll keep on going--it's what you do. Sending you hugs and much love...
I admire you so much.
Truly a wise elder.
This is about your journey and yet you have a way of reaching out to help me along my way also. Sometimes kindred, I feel.
I love your first smile!
I'm glad you're finding your own way of grieving. I hope the process remaining is as gentle as possible.
buffy: So many wise words for those in the grieving process, which should pretty much include all of us. Thanks for the book rec...will be passing it on to a good friend of mine as she approaches the one year anniversary of her mother's death. Thank you for being so generous with all of us during this difficult time.
You write beautifully! You will see him in another place, at another time.
Laughter is key indeed. Sometimes it is the only thing that unties me. Thank you for writing this.
Buffy, BTDT, but you put it so much better. There are plenty of us out here and we all approach this thing differently -- ande that's our privilege. Hang in and good luck.
Buffy, just coming back and rereading your post again. A dear friend lost the love of his life recently. He kept asking her what she wanted before passing. All she said was, "Be Happy." Knowing Lance and who Lance was, I am confident he would be saying the same along with, "thank you for all the fun we had together."

"Life is not just full of needs, but there is room in it for wants, as long as they are fulfilling some sort of need. It’s really this simple."

Sometimes I don't believe they even need to fulfill anything, There is room in life for wants. It is your time now. Loving you
You are far more deluded and in greater denial than you claim to have recovered from. Recovery is an inappropriate choice of words that does not accurately describe the desire to incorporate the sadness of your loss with the strength to begin searching for the physical and mental ability to cope with the painful ordeal of finding some positive meaning in a life that has been grief stricken. You never see the end of grief. It can cause the reliving of your original pain triggered by a moment's reflection on the past.
I would love for someone to actually perform an autopsy in order show me where exactly is the place they call "My center." I don't have a center. There was no money to build one so I opted for a store front that handles side issues. If you can elude loss of your senses, I suggest then that your loss ain't so important and perhaps not really as painfully felt as you would lead us to believe. I will end with this. Stop selling your erzatz feelings detection plan and strategies. If you continue this midway attraction you will soon find a pack of dissatified customers waiting inflict their pain on you, pain you promised would be effortlessly managed. Boy are you a crock.
Buffy, you never fail to inspire me! You have helped me to deal with my own situation, and to learn to live from day to day enjoying every moment left to me.
This is an important piece. Resilience is learned, not innate. The people we choose to have around us when we grieve can give us strength or bring us down. They reflect our own outlook on life. Being future oriented is truly your great strength.
Witnessing grief requires its own kind of denial. Some of us don't know how to do it with grace. I abandoned a dear friend for years because she lost her daughter to suicide; I didn't know how to be her friend, it seemed futile to try - and her grief frankly terrified me. Like watching someone burning alive, and joining them there. I was a terrible coward. A poor excuse for a friend.

That she has forgiven me and invited me back into her life is as stunning as the fact that she survived what I thought no one could.

May you find peace, and may there be friends with the courage and wisdom to be there when you need them.
Sheila - I don't know how I have missed this post until now. But I'm glad I finally made it here. The words you have written carry so much wisdom and have great import. As you so clearly pointed out, we don't all mourn the same way, but we don't have to cling to some outdated and formulaic process and/or wonder why we don't seem to be following the "outline."

You are a rock - from what I know of you, you always have been. A rock with a gentle and loving heart. Lance would be so proud of you. I know I am.

Love and (((BIG HUGS)))
as unbreakable says, i can't figure how i missed this. but glad i found it on a quiet saturday.

and i wish i had come up with what bill s. from vermont said, because it just couldn't be more perfect.

Late as usual, How did I miss this? You are my inspiration on things like this. The stories you posted on your younger days gave me the courage to post my own life here. Careful, some people may hold that against you. Your wordsd made me finally believe that I had a chance to put my words down and give them to others. For that, being a friend, and your everlasting grace, I thank you, Sheila
"spend your time doing not saying “what if”. Try at least."

I shall try. For your sake. I promise.

I was working at a festival last year. Well, actually, I was slacking. One of the guys running the thing came up to me and shouted, in a thick Brooklyn accent, "Hey, you! Do something. Even if it's wrong." Those words have stuck with me since, especially since I'm often so seized with indecision. Do something. It will change the path from that point forward. More control than we think. Granted, I continued to slack off, but still....

Buffy, thanks.