Sweat

Healing your body after the death of a beloved

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Tears

Living with an unbearable loss

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Sea

Moving forward into the life you create in the wake of loss

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No One Said …

Inspired by Maya Stein’s No one said it wouldn’t rain

No one said that every day would be sunny.

Or that the beds would never need to be made, that the dishes would wash themselves or that the dust wouldn’t accumulate.

Or that all of your bosses would be as smart and talented as your first one.

Or that your husband would put all of his clothes away as soon as the wash was done instead of using the floor filing system.

Or that parenting would be easy, straightforward and fun all of the time.

Or that your children would beg you to sing to them instead of putting their two-year-old fingers in their ears and saying, “Stop, Mommy. Stop.”

Or that you would be the family who dodged all the bullets, avoided all the pitfalls, jumped all the cracks, navigated all of the dangers.

Or that you, and perhaps only you, would be offered a lifetime hall pass that would protect you and the people you love most from the sadness, loss and pain that comes to everyone eventually.

Or that when the worst imaginable thing happened, it would your child who would survive, even though the odds were stacked against him and other people’s children with far better odds had already died.

Or that you would spend hours and days and weeks waiting and waiting and waiting for appointments, second opinions, test results and diagnoses. For counts to rise and infections to clear and side effects to ease and infusions to finish.

Or that you would find a way to go on, despite all the stress and fear and worry and sleepless nights.

Or that when some of your family and friends walked away, other people would lean in hard, some of whom you didn’t know well or even at all and that those amazing humans would carry you and your family on the hardest, darkest days.

Or that you and your son’s favorite nurse would bond over your mutual love of NPR’s Fresh Air. Or that his nurse practitioner would love the San Francisco Giants and become a dear friend who was willing to walk into the darkness and stay there with you, holding your hand and witnessing your pain.

Or that your son’s and your daughter’s courage, strength and fire would be lit by the cancer, forged by the adversity and burnished by their love for each other.

Or that the people who love you best would find ways to comfort and sustain you on days when you had no idea what you wanted, much less needed.

Or that what would keep you upright and help you heal would be the other grieving souls you meet who share their shattered hearts and inspire you with their raw courage, grace and refusal to give up or give in. That they would remind you how much Jimmy wanted you to keep living and to look up and see the stars.

 

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