1. Grieving is very personal and takes as long as needed. My wife grieved for years over her brother’s death from leukemia. He was a talented musician, so every time the radio played a song he would play, she would weep. It took years for the tears to stop.

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  2. The only thing I’ve ever known to be true about grief is that it’s different for everyone, and it behaves very, very oddly indeed. You can have no expectations of it.

    This is stunningly written though. Enjoyable to read and ponder, even though it’s so sad.

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  3. “… the tidal waves come crashing in without notice.” How true.
    I think I am in a state of numbness after the first avalanche of grief, and then suddenly the waves crash. So you recede further from any thought or memory that may bring the tidal wave on again … and then feel sad that you are distancing yourself from memories and remembering.

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  4. Thank you, John. I needed to read this, and thank you for sharing this life-changing stage with us all. My mother is dying of metastatic breast cancer and is bedridden. We have Hospice and elder care, and my 91-year old dad is her main caretaker. I am there each day and help as I can.

    I realize that this stage is “pre-grief” for me. While I enjoy the time I have with Mom now, I am preparing for her death the best way I can, which is listening to her, engaging with her, making her laugh, and just being with her.

    I feel that my very core will be uprooted forever when she passes on–right now I am focusing on the NOW. I too believe that grief stops only when our own hearts stop.

    Please know you are in my heart and thoughts.

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  5. I think about your closing words often.

    Often, as in seemingly every hour of consciousness, and in far too many hours of troubled dreams.

    If I have learned nothing else, I know now that breathing is a mechanical function, nothing more, nothing less.

    Were it not, it would stop the very instant your heart shatters.


  6. Learning, that there’s nothing we could’ve done, to change the outcomes of the tragedies that we’d been struck by, then, grieve over what we’d, lost, cry as many times as we may need, and only until then, will we start to, heal back up slowly, and this, is a long and hard process, and everybody is different in the time it takes, to finally get over what we’d lost in our separate lives, and all we can do, is to be by the person’s side, to offer them the support that they are in need of, being a good friends, and not to tell them to SNAP out of it, sometimes, being there with someone else who’d been hurt, that, is all that the person is in need of…

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