A fitting entry
I've mentioned this book before, Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief, by Martha Whitmore Hickman. Today's (1/16) entry:
WHOEVER SURVIVES A TEST, WHATEVER IT MAY BE, MUST TELL THE STORY. THAT IS HIS DUTY. - Elie Wiesel
Surviving the loss of a loved one is its own kind of test. What does it mean, that it's our duty to tell our story?
To tell our story is a way of affirming the life of the one we have lost - the experiences we had together, the favorite family stories. To tell the story is also a way of moving our grief along, and so contributes to our own healing.
But it is also a gift to others - to tell not only the shared story of the life that has passed, but our own story in relation to this event - how we got through it. What were our fears, our panics? What helped us? What saved the day? If there was a moment when we felt light break through, what was that like?
Our friends will come to their crises of loss soon enough. Perhaps we can ease the way for them. See- it's all right to cry. It's all right to rely on other people. It's all right to be confused and not know what to do. And if there are moments of light and hope, of wonderful support and faith - why, we need to tell those stories, too.
In the telling of my story, I share what is most precious to me.
I write this blog (and work on the book) to help me get through the loss of Billy Jo. To try and be the happy and normal person she told me to be after she left us. I also know it has helped others. This makes me feel very good.
It is ok to cry. It is ok to rely on other people. It is ok to be confused - hell, I am daily, it seems.
But as you already know from reading, I am seeing moments of light and hope, and the support I get is wonderful and I can never thank those providing it enough. I am forever indebted to them for picking my wounded ass up off the battlefield and carrying me to safety, even when I would have rather just laid there.
My hope is that in my inability to ever be able to thank those people enough, I can one day be strong enough to be one of those doing the carrying.
Although, I've been told I'm already doing that through this blog, I don't feel that kind of strength yet, at least emotionally. Carrying? No. Not yet. More like sitting next to those wounded on the battlefield, telling them they're not alone, and waiting for reinforcements.