Have You Lost A Loved One?

Who broke your heart when they left this Earth? 

Was it a parent, a grandparent? A sister, a friend? Was it a a child who began to grow inside of you, a child you held on this earth, a child you loved and lost? 

Was it more than one person – was it many who left all at once? 

Does your heart still hurt when you think of them? Do tears catch you unawares, months, weeks, even years later? 

Have you moved on with your life, yet still, you feel the empty space within that they left, nagging at you – always there – no matter where you go? 

This is a space for you to honor those you have loved and lost. This is your garden, to give acknowledgement to the blooms that rose in your heart, then returned to the Earth.

Please, share your story, in as many words as you like, and use this space to acknowledge and honor all the things you loved about the ones you lost, all the hopes you had for the future that have vanished with their parting, all the sorrow you still feel within as you wake each day to live life without them.

Whether this is a recent loss, or a loss that still aches inside you from years ago, share it. Feel free to post links to photos, or stories you’ve shared on your blog/website about the special people who’ve gone before you. This is your space – do what you want with it.

I will be here, reading each one, and doing my best to respond as quickly as possible to each one. 

You all know my story – all the umpteen losses I’ve experienced in my life already – but the beginning of a new story starts here.

The work I’ve done to heal the pain of these losses has helped me to identify what I loved about each of the people I lost, and in their honor, I’ve vowed to give to the world what each of them gave me. For Mike, I give selfless service. For the baby I lost, I give faith. For my nephew, I give a sense of awe and wonder to my own children. For my Grandma Noni, I give joy.

For my Grandma Annette, I give you this space. Bless her soul, that remarkable woman called me after each loss I experienced, large or small. She called when a death occurred, she called when I sprained my ankle, she called when we had to move again and again, she called when my daughter was seriously ill, and when she knew the thought of one more funeral was breaking my heart. She listened and acknowledged every single loss I had.

So, I want to do the same for you. I am here for you…to listen, acknowledge, and honor what you’ve lost. To acknowledge the people you’ve lost, and also to acknowledge and honor the pain you feel around their loss.

And, if you’re willing, perhaps we can begin a conversation that will help you find a way to live your life giving to others what was given to you by them.

________________________________

Post freely in the comments below. If it helps, here is a format you can copy and paste to share your story, or just write your heart out, however it flows. Feel free to use first names only, etc., for privacy.

My name is:

I am posting today in loving memory of: 

Who passed away (date, or year, if you wish): 

When I think of this person, I feel:

What I miss most about this person is: 

The gifts this person gave me in life were (ie: They always listened to me, they were a good friend, they provided for me, etc): 

Anything else you want to share?:

8 thoughts on “Have You Lost A Loved One?

  1. In loving memory of my father who passed away 03-21-09. I miss him dearly and thinking of him sheds so many tears that eventually stop when I realize no amount of tears are going to bring him back. If they could, I could shed tears for years to get him back. Instead I cry silently, so others will not be drawn back into the sadest time in my life. I repeat the same 4 words I say everytime something wonderful or sad happens in my life, “I want you back”. I would give anything to have my father back in my life. My father had such a hard life, orphaned at the age of 8, because his father did not want a son. Eventually his grandmother got him out of the orphanish at the age of 14 and a few years later my father joined the army. He met my mother at the age of 18 and married her in 1963. From that moment on my father had a loving wife and soon a family. He did not deserve to have his life taken from him so young at the age of 66, but God promised to never give him more than he could handle. The cancer was more than he could endure. Rest in Peace Dad your with our father now.

    • Lori, thank you for sharing your story and your heart. You’ve put on a brave face but the loss of your father was really devastating, I can see, and aches inside you daily. I can hear the pain in your voice and the longing you feel to just have him back. He was obviously a very special man who made a profound impact on your life, and even now that he’s gone, he continues to impact you.

      I know the feeling of “crying silently” so you won’t draw others into your sadness – it is such a lonely place, though, feeling like the world doesn’t want to see your deepest hurts. This kind of a loss becomes so much a part of who you are, that when you feel you have to hide it, you feel you are hiding a part of yourself from others. I hope you have a few cherished people you can cry openly with, and please know I am one of them, if you ever need. I’ve had to turn within for a lot of my healing, because I’ve found no matter the circumstances, no one can truly know the depths of my pain within. I’ve spent a lot of hours in meditation/prayer just giving myself empathy for what I feel and allowing myself to feel it all in my own sacred space. Writing in a journal has also helped a lot.

      It sounds like your Dad waited a long time to live the life of his dreams, after so much struggle in his childhood, and passing away at 66 felt far too soon for him to go – you wished he could’ve had more time to live that beautiful life he created with his family, with you.

      If you could name ONE thing that your Dad gave you more than any other – security, protection, friendship – what would it be? Did he encourage your creativity and self-expression, did he nurture your dreams? I wonder, if you could name just one thing that he gave you while he was here that you miss most, what would it be?

      • I miss his voice, his practical joking nature, I miss being greeted with Portillo Hotdogs in Baggage Claim Area of Chicago Midway Airport. I miss his support and I miss him not being here for me to make him proud everyday. When I go home to Chicago to visit, I miss being concerned if when I walk out the front door a bucket of water will be dumped on my head, if my clothes in my closet will be sewed together, if when I go into my purse to pay the cashier I will find chicken bones or when I grab my purse a brick will be in it. . . I miss hearing from the locals in our town, “your Bob Jones’s daughter”, now I hear “sorry about your father he was a great man”. Yes he was a great man. The one thing I am so thankful for is that I always made him know how proud I was to be his daughter and I cherished every moment I could spend with him and I became the practical joking daughter I know he wanted. Two of my dad’s closest friends were by his side those last couple days and they spoke of endless practical joking stories Bob (Dad) had played on them and them on my dad, both at work and outside of work. They told me that they always thought the reason why my Dad had kids was that because Wanda (my mom) was too serious. He needed to have kids to play practical jokes on. They said he would come into work and say, “Guess what I did to the girls now. . . ” and he would tell them his story and say, “wish I could be there to see their faces”. Well, wish I could see your face now dad, but I do see it in the mirror everyday. Alot of his friends say I look like him in so many ways. So, to answer your question the one thing he gave me that I miss the most, I miss his love and support. I would give anything to have him here. I would have so much to tell him. I know I have my mother, but its not the same. My mother judges and criticizes my decisions and at times I can tell her something that happen that is a wonderful thing in my life, but she will respond by changing the subject . . . ‘like its no big deal”. I don’t know. .. its sad, but that’s where husbands come to the rescue :o)

  2. Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell . . . . . .
    My father was born in New York. He joined the Navy in World War Two as an electricians mate. He got a degree in electrical engineering and after the war moved to Arizona. He married my mother shortly after that. Dad’s first job after the war was surveying for power lines for Arizona Public Service. He surveyed for the first power into Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon, and the first power in to Crown King as well as power coming off the rim into Sedona, and power lines across Mingus Mountain running from Prescott to Jerome. He saw every corner of this state, before much development happened. He was on the first planing and zoning commission for Scottsdale Arizona. During this time in Scottsdale my mom and him were blessed with three children. My father latter got a job with General Electric where he got in on the ground floor of the computer industry and after a while was involved with projects including computer systems for the French government, Saudi Arabian government, as well as the IRS. Latter on we moved to New York and then to California where he worked for Xerox. This was how a kid who was born in Arizona went to high school in California. Finally he cut ties with big cooperate work and bought a Delicatessen on the beach in Ventura California, and followed his passion for cooking and fine food and developed his business into two stores and a large catering business. Finally Dad sold the business and his house and bought a motor home and my mom and him traveled for several years. It was during this time he got involved in the tour guide business, working for Caravans De Mexico out of El Paso Texas, giving RV tours down to Mexico. He soon was also working for other tour companies doing western states National Park tours. during this time my mom was perfecting her skills doing fine art oil paintings. Eventually they decided to stop traveling and let my mother pursue her dream of being and artist. They picked Cottonwood Arizona as the place to settle. My mom and dad started an art supply store and studio and my mom sold paintings, did framing and matting, and taught painting, while my father ran the art supply store. During this time my father got a job with an over seas tour company and got paid to give tours to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji, he also gave 36 day tours to South America. About 16 years ago my father’s earlier smoking habit caught up with him and he was diagnosed with emphysema. It was around this time I moved here to Cottonwood with my wife to help out my parents. From there on he had a slow decline until finally he was completely house bound and wheel chair bound about seven years ago. 20 months ago he was no longer even able to get out of bed, where he has been since. My mom has been lovenly caring for him this whole time. Finally at around 10:00 on May 21st 2011 dad passed away in his sleep at home. He was a great husband to my mom, and was a great father to me and my sisters giving us a jump start in life so we had great opportunities. He taught me a lot about many things, including cooking, working with my hands, but most of all how to love living. He love good food, drink, and music, but most of all he loved my mother.

    Fare you well my honey
    Fare you well my only true one
    All the birds that were singing
    Have flown except you alone

    Goin to leave this Broke-down Palace
    On my hands and my knees I will roll roll roll
    Make myself a bed by the waterside
    In my time – in my time – I will roll roll roll

    In a bed, in a bed
    by the waterside I will lay my head
    Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    to rock my soul

    River gonna take me
    Sing me sweet and sleepy
    Sing me sweet and sleepy
    all the way back back home
    It’s a far gone lullaby
    sung many years ago
    Mama, Mama, many worlds I’ve come
    since I first left home

    Goin home, goin home
    by the waterside I will rest my bones
    Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    to rock my soul

    Goin to plant a weeping willow
    On the banks green edge it will grow grow grow
    Sing a lullaby beside the water
    Lovers come and go – the river roll roll roll

    Fare you well, fare you well
    I love you more than words can tell
    Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    to rock my soul

    I still miss him.
    http://azjonesspirit.blogspot.com/search/label/Memorial%20To%20DAD

    • What a beautiful tribute to your father. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. He sounded like an amazing man – so neat to hear his history. I love the poem at the end – thank you so much for sharing that.

  3. My name is Mina.
    Yesterday (Dec. 13, 2014) a friend died and her battle with breast cancer ended.
    Her name was Victoria. She leaves behind 4 kids and a husband. Her oldest child is a freshman in college and the youngest still rides a school bus…so it’s not like they grown and on their own.
    That’s how we met our kids were in kindergarten together and are still friends.
    We weren’t close friends, the kind that talk everyday – we friends with busy kids and busy lives.
    Our kids went on a French exchange trip in 7th grade for 6 weeks and we shared a special bond knowing we couldn’t drive there and pick them up if they called…7th grade is a challenge on the local level.
    I just saw her last month, told her how cute her hair looked – she said it was a wig, she was sick. I did not know, and now less than one year of diagnosis, she is gone and I know she is no longer in pain & there is a new angel in Heaven – yet my heart aches for her family.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Mina, and for sharing Victoria. I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of your friend. How devastating a loss for you, and her family. I can hear and see how your heart is aching for her family, to see four beautiful children now have to go through life without a Mother, to see her husband lose his partner and best friend. You are also aching for the loss of your friend and the bond you shared in parenting and Motherhood. Victoria sounded like a beautiful woman, friend, and Mother. You were blessed to have her, and she was blessed to have you. If I could offer one ounce of wisdom, it would be this: take time to grieve your loss now. Be kind to yourself, nurture yourself, douse yourself with compassion & empathy. Give yourself quiet time alone to reflect, journal & express what her loss means to you, and also what her life meant to you. What is Victoria’s legacy, and how can you carry it on? I’m guessing she met a need for connection for you. Could you carry on this legacy by creating connection with others, perhaps even her family, her kids? I bet you can come up with some ideas to continue to see in your life, what Victoria brought to it. But, first, I do hope you will find time to express your pain fully, honor your feelings & acknowledge this loss. I pray for comfort, peace, and strength for you in this difficult time, dear one, and thank you again for sharing this beautiful woman with us all. ❤

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