You went to a funeral, and then you went home

_MG_8606You heard some bad news from a friend, relative, social media, church, or maybe in a gossip circle.  However you heard, you immediately felt bad, asked how to help, donated time, food, money or prayers.  Whatever you did, the family was grateful, even if they didn’t say it.  They were blessed by your gifts.

Life goes back to normal.  The family sits on your heart.  You pray, you ask, you follow the updates.  You did what you could.

One day, you heard the really bad news:  Death won and a family lost. Forever.

let me be sadOnce again, you prayed, you helped, gave what you could.  Even if you didn’t know it, the family was thankful for you, your help, your prayers, your love and your support.

You attended the funeral, cried some real tears, laughed some real laughs, enjoyed the memories of the one who is gone.  Finally, you hugged the ones who lost the most.

Once the funeral was over, and the day was done, you went home.  Back to life, back to love, back to those who make your world complete.  You went to a funeral, and then you went home.

We all lose, but someone that day, went to a funeral and didn’t want to go home.

Someone that day, drove home to the couch, the bed, the house that is forever empty. Life is not like it once was and never will be again.  Where there was once laughter, sits an empty chair.  The couch is bigger, the blankets and pillows are extra.  There are empty shoes, clothes, toiletries that might never be used.  Bags sit. Drugs disposed.  So much to do and SO MANY MEMORIES left to be remembered, processed, and grieved.

Time passes and the wounds are not healed.  Sometimes, life feels normal and OK.  Then a birthday, holiday, celebration occurs and the loss is real all over again.  Sometimes life is normal, and for no reason at all, the LOSS comes right back, like it happened again.

There is loneliness, emptiness, and tears.   “Public faces” put on a show, and comfort the ones who interact.   “Home faces” are real, raw, and honest.  There are headaches, stomach aches, and countless mistakes made all because the grief lives in place of the person who completed a family.  Not to mention the questions, the hurt, the anger that sits because it is hard to face.

IMG_0020Days pass, holidays pass, milestones completed the grief lives, despite how the family looks in public.  Remember, it’s a face, a show, an act, it’s not always real; however, it’s not always fake.

When you go to a funeral, and are allowed to go home to life, remember that at least one person goes home to a new life that was NOT asked for, but handed to them.  Give those people more than sympathy or judgement; give them an endless amount of time to grieve in their own way.  For that one act of kindness and grace, they will be forever grateful for you.


Since losing my love, I have been published in two anthologies. Please check out the Buy my Books page.

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  1. says

    Yes, Courtney. This. Thank you for writing this. I felt this way for a long time after my dad died. The grief goes on, even as everyone else’s lives go on. I get it.

    I love your line about the way a grieving person looks relatively normal on the outside: “it’s not always real; however, it’s not always fake.” That’s exactly it. There are moments, days, weeks when everything seems okay. But then it’s not. And you grieve again.

    Take care of yourself. xoxo

    • Karen Stewart says

      As I read your so life as it truly is words all I could think of was who I needed to share these words with so lovingly. Thank you for opening your minds wisdom and letting your thoughts work the pen that scripted these words. I wouldn’t add not one more word or take any away…Thank you <3

      • says

        I’m sorry for the loss of your son . I lost a son also and I’m telling you that he’ll be gone 12 years on 6-6 and still today I have days where I miss him so much that I can hardly stand it . All my friends have done exactly what this letter says ” they’ve gone back to their lives ” where we’ll NEVER have our life back , not like it was . I’ll be praying for you as this is the only thing that seems to help me .

        • Lyle Hippensteel says

          I also lost two of my teenage sons 7 years apart…my wife couldn’t
          handle the loss so she left as well…..I do try to not be a mournful Joe as the saying goes… one wants top be around someone that is always having a pity party but I will tell you this….it is tough to handle and although I try to keep a stiff upper lip in public as you say….in private I’m Hurting and sometimes wonder if I can endure the pain….thank you for your insightful words

  2. Leah says

    So very true. I’ve been the person that didn’t want to go home – twice. Lost my dad and my brother. Your words struck a chord with me so deeply. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. says

    Courtney I am crying my eyes out. I have thought so often about you going back to that home and wished that there was something I could do to make it a little bit easier. I’m always, always here for you and think of your grief and strength every day.

  4. Becky C says

    This is so how I’ve been feeling these past 11 months since my Dad died…..thank you so much for your words! Your post today on FB about perception was so right on!!! Thank you Courtney…..I send much love to you and your kiddos!! Please know you are always in my heart!

  5. Liz Cooper says

    So true, people forget that funerals are only a part of the grieving process…to those who go to a funeral it is “one day” to those who have lost a loved one it is the rest of their life. Life doesn’t ever go back to “normal” when you lose someone….it is and always will be different. Grief is also such a personal thing. No two people grieve the same way or for the same amount of time and there is no “wrong way” to grieve. Yes, there are productive ways and not productive….but we all do it differently. Grief is a journey that no one is ready to go on and no one knows where it will lead you. I hope you are given a lot of grace a lot of time and most of all lots of love. No one has a road map for grief. I hope you find many (and even yourself) to help you along the way to find your own path.

  6. Cathy Driver says

    Well said, Courtney. It’s exactly how I’ve felt for almost 20 years after my son died. Nobody really understands the highs & lows the grieving process takes us, unless they have travelled that dark path. I think of you & the kids often & I’m sorry you guys have to experience this painful loss. Death changes lives in an instant….it t sucks!

  7. says

    Thanks for saying what most people don’t understand and I wish more people could without actually going through it…it’s been along time since we lost my Dad and there are times when it still hurts, but more so for my Mom and people think because it’s be X amount of years she should be “over it” and I know that no matter how many years it is she will never stop missing him. <3 My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  8. Barbara says

    In 4 more days it will be my Birthday, a day I will always remember my son Travis getting up not well, and not being able to walk, Three short months later he died with Lukemia. In 9 days I will never forget the call that came telling me my husband had been killed in a car accident. Many many years ago, many hours of pain, many days wondering if I would survive. I was 24 when Travis died, 37 when Denny died. I do know what you are talking about, my Dad died 9 years ago, and my sister 10 years ago! Much grief. Grief comes in different forms though. Grief is watching as a loved one suffer, and not knowing how to help them. Hoping somehow you might be able to comfort them. Loss of a love, there is so many forms. Someone being innocent and being accused of a crime they have not committed. Suffering the pain of perse-cution at another’s hand. Being misunderstood, and being lashed out at because they don’t. I have known them all, but I have known the grace of God, the grace of a Savior, who loves me and has comforted me through it all. Who because of Him and His Father, who sent Him and my comforter the Holy Spirit I have and will always prevail. His Word is true, and His love is real, and I know it because of my relationship with Him. I know that I know that I know.

    • Chris says

      Wow. Thanks. Every time the flood comes it feels like you are the only person going through something. Thanks for all the sharing. The pain. The grief. I lost my dad April 2012. My little sister. The youngest of six. The following November. Then a brother in law in February. Then- my mom in July.
      Putting one foot in front of the other only be the grace of God.
      But a husband? Or a child? ( almost lost oldest daughter 10 years ago). But thanking God and trying to love better. More.

    • says

      I am so sorry for your loss. You are right in your thinking. In this fallen world, He never leaves us and is our comfort. One beautiful, glorious day, you will be reunited with your family because of the cross. Praise God!

  9. cyndie says

    This is so true and powerful. Beautiful words and exactly describes how all of us who have lost a dear loved one felt when we came home and tried to go on with picking up the shattered pieces. I remember sitting at the funeral of my step dad, whom I was very close to, next to my shattered mother…listening to everyone chatter and laugh and go on with their lives and I was so angry that they got to go home to their normal lives and we had to go home to an empty house. I remember thinking that they didn’t get it…thank you for putting it into words so those who haven’t been there can understand how the rest of us feel.

  10. says

    One year my husbands mother left our lives due to a prolonged illness, three months later, our daughter was married and four months later my adopted mother passed. My emotions were running the full spectrum. Fortunately I was surrounded by many other loved ones. I still keep going back, let the tears fall where they may and slowly, deliberately get beck into life again. I know exactly what you expressed hereCourtney.

  11. Dana says

    This was a great post. Thank you. I love the part about letting us grieve with an endless amount of time and that we will be grateful for that. That is so true. I lost my husband in October 2013 and I am needing time to grieve on my own schedule not someone else’s.

  12. Jim B says

    Very well said. I lost my wife a week before Thanksgiving 2013 and I feel everything you mentioned. It’s going to take time with a lot of help from the Lord to get thru this. It is excruciating and gut-wrenching as you well know. Thanks you again and God bless and comfort you!

  13. Mickey Jones says

    I am still there and trying to get past the loss of John the year 2000 and my Daughter Loni in 1012 and life goes on you try not to show your sorrow.

  14. Patricia wells says

    I lost my 20year old daughter 8 1/2 years ago. I look so normal on the outside but still so broken on the inside. This describes grief so well. Thank you!

  15. Julie says

    I lost my dad the 8th of this month. I think about him every single day and some days it’s happy thoughts and some days I’m filled with grief. I can’t see that ever changing.

  16. Alvie Kernells says

    So true……lost my sister and her 1 year old granddaughter in an automobile accident 2 and a half weeks ago and I can’t imagine my life ever being normal again. The pain is something I can’t even begin to describe but yet I get up go to work and try to put on a happy face. People try to help by saving “It’s going to be ok”. But it is not ok , it ill never be “ok” again, nothing will ever be the same. We will move on but there will always be part of all of us that miss them dearly and a bit of sadness in every occasion we celebrate without them. Thanks for this post because I think it speaks volumes on this subject!

  17. says

    We are mourning the recent death of our mother, and are preparing for her funeral this week. This article is just what my dad is going through. Thank you for putting this into words.

  18. Maribeth Schulz says

    I lost my husband on January 21, 2005. Recently it was nine years since he died. I still have times when I cry because I miss him so very much. It takes time, but memories are so wonderful to have. Bless you and thank you for your wonderful message.

  19. says

    Cancer sucks. ( can I say this hear)
    But just reading this reminds me that forever love is real and obtainable.
    There are times when I think of certain people who have left this world for the next and it does really feel like a dagger to the chest.
    But if I close my eyes really tight I can feel them, especially my granny Vega, the warmth of her skin, the smell of comino on her clothes from cooking dinner, and the sound of her hairbrush whisping through her long, long hair always kept in a bun even in rest excluding the nightly brushing. God bless memories.

    Cancer sucks. It robs us of so many things. I can’t get my head around why we can’t fix it if we are planning sending humans to Mars.

    I keep a book in my desk, its my Forever Book. I will add you to it this day and each night before I sleep I will send a bit of my heart your way to you and your family.


  20. says

    My sister lost her 14 week old baby three years ago. In the years since I’ve had a baby and she’s had two more. But we have not forgotten or gotten over the empty seat and uncelebrated birthday. Nor do we ever stop thinking about what could have been. Thank you for writing this, for sharing so eloquently what it looks like from the other side of the situation.

  21. Meg says

    Thank you Courtney. Beautifully written. My husband is also sick with cancer although he is doing well now, a time will come. I hope my kids and I can be a strong as you.

  22. lrconsiderer says

    I remember reading this when you first wrote it. I remember feeling stunned by its power, and as though I had no place writing a comment here, or intruding with my thoughts, meagre as they were.

    NOW I will intrude, to share my disappointment that BlogHer did not deem this worthy – because there is such power in this piece to make people THINK, hard, about a very true and important factor which most funeral attendees will all too happily gloss over.

    Bravo. And as ever, I’m sorry you have cause to write this kind of thing.

  23. says

    Ohmyheart that picture takes my breath away. Beautiful post. Powerful message. I hate that Blogher didn’t pick this post. Shame on them.

    God bless your precious grieving heart. I will remember this always, for every loss and funeral I attend- I constantly think about those precious souls who are left on this earth without their loved one. You included, dear one. You included.

  24. Marilyn says

    I’ve was this entry a few times now. I can relate. Although I didn’t lose a spouse. I lost my Mother. In 2001. I was 21. Carrying on in my adult life, graduating, getting married and raising my son. I’m still waiting to feel “better”.

    I am sending you the largest hug I can muster. Your children are ap very beautiful and you are so very blessed to be their momma. You make me proud.

    Thinking of you and your children and praying that you all get to enjoy some laughter, peace and oodles of love.

    Marilyn xo

  25. says

    Hi Courtney, just read this piece on FB via huff post – so true every word. Lost my 16-yr old only daughter almost ten yrs ago in a car wreck, and I’m a completely different person today. I would have NEVER expected the total life devastation, the loss of friends and family who couldn’t deal w my pain, the raw cracking open of my very soul, and its rebirth as a less afraid, less mask-wearing woman. I mean, bring it, life. What worse can happen? I am a much more compassionate, less judgmental person today b/c I know (really know) that behind all those happy masks are people in pain just like me. I don’t even know when you lost your Husb, but believe this. It IS a life sentence w no chance of parole, and you WILL adjust. One day, a memory or a found item will give you a warm feeling instead of a flood of tears. You WILL prevail b/c you have to. This is the stuff of life on earth, and I’m so sorry you’ve had to experience it. With very much empathy,

  26. adkamanda says

    “An endless amount of time…” that is so beautiful, because there are no clear lines or limits. Thank you for this reminder.

  27. Laurie says

    You’ve so eloquently put into words how I feel 3 months to the day after my brother’s death. Thank you for this post.

  28. Lisa says

    Thank you for writing this. It’s been two years and sometimes I feel like those people on that show Lost…shipwrecked on an island I can’t leave.

  29. Lynne B says

    Thank you you much for your story. I just lost my husband of 46 years and it’s hard to explain to people how I feel. You really don’t understand what people are going through till you experience it for yourself. Thanks again!

  30. Lynette Oakes says

    Powerful words! This means a lot to an awful lot of people. Thanks for sharing. Your sister in Christ.

  31. Janae Lamme says

    Wow. Just wow Courtney. You are an amazing writer & you help so many of us more than you can possibly imagine. Keep going girl– you’ve got this! Let’s grab dinner this week! ❤️

  32. cat402 says

    Thank you so much for this. I lost my brother just over a year ago now. He was only 26, no rhyme or reason for his passing. At my workplace, I was expected to be back after the funeral and pick up where I left off as if nothing happened. I put on my normal face, too, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t devastated and broken inside. And when I had some personal struggles, some absences, I was punished and talked about behind my back about how lazy I was. I hope my colleagues read this.

  33. Jodi says

    This really hit home. You just never know what the person beside you is going through. A reminder to be kind, always. Thank you for this!

  34. Linda says

    I can’t believe how many have talked about losing their dads. I, too, lost mine on May 14, 2007. I remember so many things I should have done for him while he was living. I know he knows that, but it still hurts me. No one knows what you go through. The thoughts, the times you remember, the many nights you wake up thinking you heard him talking. I was 60 years old then and it still hurts now.Thank you so much for putting this up for everyone to see and to know they are not alone. You have a lot of followers and that will help you. May God Bless You!

  35. Josh V says

    From the perspective of a father who lost a son just a year ago. You said it absolutely perfectly. I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone put it more perfectly. Thank you for letting us know we’re not alone

  36. Lizzy says

    This is how I feel. It’s been 14 years since my sweet almost 5 year old passed away. I look back at all the kind gestures right after his passing. It was very much appreciated. People did my laundry, babysat my kids, helped put photo albums together. But it’s those special people who all these years later who send a kind thought or well wish during his birthday or holidays that really mean the world to me.

  37. Mandi says

    You put one foot in front of the other and let your angels (close friends and true family) walk with you. They don’t stand in front to lead. They don’t walk behind to catch you as you fall. They walk with you as an equal soul guiding you to the next chaper of life.

  38. Matteson Emme Mae Long says

    I have lived this myself, or rather, been the reason for people going home alone. I was in a near fatal car accident in February of 2001. I wasn’t supposed to survive, but amazingly and through God’s grace, I did. I was flown in a helicopter to the trauma center, a flight I shouldn’t have survived after an impact in a car I shouldn’t have survived, and nearly didn’t after being clinically dead for 2 minutes. Why I came back, we still don’t know. At the trauma center, my family was told I wouldn’t make it for the next 4 hours. They waited, more or less for me to die. I didn’t. Then were told I wouldn’t make it to midnight. I lived to midnight. Family members had already started going home, lives changing, hanging in midair, not sure if once they touched the ground again, would I be touching it with them. The doctors waited day to day for a week, along with my family, for me to give up and go with God. The family waited for the shoes on their feet to drop after hovering for so long, not knowing. And then the baited breath explodes from their chests when they are told I would survive, but in an unknown state. It is like slamming their feet down and yanking them back up again. another week and a half before I was able to speak to them. I was coherent. I was able to speak in sentences that were logical. Everyone’s feet were gently lowered back down, and suddenly saw the person they knew.

    But it was past tense: knew. I looked the same, but who I am on the inside is different. brain injuries change people. this threw them for a loop, often an argumentative and tearful tirade of a loop when no one understood. Even I was having to learn who I had become.

    This was 14 years ago (almost now) and for the most part, I am accepted for who I became. When the family heard I would live, that I would be functional, they didn’t know that “I” would be someone else. It has taken a long time for them to get to know the new me. Some hesitancy has shown. Some denial still does. But accepting me has been a far cry better than telling me good bye.

  39. Lisa says

    Courtney, I stumbled across this on FB from a friend. You have really summed up what happens and hit the nail on the head. I lost my husband 3 years ago after a short bout of cancer took him too soon from us. I also have a child with high-functioning autism & so I really feel for you & your situation. It’s tough enough to lose your husband at a young age, but then to have to raise a special needs child alone is just another punch to the gut. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart but my husband was so instrumental in her care, mental health & schooling that I feel lost without him! Keep on blogging & writing, it’s very therapeutic I have found. I wish you the best on this new journey in life, I wish I could offer some sort of comforting words or advice, but all I can say is get up every morning & put your 2 feet on the ground. God Bless.

  40. Stephen Posey in Memory of Melanie Posey says

    I am there right now, some days it’s a haze like it never happened and my wife will be home soon but something will happen and remind me that is not the case. My auto response is good but not really I am lucky that I have family and good friends who ask me tough questions and do not let me slide with the auto answer reply. I know there is a plan to my life but she led me before to Gods plan and now I must rely on myself to seek it from God because he knows the whole plan.

  41. says

    Beautifully expressed words about grief… Such a big place that it’s hard not to feel alone. Many will touch you briefly. At the wake or funeral, but then you need Angels: witnesses and huggers who come and sit or pass a tissue or nudge you along after you wake once again and remember the hole left behind by a loved one’s missed presence. Many…most will not be up to the task (at least this time). But hopefully—perhaps even because of your article—a few more might remember for the next. Thank you for sharing it… Hugs.

  42. Kay says

    My husband has been battling aggressive lung cancer for the last 9 months. Chemo & radiation stopped working & its now in his liver. He is in his final few days/week. At this point I can’t see beyond caring for him 24/7. I can only think about the now and know I have never felt so helpless in my life.

  43. says

    “I lost the me, I was with you.” These were the most helpful words a friend shared with me when I lost my wife 8 years ago.

    It is a trauma that singes the heart and mind that can be triggered by most anything. But such loss is a universal human experience–commensurate with the amount that we love. It has opened me to see, to share, to experience a range of emotions and traumas of life that I was not open to before.

    There can be darkness. But the deeper the darkness the more brilliant a ray of light becomes. I think loss and emotion can become addictive. When everything is so numb–the overwhelming feelings can cause one to at least feel alive again. I caution myself to face the feelings fully–but not to remain in them for extended periods.

    And finally I share a song from a wonderful gospel musician, Andre Crouch who died over the weekend. He opens with, “There is a song that will never be sung……..” Behind every loss there is an unfulfilled promise. An empty void. But within it there can be a grand hope and a receipt that we are all (and more) that is needed. We ARE OK–and one day we can be even more.

  44. Ashley says

    I lost my 9 week old 2.5 years ago, and today I celebrate my other son’s first birthday. There is joy in the sorrow, and sorrow in the joy. I have been blessed enough to find friends who have loved us through it all, and truly understand that some days are harder than others. I never have to cry, or laugh, alone. That is the most healing thing I can think of.

  45. Shay says

    Thank for your post. I have felt this way ever since I lost my 4 year old daughter in March 2014. People often except you to be “normal” again. My life is forever changed and will never be “normal” again!

  46. says

    Thank you for sharing. I lost my son 5 months ago unexpectedly and in a way that could have been prevented. Everyone else is moving on, but my husband, myself and my kids are still just working to get through each day.

  47. Cheryl says

    My fiancé lost his 17 year old son quite suddenly a year ago. He has been experiencing immensely deep pain and sorrow … I can only hold him when he cries and be there to help him get through what used to be his normal activities. I’ve cut and paste your words to Facebook for the many people in his life that just don’t understand. It isn’t that we EXPECT them to understand, it’s that we hope they give him the space and understanding he needs for as long as he needs it. Your words are comforting – thank you for them!!!

  48. Debra says

    My husband and I lost a baby to miscarriage 19 yrs ago.And from that time on both of us lost both of our parents and I lost a brother.And I almost died twice.I’m so thankful for each day God gives me another day to live and to enjoy life to the fullest.But you never get over loss and it does hurt deep down inside..God is with us every step of the way.We will see our love ones again in heaven one day.And I am thankful for that.Praying for each and every one of you .

  49. Julie Stoddard says

    Excellent article. Thank you for reminding everyone two let us grieve in our own way and time. Two sons deceased, age 29 (2007) and age 21(2008). Everyday is hard, some more than others.

  50. Christy Moore says

    So true I can still remember the day my Mom died so vividly more than 10 years ago, I remember her taking her last breath and not exactly sure how anything was going to go on after. Everything went quite and I could hear neighborhood people walking and laughing at a park beside the house. I wanted to scream and tell them I felt like life was over there was nothing to laugh or be happy about please shut up and be respectful. I know that was irrational but exactly how I felt how could they be going on after what just happened so when someone experiences death I have such a hurt for them because I remember that raw pain so well. Thanks

  51. says

    This is so perfectly written. My husband is gone 10 months tomorrow. I have tried many times to get friends and family to understand the loneliness, the foreignness of life now. I went to a funeral, and never got to go home again.

  52. Beth Love says

    Just received this post from a family member. Truer words have never been written regarding grief and loss. I lost my youngest brother killed at work 37 yrs ago, lost my father 32 yrs ago, my mom 8 yrs ago, and lost my next oldest brother to brain cancer this past December. Grief never goes away and days it kicks you in the butt, but you go on. Your life is never the same. Ever. You smile and do your daily routine, but it all sits there, like the elephant in the room. One thing I am always amazed at is how when we speak of our losses, that everyone else is embarrassed by our emotion. Don’t change the subject, let us vent and remember. Listen to us. Hug us. We draw strength from your touch, because we have no listening post at home, a loved one to hug at home. May your lives be blessed that you never feel this lost. Possibly then you will understand. I do not wish these emotions on anyone, just try to understand where we are at in our hearts, homes and heads on a daily basis. Our loved ones are always with us daily, even if not physically, in photos, memories and words spoken that remind us of them. Thank you Courtney, what a beautiful tribute, and something that every funeral director should pass out to visitors.

  53. says

    Only someone who has suffered the loss of a child or beloved spouse can truly relate. Ten years for my son and one year for my husband. The hurt is real and raw and home is never the same.

  54. Scott Wilkins says

    Thanks for much for putting to words the feelings my wife and I are living after the loss of our daughter. We know we don’t stand alone but at times we feel that way.

  55. Lynda says

    Thank you for this, reading it just helped me realign my heart and thoughts….God bless and please continue sharing your insight with others~ It is a blessing for you- and the people who read your words.

  56. Christin says

    We said our last good bye to my dad who passed away the day after Christmas on New Year’s Eve (as in 16 days ago), just after having said good bye to my father-in-law 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. Both of their deaths were sudden & unexpected. My dad was 60, my f-i-l had literally just celebrated his 54th birthday minutes before. This is all so real & so raw for us right now & so very very well said.

  57. says

    my daughter passed and my brother the same day it is so strange and lonesome dec 27 2014 the terrible day im 82 yrs old and he took them instead of me my daughter was 59 and looking forward to live my brother was tired and he was ready to go im sure they are together and looking down at me I want to cry allthe time as my daughter lived together and I miss her so much my heart aches for both you think your the only one but this showed me so many people are hurting the same THANK YOU

  58. Meg Fouts says

    This is the first time reading you – very well put. It has been one year to the day since my father passed. We talked freely and openly about death for a few years due to his health issues. He left this world exactly how he had hoped and we are all at peace knowing he is no longer in pain anymore. We always joked how you go to the funeral, you are devastated, you visit, you cry and then you go home….and life goes on. I would always tell my dad how life has to go on but it stinks that everyone just goes back to their day to day. My dad would always say “circle of life baby, circle of life”. He was right, doesn’t mean that I like it though. Your words came at a perfect time – although I miss my dad daily – I am at a place that when I think of him, I think of his contagious laughter and his wonderful stories. He always made people feel like they were special. Thank you for your wonderful words on this very sad day. My siblings and spouses are going out to celebrate his life this weekend – I can’t wait! He would of gotten a kick out of us doing that.

  59. says

    I lost my 19 year old son 3 years ago in December. The “overwhelming” feeling of his loss in my life cannot be put into words. Your writings say everything I feel. Life does go on but it is different, those who have had this kind of loss just cannot comprehend the sadness.

  60. MissingU.Giselle says

    I lost my Fiance Aug 2012 and God only knows what emotional roller coaster ride it has been. I was very fortunate to be left with a piece of her to raise….our lil princess. I miss and mourn her everyday, some good days and some bad days!!! Thank you for writing this, it touched home and kinda sums up how I been living my life ever since!!!!

  61. Renee G. says

    Many thanks to the author who wrote this…it is exactly how I have felt since losing my parents. I lost them both fairly recently and they died early, painful deaths, one right after the other. And while some of my loved ones who grieved with me gave me the love and freedom to mourn they way I needed to, not all of them did. Certain others were actually kind of mean to me about it. Impatient that I wanted to talk about it. Irritated when I cried about it. Pretty much kicked me down when I needed to be lifted up more than ever. I’m not sure how one heals from such treatment, on top of healing from the loss to begin with…but I won’t give up. Thanks again for this genuinely heartfelt article <3

  62. says

    Once upon a time people wore a black arm band to show that someone near and dear had died. I wonder if that wasn’t helpful for others to know that so they could be mindful of their grief. I wonder when it stopped? I don’t know, myself. I only remember them from my childhood. Thank you for this poignant sharing, Warm wishes, Tasha Halpert

  63. Roger says

    I have no idea how I found your blog but I have poured through it’s pages over and over. You have a beautiful talent for words and you are able to also express such emotion in pictures. This particular piece I can see resonating with anyone who is enduring a loss of a loved one. I lost my love on July 3 2014 after only 4 1/2 months. It started with a stroke on Feb 19the which not only announced the presence of GBM but left her with loss of much speech and her right side functions. For months I spent 24/7 taking care of her until it was just too much and we moved to a hospice home.
    I would love to be only sad and deal with that grief but I also dealing with the trauma of the whole earth turned on the axis blow. I know now you start grieving the day you hear a diagnosis which in my case what Feb 19th (why right after Valentines day? what cosmic irony) So the flashbacks of the event and other major moments and as stumbled to the end just knock me to my knees, I now understand that when you deal with things like this, especially as a caregiver, you kick grief to the side and hammer it down because you have to be the one, the one who manages life around your soulmate in pain and does anything you can think of to bring hope and light into their world. But that grief is like Novocain at the dentist, doesn’t make the pain go away, just defers is for later and I think allows it to grow. So Feb 19th is the day I knew my love was going to die and she would never be the same again, The coming day pounds into me with each heartbeat.
    I read they call this “complicated grief”, ha, even read a paper on it recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (ya I read that now and have for months, I dont know why I still do though)…
    Sorry for the vent, I wanted to just say thank you for sharing such an intimate journey with the world. In some weird way, crying through these pages here has helped a bit.

    Thank you again,
    “Sometimes the wind comes out of nowhere and knocks you sideways” Bruce Cockburn

  64. says

    This is so beautiful. What a loss you have endured, I am so sorry that your husband died. :(

    We think of things in the context of the day and the situation. We let ourselves feel it for that day or situation and then most turn it off and get back to the daily grind – Its not that they forget, but it’s outside the daily reminders. So perfectly written. Sharing on The Tangerine Owl Project’s Blog.

  65. Bernadette Dolney says

    Thank you for this posting. I recently lost my 45 yr old son . He was crossing a highway, two blocks from home, when he was struck by a pickup and killed. Its been 4 months now and the grief just overwhelms me still. Your words describe how much of what I am dealing with. I have read all the other posts as well and in some way I don’t feel so alone right now. I am trying to draw close to God and that helps. I find I am very sensitive to other peoples pain and loss and find myself praying for them as God leads me. May God bless you and comfort you.

  66. momof4istired says

    This is so true, so raw, so painful, so wonderful, so horrible—but most of all so beautifully written. I lost my brother to a heroin overdose three years ago this Thanksgiving—this is the way it feels. I have lost, but I don’t think I lost in the way you have, I couldn’t pretend to know. But thank you for these words and for sharing them. I’m thinking of you. <3

  67. says

    Today, my mind gravitated to this post, You have been on my mind, i am a little teary, but I pray you and your littles are well. Hugs to you my dear Courtney

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