I started writing about grief in March 2006, two months after my mother died. Looking back twelve
years later, I'm not sure how I did it, but I am glad that I began writing so soon after her death. I could not have captured
the raw pain of new grief if I had waited.
I blocked out some things that
happened during my mother's final illness because they were too painful to remember. As time passed, certain events came back
to me as I was able to accept them. It was my task in grief to put them in some kind of perspective,
so that I could let go of the images of suffering for the sake of my healing.
One such event was the night after
my mother’s surgery when she called out for her own mother. It was December 22—the 48th anniversary of her mother’s
death. The Cardiac Care nurse reported this to me the next morning and I asked her how she responded to my mother. “Well,
of course your mother was confused. I told her that she was 85 years old and her mother had been dead for decades.”
Then she added, “When she stopped asking for her mother I knew she was less confused.”
I told Mom’s
concrete-thinking nurse that there were at least two other explanations: 1) She was in pain and she was symbolically calling
out for comfort. Of course she would want her own mother; and 2) Maybe, just maybe, she was asking her dead mother to come,
be near and wait for her. The nurse rolled her eyes and looked at me without comprehension.
From On Grief and Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, page 107:
Why is the concept of visitation
so hard to believe? Imagine that you’re a parent who had loved and cared for your child. You kept her fed, healthy and
safe while she was growing up...You shared her excitement and fears of high school, college, marriage and becoming a parent
Now go forward [fifty or so] years into the future. You’ve been dead for decades, and your
daughter, the same one you helped through all her scary moments in life, is now dying herself. Wouldn’t you meet her
if you could? As the veil between life and death is lifting, wouldn’t you want to reassure her she’s going to
be okay and you’re still there for her? When you think of it this way, maybe the idea (of visitation) isn’t quite
Many people believe that when they die, everyone they have ever loved and known will be there
to greet them in death. That is why they believe no one actually dies alone.
These words comfort me. I hope they comfort you, too.
I will never know if my grandmother visited her daughter that night, but I like
believing in the possiblility.
can’t I find a page or link that used to be here?
Over the last eleven years, The Grieving
meandered into many topics and lost its purpose. I have deleted 40 pages to bring it back to the original focus of grief
and helping grievers.
Web addresses come and go and I cannot guarantee the accuracy, safety or longevity of third-party (external) sites.
Adding links by request, or finding and fixing broken links are massive time consumers, so I have deleted many outside sources
and will limit additions in the future. The external links that remain are checked on a regular basis and related to
grief, helping grievers and pet loss.
will continue to honor and remember veterans and fallen soldiers because it is the least I can do for those who have
given so much.
I hope that my renewed attention
to grief information will make The Grieving Heart® a better experience and comfort for you. Thank you for visiting. CJ
Christine at The Grieving
Heart dot info
About E-mail: One way to decrease SPAM caused by Internet
bots is to deactivate the live address link. You can still contact me by typing this address into your
own e-mail program using @, a period, and no spaces, the standard e-mail format. Thank you.
Note to Visitors:
I read and
respond to grief email at the end of each month when I update this site. If you need a more timely response, please visit
a well moderated grief healing discussion group. It is free to use and requires registration to participate. I am not part of this group, but certified
grief counselors are there to help, support and comfort grievers and those who love them. Because the
counselors lost funding for the site, they are grateful for voluntary donations.
Why no links to Facebook and other social media? Click here for the answer.
How complicated and individual mending is,
the time required for healing
cannot be measured against any fixed calendar.
Mary Jane Moffat
© Copyright 2008 - 2019 Christine Jette.
All rights reserved.