Quotes and Snippets

“Change is an unavoidable part of life.  So is suffering, which often results from our inability to accept change.”
from Stories from the Edge: A Theology of Grief by Greg Garrett.

“Grief … and our love are forever connected.  To avoid the pain of loss would be to avoid the love and the life we shared.  C.S. Lewis said, ‘The pain now is part of the happiness then.  That’s the deal.’ … In grieving we struggle to comprehend the loss of a loved one.  Grief is a necessary step in going from death to life.”
from On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

pastel-heart.jpg“Life is shaped of loss, from the moment we leave the warm darkness of the womb and enter this bright loud world. Everything changes, even if we want it to stand still, even if we believe it is standing still.  We lose our illusions, we lose possessions, we lose those who matter to us, we lose our physical capabilities, and eventually, we lose our lives.  …  It is how we deal with those losses that ultimately matters, and that is why without a resilient story that incorporates continuing change, we ourselves are lost.”
from Stories from the Edge: A Theology of Grief by Greg Garrett.

“This is the trajectory of grief, moving from someone’s death back into living your life again.  This is the arc that every griever travels.”
from About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos by Ron Marasco and Brian Shuff.

pastel-heart.jpg“… Love conquers death.  No celestial jury will bring Amy back to me.  I will not see her either, no matter how others may want me to.  She will not talk to me. But in the time since she died, I have been aware, every minute, of my love for her.  She lives in my love.  This morning when I climbed into my kayak and headed out, I knew that I would be going nowhere, as I have been going nowhere for the past two and a half years.  But my love for my daughter makes somewhere out of nowhere.  In this boat, on this creek, I am moving forward, even as I am moving in circles.  Amy returns in my love, alive and beautiful.  I have her still.”
from Kayak Morning, Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats by Roger Rosenblatt.

“Whether you avoid talking about it or loudly shout it, or choose a style of expression that is in-between, your grief exists.  Your grieving style makes no difference when it comes to your recovery.  You will recover.”
from Solace: Finding Your Way Through Grief and Learning to Live Again by Roberta Temes, Ph.D.

pastel-heart.jpg“My mother died at age 52, her new life to start somewhere else, in some other realm. … I was so angry at her for leaving me here…alone.  But angrier at myself, because with a childish mind, I thought she would last forever.  It did not seem possible that she could die and this world would dare continue.  I thought that if she died, I would die also.”
from “Tender Mercy” by Adrienne Zurub; Final Moments, Nurses’ Stories about Death and Dying; Deborah Witt Sherman, PhD, APRN, Editor.

“There is no normal way to grieve—we are all different people and our relationships are all different.”
from Sometimes Life Sucks: When Someone You Love Dies by Molly Carlile.

“Hope, I now believe, is not a thing heedlessly given to be crushed by the vicissitudes of experience; rather it is the unanticipated reward of struggle endured, a gift of grace.  I have in my life found this to be so.  I believe as well that innocence itself is won through patience and endurance, nor is it the infantile luxury so often remarked.  One must gaze long and with fortitude to begin to see clear.  I cannot with my own experience imagine that the world is kind in all things, but I am certain in my soul that rich and mysterious gifts are concealed in the dark folds of pain.”
from A Stopover in Venice by Kathryn Walker

pastel-heart.jpg“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.  … We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes.”
from The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

“We will survive and evolve and grow, even in the face of utter tragedy and suffering.”
from The Gift of Grief: Finding Peace, Transformation, and Renewed Life After Great Sorrow by Matthew D. Gewirtz.

“The journey though grief is life-changing.”
from The Wilderness of Grief: Finding Your Way by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

pastel-heart.jpg“What do we do with our personal pain, which we all have, in regard to our mission in life?  Do we get well and then get on with our calling?  Or do we respond to our calling and get well along the way?…We are all wounded.  If we wait until we are well to be fit for our mission, life will be over.”
from Letter to a Grieving Heart by Billy Sprague

“The grief within me has its own heartbeat.  It has its own life, its own song.  Part of me wants to resist the rhythms of my grief.  Yet, as I surrender to the song, I learn to listen deep within myself.”
from The Wilderness of Grief: Finding Your Way by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

pastel-heart.jpg“A middle-aged daughter … at her mother’s funeral … ‘My father died of a heart attack, just short of his forty-first birthday.  My mother was thirty-seven …  deeply grieved and appeared completely overcome.  … After about three weeks, my mother emerged from seclusion.  She calmly announced that we had to get on with our lives ….  And we all got on with our lives.  Her life teaches us that it does not matter how overwhelmed we may feel.  It is okay to feel scared.  What matters is what we do about the problem.’”
from Solace: Finding Your Way Through Grief and Learning to Live Again by Roberta Temes, Ph.D.

“I have learned that we cannot go around the pain that is the wilderness of our grief.  Instead, we must journey all through it, sometimes shuffling along the less strenuous side paths, sometimes plowing directly into the dark center. … In your willingness to embrace the pain, you honor it.”
from The Wilderness of Grief: Finding Your Way by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

pastel-heart.jpg“Grief is real because loss is real.  Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost.  The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost.  We think we want to avoid the grief, but really it is the pain of the loss we want to avoid.  Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.”
from On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

“Grief, as I read somewhere once, is a lazy Susan. One day it is heavy and underwater, and the next day it spins and stops at loud and rageful, and the next day at wounded keening, and the next day numbness, silence.”
from Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne_Lamott.

“My mother had wept for days after her mother’s death, and when I’d asked her why she’d said, ‘Now there’s no chance of anything changing.  Do you understand?  I’m not sorry to lose her, as she was.  I’m grieving for what can never be.  I’m grieving for me.’”
from The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg.