Sorrow ~ A Gift?
Focusing on What Matters Most
Sorrow, a gift? This counter-intuitive perspective is nicely elucidated by the psychotherapist and former Catholic monk Thomas Moore:
"Sorrow removes your attention from the active life and focuses it on the things that matter most. When you are going through a period of extreme loss or pain, you reflect on the people who mean the most to you instead of on personal success; and the deep design of your life, instead of distracting gadgets and entertainments. You may be more open to the beauty of your world as a relief from distress. Beauty is always present, but ordinarily you may not notice it because of your priorities or your absorption in other things."
In contrast, it is very rare, though not unheard of, that severely depressed individuals consider their depression per se a "gift." Some, however, have found spiritual meaning or sources of creativity in their depression. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychologist who suffers from bipolar disorder, has observed that,
"Artistic expression can be the beneficiary of either visionary and ecstatic or, painful, frightening, and melancholic experiences. Even more important, however, it can derive great strength from the struggle to come to terms with such emotional extremes and from the attempt to derive from them some redemptive value."
~Kay Redfield Jamison, M.D.
Facing ones own fears are hard
If I face the fears of my loss I might
Lose control, I am afraid to lose control
Afraid I will have to feel pain
Rather than feeling nothing at all
It is easier to feel nothing, but the war
Rages on inside me trying to force my fears
The guilt that consumes my soul
Of that fateful day I wonder if it
Will ever go away..
Giving me the chance to go on.
To go on with my life in a positive and happy way
To smile from with in my heart and soul
And not just from my lips
I often hear the words echo in my head
Mom it was not your fault
But I am your mother I say I was to keep
You SAFE, to PROTECT you.
I could NOT do this, I could NOT SAVE YOUR LIFE
I kissed your wounds when you fell down
You got better, I held you when you were
Sad, you became happy.
I nursed you when you were sick, again you
But I could not protect you that day.
I could not heal your wounds then.
I could not, no matter how hard I wanted to
Save your life that day, you died!
So the war of guilt, sorrow and pain
Rage with in my heart and soul
As your mother I tried to protect you
Keep you always safe, I always succeeded
Until that day.
So this war inside of me rages on and I wonder
Will it ever stop or ever go away??
~by Grieving Mother, Valene Valich Lafuenti,
shared with you by Valene's gracious consent
I Will No Longer
Please share this, one more parent giving up is NOT OK! put it on your wall!
Things I will no longer do:
I will no longer hide my pain, even when you want me too.
I will no longer smile & pretend nothing is bothering me just to make you more comfortable.
I will no longer pretend like my son never existed, because you don't think I should be "back to normal."
I will no longer be who I was before so please don't expect it, this is my new normal.
I will no longer hide the tears because you don't understand.
I will no longer dishonor my son/daughter by never saying their name.
I will no longer apologize for my tears.
I will never "get over this."
Things I will do:
I will get through this with love & care from those around me.
I will always have a part of me missing.
I will get stronger & I will honor my child by keeping him alive in my heart.
I will forgive you when you say stupid, & hurtful things I will realize that it is your ignorance of the pain.
I will be here if God forbid this pain ever visits you & I will never ask that you hide your pain, your loss, your grief.
I will honor my child's memory by living through this, in spite of people who think I am being melodramatic, self seeking, depressing to be around.
I have known Moms who could not handle the pain of loss & took their own lives, I ask that you realize that this pain needs to be acknowledged by me & those who love me & I refuse to allow you to take away what helps me deal with this & helps me to wake up every day for the rest of my life without my child.
Because by not sharing my pain & not acknowledging the hole in my life means it didn't matter & that hole matters to me & it should matter to you.
I understand you have no idea what I feel and will not hate you but I also will not accept that your feelings are more important than my going on.
If you don't like that I cry, that I am different than before & you cower or roll your eyes when I need to say my child's name then I will also understand that you are no longer a big part of my life,
When your child has a birthday party 5 years from now & I don't show I will expect you to excuse me & acknowledge my right to hurt & instead of being selfish & offended I expect you to love me any way & if you can't then please move on because this is who I am now my son will always be in my heart & on my mind.
I understand that you think "that is all I think about" but before he was gone I was like you, thinking he will always be here, I had more important things to do. Sure there were times I didn't hug him before he left the house, or times on the phone I missed saying I love you just like you do now, but I have also realized when I lost my child all of those opportunities are gone, so while you go ahead with your life with your children remember you could never just forget they existed so I will not either.
My life, my child, means more to me than your selfish feelings so I will not pretend that you care about me while you avoid my sons memory or my pain they are always in my heart.
Please all you Moms/Dads share this on your wall change whatever needs to be changed to make it yours, I refuse to believe other Moms & Dads will die because they have no support!
~By: Lynn Burnett Colicci
(provided by Jill Compton, grieving mother)
God must have known there would be times
We'd need a word of cheer,
Someone to praise a triumph
Or brush away a tear.
He must have known we'd need to share
The joy of "little things"
In order to appreciate
The happiness life brings.
I think He knew our troubled hearts
Would sometimes throb with pain,
At trials and misfortunes,
Or goals we can't attain.
He knew we'd need the comfort
Of an understanding heart
To give us strength and courage
To make a fresh, new start.
He knew we'd need companionship,
Unselfish... lasting... true,
And so God answered the heart's great need
With cherished friends... like you!
Contributed by Kathy Coy-Hawley