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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

(I wrote this a few days ago, on my birthday.)

Loss is timeless. Ken's brother got an email the other day from someone who just found out that Ken died. He wrote to express his sympathy, six and a half years later. Good for him. Loss is timeless. You can be moving along rather nicely, whistling, enjoying the view, and then it can root you like quicksand. It holds you. You may want to escape its grip, but it's strong. When it gets you, it can be hard to move forward.

My nephew got married this month -- another timeless moment. This is the very type of occasion that sends you reeling back in time, just as it moves you even more quickly into the future. All those turning points your loved one misses: the weddings, graduations, birthdays, college tours, vacations, road trips. How ironic then that your dead husband or brother or son or father or uncle is more present at these events than usual. The dead do show up at weddings. You can't stop thinking about them, imagining how they would react, how they would enjoy, how different things would be if time hadn't moved on without them, if they hadn't stepped out of time. They show up anyway.

I have to admit that I still, at times, find it hard to accept my current reality wholeheartedly. I still shake my head. Is this just the way I am? Do I find it particularly hard to move along? Or is this what loss does?

Loss is timeless. It can still be hard to embrace the bounty of life with full on unadulterated joy. It is marred by absence. A wedding full of happiness and a sense of life being as it should be is a powerful reminder of life's darker side when we think about those who couldn't be there. Loss attaches itself to our beating pulse like a wrist watch ticking off the hours and minutes.

Loss is timeless and it reminds us that we are not. Today is my 51st birthday. Ken died at 52. I plan to enjoy all my minutes today. I am so grateful to my kids, my family, my friends, and my Mark. And I am especially grateful to those of you who let me feel my loss and let me talk about it without judgement. I never knew that loss had infinite dimensions, too hard (for me) to comprehend alone.

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Comment by Jill on July 8, 2012 at 6:06am

Thanks for all your thoughts and birthday wishes. I had a lovely, happy, peaceful birthday this year. On the topic of loss,  I find that I teeter between extremes. One the one hand, I want the feelings that come with loss to dissipate (and they do...), and on the other hand I find that the influence of loss goes on and on (which it does.) Peace to all!

Comment by hendrixx2 on July 3, 2012 at 1:57pm

Hi Jill,

I can agree, 'Loss is Timeless'', but so is the love and caring that we were able to share with our loved relate this so well...thank you for sharing...Wishing Peace and Healing for you....

Comment by Joyce on July 2, 2012 at 9:42am

Happy Belated Birthday Jill!  I so agree loss is timeless!

Comment by LJ1 on July 2, 2012 at 6:07am

Happy Birthday Jill!

Your words are so true. It takes just one word, one song, one deja vu, and we are back in the moment when our worlds changed forever. Everyone one of us has a different situation, but feel the same emotions along the way! Yet, we all move on!

Comment by dadoffour (Floyd) on July 2, 2012 at 3:19am


I am struck by people, who express their sorrow to me, now 4 1/2 years after Debs death. I had been of the mindset, that I was moving on and trying to move past that point in my life. With the exception of my heart of hearts. I had figured that if in four years that have passed since then, people haven't expressed their sorrow, then they weren't that close or didn't really matter in our lives. I have expressed my feelings to other widows/widowers. They, like you are more open about it than I am.

I like your "loss is timeless" thought. It truly is. I feel lost in time, sometimes stuck, standing still and others racing forward, without control.

I guess its time to rethink (again) how I react to things related to grief. Thank you so much for your thought provoking post. and Happy Birthday!


Comment by smit09 on July 2, 2012 at 1:23am

First off; happy belated birthday Jill, I do hope you got to enjoy all of its minutes.

It's funny, since my husband passed, I've felt really funny about celebrating birthdays.  Is it even worth while, when eventually we will die anyway?  Of course it is.  That's just the 'darker side of life' gripping at me.

It is very difficult to enjoy life to its FULL capacity when we're without the very person that made life that way-enjoyable.  So blessed that I was able to experience that form of joy.

Life after loss is disheartening.  The ones that we have lost do continue to age and live on--they do show up--though only in our hearts and in our mind.  and THAT'S disheartening to me right now.

Comment by Lisa ( Marielee) on July 1, 2012 at 7:43pm

Thank you Jill for sharing your thoughts- so hard to see time passing and all they miss and all we miss sharing with them. Hope you did enjoy every moment of your 51st birthday - Blessings and love to you as you move into this new year of your life.  Lisa

Comment by Rebirth.Tanya (Tanya) on July 1, 2012 at 7:33pm
Beautifully written...I especially love because I feel the same way-

And I am especially grateful to those of you who let me feel my loss and let me talk about it without judgement. I never knew that loss had infinite dimensions, too hard (for me) to comprehend alone.

Thank you for sharing...

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