Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

We Are the One Who Died, and The One Who Grieves

We are a community of shared grief.

We are the wife who died, who could not handle another health problem,
            but we didn’t want him to suffer.
We are the husband who lost his wife in her forties to a heart attack.
            We live on because we can’t let go,
and we won’t give in to grief.
We are the stillborn who never saw our mother’s face,
            but we knew her laughter, love, and the rhythm of her heart.
We are the young woman who gave birth to a stillborn girl
            with perfect fingers, toes, and a beautiful face.
            We mourn her and our dream of being a mother.

We are the brother who could not calm the fires burning our mind,
            and did not want to bother our family anymore.
We are the sister who lost a brother to suicide,
            and grieve someone we expected to grow old with,
            someone who always had our back.

We are the woman who had our life ripped away
            by breast cancer in a winter hospital in Illinois.
We are the woman whose best friend died.
            We went to the bars and on vacations together.
We planned on raising our children together.

We are the father killed in a car accident one rainy night,
            and will never see our listless son find his life’s passion.
We are the teenage son of a man who died.
            We have no one to teach us how to be vulnerable
in a caring relationship.

We are the woman who found home in an unexpected place,
            the joy of a loving man, before the brain tumor.
We are the man who lost our wife soon after marriage.
            It was to be a new start. Instead of love,
            we now live in a house walled with grief.

These are losses that take away
who we would have become
if our loved ones had lived.

They also take away who we were.
There’s no going back to then.

We become the one who died

and the one fighting to survive.


My essay on the paradigm shift that happens when someone we love dies. Published by The Edge: Holistic Living.


  1. Beautiful, Mark. I'm sick with a sore throat the first time, since Martin died. Makes it all the more obvious, that no one has my back. No one is going to go to the store, make dinner because I want to sleep, or hang out with our beautiful teen boys, when I don't feel up to it.

    Keep writing-

    I guess my continued tears are good. Sometimes I wonder if they will ever stop falling.

    Thank you


    1. Tears are expression. They are cleansing. They will slow. I have faith in this. And I'll keep writing if you keep reading.