Friday, April 15, 2016

how to grieve {a tutorial}

grief

*Spend lots of time alone.  Alone is the best way to cry, to sob your heart out focused entirely on your loss, to heave, to gasp, to wail, to be as loud and dramatic as you feel, to observe how this loss is etched on your life uniquely in a texture others will never quite understand.

*Spend some time with friends.  With friends is the best way to cry.  To see your grief mirrored in another one's tears is validation, comfort and love.  If you are lucky they will walk with you awhile and help the tears fall.

*Allow yourself silence to welcome the pain.  As your mind wanders, turning over the what ifs and whys, you will find your vigil broken time and again by the world going on.  The dog needs feeding; the lawn mower roars; the trees bloom and shoot out new leaves.  Draw a blanket of silence around you to create space for your grief, but notice how life pushes back... relentlessly.

*Don't do anything until you are ready - opening the condolences cards, throwing out the flowers, packing up that special room.  You will not know you are ready until you are ready.  It is another mystery of completeness, the wherefore is elusive, but suddenly you arrive.

*Respect the power of final things.  Each task you have left to do for your lost loved one is loaded with meaning.  It declares "here is death" once again.  Don't attempt to sort through her clothes between laundry and dusting on cleaning day.  Carve out a time to savor, to notice the sorrow of these last things, to grieve each little death. 

*Don't believe that finality brings peace.  There is no finality.  Grief goes on and on, becoming quieter and better behaved, but truly a lifelong companion.  So hang pictures of your loved one, make a little shrine of her sweet things, speak the name, wish that others would speak it more often.  There is no getting through or beyond, just an altered life to craft from this dust.

*Seek the community of the likewise bereaved.  For us quiet types, read and read their memoirs.  Explore the edges of your pain as it is reflected back to you in their stories - different, but the same.  Find new bits to appreciate about your own sorry lot; find new words and fresh tears for its tragedy too.  Take note of what you learn from each story.  They are markers of your past and of your journey now, onward.

*Draw out the process.  There is no greater healing in speed.  Pick up your needle to stitch through the memories, but put it aside if the project progresses to soon.  Say to yourself you will do this or do that to honor her memory, but let yourself save them for later if you like.  These intentions are little dates with your loved one saved for a time when your heart needs to visit.

*And when you are most desperate, run, run, run across the meadow, out into the forest as the sun sets.  Find yourself stumbling with wet eyes, gasping and out of breath before the tree where you scattered her ashes.  Go there to be as near to her as you can and feel how terribly she is not there.  How she is never closer now than in your mind and heart.  Death is too terrible to be believed.


grief

postscript  Of course this tutorial only applies 100% if you are Rachel Marie Hauser.  I write today to acknowledge my grief and to prevent any misconception, especially to readers who are also grieving, that I have "moved on."  Our culture is uncomfortable with suffering, with grief and with death, and prefers to lock such realities away.  In consequence, when we face these things we find ourselves in uncharted territory without a guide.  It has been my privilege to share my heart here, unedited.  Thank you and may you be blessed.




114 comments:

  1. You've made this place sacred by sharing your joys and grief. Thank you for sharing with us so we can carry the burden with you and also grow our hearts in compassion and love for the world around us.

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    1. And this, is a deeply beautiful response. Thank You, for sharing.

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    2. Yes, Janelle. Ann's response IS amazing. The way I see it, all around, life becomes so much More when we live it in community. Things I've learned from local friends and from some of you are here in this post and in others.

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  2. Thank you, as always, for sharing your authentic self.

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  3. That was beautiful, as it always is when you speak from your heart. Every time you write about Eleni, I find myself wanting to weep.

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    1. I'm somewhat sorry to spread the tears, but then maybe we are all crying for things we need to cry about. Maybe, it's like those tears shed with friends - the best kind.

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    2. Don't be sorry. I cry through your posts too - not because of sadness so much as a mother's heart hearing a mother's heart. For the loss of a little one, and for the beauty of the life she's gone on to. I think they are shared tears. <3

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    3. Don't be sorry, ever! Janelle expressed wonderfully why it is that I cry. And though I haven't lost a little one, the last couple of years have been incredibly difficult with too many huge changes to keep track of. I sometimes feel like I am in a state of shock and my brain is going in fifty directions at the same time and I have a hard time just stopping to focus on and yes, grieve, all that has passed and changed. Your words help bring focus and while I am primarily crying for your loss, I think maybe I'm crying for me, too.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your feelings and photos of your sweet family. I'm sitting at my computer crying and at a loss for words.

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  5. "These intentions are little dates with your loved one saved for a time when your heart needs to visit."
    Brilliant, and so thoughtful of you to be mindful of others who are grieving.

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  6. Wish I could give you giant hug and a medal for your courage and open heartedness. Thank you for sharing these brutal yet beautiful words and feelings with us.

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  7. Thank you, Rachel, for your unflinching honesty, beautifully and courageously expressed.

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  8. I appreciate this, and I appreciate you.

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    1. Thank you, Amber. It is very nice to be so appreciated. On the other hand, it strikes me as so unfair at times like these that I have so much company for grieving and others have little. I hope that like Ann said in the first comment, somehow all of this will translate to a softer world all around.

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  9. Thank you, Rachel. You bless us -- you bless me -- by this sharing. By letting me in to see how grief works for you. So much wisdom here. I take your words to heart. May they help me be a better friend to those who grieve. And may they return to me when I need them.

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  10. I echo each of the comments above and add my own heartfelt 'Thank You'... we must understand that grief is a part of life and we will all deal with it. There is no shame in grief... Bless you Rachel and your amazing family as you continue this journey.

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  11. I cannot recall where I have this quote from, but I find it in tune with what you have just described so honestly: "Sorrow is just love without a home". Thank you for sharing those strong feelings and insights, I will have to return and re-visit your words to really, profoundly understand them!

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  12. Thank you so very much for sharing this. My love and prayers go out to you and your sweet family.

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  13. You help others by articulating this so poignantly and truthfully. We all think of you often. As I said to a friend who lost a loved one recently, and after speaking from experience, you NEVER get over it - you just learn to cope a little easier. But hugs to you and your family.

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  14. As you grieve, I want to thank you. I needed this today. And thank you for giving it to me. You have all loved, and been loved. How you manage grief personally and outwardly is yours to decide, and is not for others to judge. You have chosen to share In the ways that help YOU - your are to be admired and respected for that. I honor you and your family. Much love.

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    1. So true that grief is personal and there should be no judgement. I hope it is clear that this "tutorial" is tongue-in-cheek. Certainly there is no one right way! =)

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  15. I've been silently following along with your pregnancy, baby's birth and now her death and have learned so much from your writings and blog posts.
    I think you've got a wonderful grasp on your feelings and know what and how you should grieve. I lost my first baby while I was 6 months pregnant and never allowed myself to grieve or talk to anyone about it. Last year while you and my daughter were pregnant i took some time to tell her about what I went thru and I was surprised at how good I felt.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and also your family. This is a hard time for all of you but I feel very confident that you are handling things the best you can and you'll come out at the end of the tunnel with a special place in your heart for your little girl for the rest of your life but will be able to look back and smile because she WAS!
    Peggy in NJ

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    1. Thank you, Peggy. Your comment is very special to me. I am so sorry for your loss

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  16. These words, and these pictures, oh these pictures, went straight to my heart. You can communicate raw honest pain by matching it to such beautiful words and images. Your generosity for being willing and able to do so is admired and appreciated. I hope it helps you to do so as much as it helps others who can relate.

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  17. {{{{{HUGS}}}}} to you and your family.

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  18. I have no words that can erase your pain. I do not know you well except for your words and your art (which are interwoven). All these weeks, months, no, I've not for a moment felt you'd moved on ... and in my heart I want you to know there is a place for you and yours. I've prayed for you and and cherished your words and your raw and deep courage to be transparent here, with us. I hope you find solace more frequently in the days to come and allow yourself the joy that does come at some point in life's little things and I know that when you do, you will know it's value and protect its presence. Love from here ... xoxo.

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  19. Thank you for sharing. You are 100% right. It would be nice if we could just move on, but it doesn't work like that. hugs.

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  20. Your quotes today reminded me again of the sixty million refugees in our troubled world. How many of them have left countless dead behind them? How blessed my own life has been! Of course we never get over the loss of our dear ones who have passed on. We only get used to their passing. Our grief only matches the intensity of our love. Hugs and prayers to you.

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  21. Awww. And it is black and white.
    You are right, it never goes away. This is your life.
    You cannot compare it to any one else's, but we do know, and understand.
    This was well written out. I also like to write things out. When you pour it out, you do not have it moving around inside you with parts of it hidden. It is very good to see it all together.
    I am glad that Eleni is safe now. We the living on earth are the ones that carry the bruised hearts. We carry them for each other though.
    I am glad that you wrote this out.
    (((((bigbig big HUGS))))) All of you are in my daily prayers.

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    1. I know that writing like this helps me so much, but I love the way you described how it does so, "When you pour it out, you do not have it moving around inside you with parts of it hidden. It is very good to see it all together." I guess that explains why I read and re-read some of these special posts to myself, somehow comforted by their clarity and form.

      You are a writer too, Rosemary. You have a friendly way with words.

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  22. May you also know peace.. Your writing is a beautiful reflection of your heart!

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  23. Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your your sorrow with us. I am certain that your post will touch the hearts of many grieving souls who stumble upon your words in the coming years.

    The photos of your family are so profoundly beautiful and heart-wrenching. Your little Eleni was clearly loved and cherished, and always will be.

    Thank you.

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  24. Rachel, you have touched anyone who has ever lost a child, and we shake our head in agreement with every word you write. you have brought tears to my eyes more than once. i lost a twin son 36 years ago and fought the world to keep the other twin alive. i never felt i had properly grieved until eleni. you took me along on your spiral of grief and i think i will be better now. i have cried the tears i held in for all those years. my heart will always be scarred from the loss as yours will. you showed much courage in opening your soul for us to see. you are a brave fearless mom. peace to you and yours

    sara

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  25. To be clear: I am a 68 year old father of a quilter and a sometimes woodturner whose wife died nearly two years ago. That said, this is a powerful guide that speaks across both generations and genders. For everyone it will be a little different and I cannot imagine the grief of losing an infant; tough enough when someone has had he chance to live a fulfilled life. Thank you for sharing.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this. Grief is a life-time process but the pain becomes softer and a little duller. Still think of Eleni and miss the monthly updates...not as much as you all miss her.

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  27. Thank you. And may God bless you and your family.

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  28. You speak from your heart -my prayers will be for you all and Eleni - God bless all of you. . .

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  29. "Moving On" Two of the most dispised words in the English language, and used by people who haven't realised there is no "moving on".

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  30. The family photo depicting your stark bleak awful grief... I wish no one ever had to experience such pain, but since we do I want you to that people you have never met in person pray for you as you walk this valley. Praying you do find occasional sunshine in the clouds of loss.

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  31. Thank you for your eloquence and honesty. Eleni will always be in your soul but the rawness of grieving slowly scabs over and becomes part of who you are. Life does move forward, which is astounding at first. Best wishes and hugs to your entire family.

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  32. Your advice is heartfelt and perfect for anyone suffering any type of grief, our society does not want to let people feel grief, somehow it should be over in a few months and packed away, it never is, it becomes woven into your very existence for the remainder of ones life. and that is as it should be. thank you and God bless you and your family.
    Mercy unto you and peace and love be multiplied. Jude 1:2

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  33. Your advice is heartfelt and perfect for anyone suffering any type of grief, our society does not want to let people feel grief, somehow it should be over in a few months and packed away, it never is, it becomes woven into your very existence for the remainder of ones life. and that is as it should be. thank you and God bless you and your family.
    Mercy unto you and peace and love be multiplied. Jude 1:2

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  34. Beautiful words of comfort. Thank you! Eleni is so blessed to have a family like yours. My prayers are with you.

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  35. You continue to be such a strong brave woman! I applaud you for putting your experience into words and sharing! I wish you and your family comfort and peace.

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  36. Thank you. Just thank you. You have captured exactly what it is. It is comforting to know we do not walk alone.

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  37. I read this hours ago and didn't have the words to respond. I still don't. I just am in awe of you and feel like I continue to learn so much from you, including, now, how to be gentle with oursleves in times of unspeakable grief. You have been submerged in pain I can only imagine and rise generous. Thank you so very much for sharing this.

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  38. My favorite sentence in this post is "notice how life pushes back relentless". Over the past year you have shown courage, strength, and bravery. You will always have her in your heart. I wish you peace.

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  39. Blessings on you for sharing your soul. May you have peace, even if it's just a moment.

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  40. my heart goes out to you all.
    There is so much grief in these pictures.
    and in your words, too.

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  41. I am so so sorry, Rachel! So sorry. Your photos are so incredibly powerful. As are your words. Praying for you tonight.

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  42. Beautiful words and photos. Every time I see a new blog post from you I grieve a little for Eleni. She made an impression on all of us through you.

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  44. Beautiful post, that surely touches the hearts of anyone and especially those who have lost a child. The pain never leaves you....I lost my nephew 5 years ago and can totally understand the words you have written. I shall be sharing them with my sister. Thank you. Love and hugs to you and your beautiful family. Xx

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  45. Those photo’s tell a story in itself. The rough pain, the grief for Eleni, and your words are so well chosen. They will help others who lost a child.
    I’m sending big hugs to the four of you!

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  46. My tears are falling, trickling down to join with your ocean xxx

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  47. Peace be with you in your process.

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  48. So hard to believe, but I read your entire post. Tears started falling when I reached the 2nd or 3rd sentence. This is the first I have been able to comment about your sorrow, it seems that you lost your Eleni about the same time that I lost my beloved husband. Grief is such a personal thing and everyone does it differently. The oddest things will start the tears flowing but we do carry on.
    Thank you so much for your heart and sharing it.

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  49. 💔 thank you for being open about this part of your life.

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  50. There are no words to ease the pain, the void in ones life. It is a process. As I was asked once while crying in grief When is it going to be over!? It never is, it just reshapes itself in time, into something different but the ache remains, not all consuming but it is there and is joined by the Spirit that heals and makes it bearable. I wish you love and peace on your journey. And Thank you for sharing your story and Eleni, for keeping it real and authentic when so much in our world is photoshopped and edited. Blessings to you and your family.

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  51. Hi Rachel: I am so sorry for your loss. I don't know if this will help and I hope you don't find it inappropriate, however a friend of mine who has been a nurse for over 30 years wrote a book about this. Her website is www.loveyourlifetodeath.com. You can purchase it on a download. I think you will find it inspiring and hopefully give you some comfort.

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  52. So poignant. I'm passing this on to a friend who lost her son at Thanksgiving.

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  53. Bless you and your family too Rachel. Thank you for being so open with us.

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  54. Thank you for those lovely words and for sharing your journey with us.

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  55. Praying your family feels God's tender mercies ~ they are new every morning. Missing sweet Eleni with you.

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  56. As often I'm missing words to describe what I think. But I think of you and your family.

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  57. Thank you. As a mother who has not experienced loss of a child, I never know what to do, what to say, so I clam up. I always fear I will say the wrong thing, and cause more pain. I always cry, then I wonder are my tears offensive to this woman, like what right do I have to cry, having not gobe through that myself? So your statement about tears reflected really reasonated with me. -Ruth

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    1. I am glad to hear that, Ruth. I have noticed that people really fear doing/saying the wrong thing, but doing/saying something in love is always better than doing/saying nothing when love prompts you... even if just to cry.

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  58. You are 100% right. Each person does experience their grief differently- and there are many "right" ways to do that- each of us are different. I lost my daughter to suicide almost 20 years ago- and her birthday is coming up. I cherish those friends who are willing to speak her name, share memories, and keep her alive in their hearts. It is truly a lifelong process... Sending you many hugs & prayers for comfort & peace. Take all the time that you & your family need- and thanks for sharing these thoughts and feelings with all of us.

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  59. this is one of the most heartbreaking moments i have ever seen captured in an image. evidence of the overwhelming sadness and grief you are experiencing individually and collectively as a family. i will not easily forget seeing it and i'm so grateful to you for sharing it. as for you words - sharing how we grieve is so important... you are not alone. none of us are when we share just the littlest bit.

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  60. those photos are very moving and are raw in the display of grief, and as others have mentioned, it's an image that will stay with me and I am grateful that you shared it and your story with me. I have very much admired your honesty and your blog posts during Eleni's brief life and since. You have shared some the ways you are honouring her memory and some of the ways you are creating your life with the hole she left behind. A blog can only share a small amount of what is going on with our lives, and it's not a 24/7 Truman Show account where we see every detail, and so by nature of being "an extract" it will never be the whole. I see you moving on, but not in the meaning "moving on and forgetting", instead I see you and your family "moving on, taking the past with you and creating a future in which time is made for the past and plans are made for a future". Personally I find it a very healthy balance and I am guessing that there are times where the past is dominating the present just as at other times plans for the future will be at the fore. Thank you for sharing, Rachel. I wish you and your family all the best in your grief journey.

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    1. Ali, this is so very true! Now that the first wild months have passed it is more of a balance where sometimes the past and sometimes the future are more at the fore. A healthy balance. Things not to forget, but a new life here to live.

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  61. This post really hit home for me.I lost my brother 12 years ago. He was 48 at the time and I have never stopped grieving. On January 9 my father passed and our family has moved into a new phase of pain. My mother and father were together for 63 years and my mother never worked outside the home. My father was her entire world and they loved each other dearly. I now grieve the loss of my father, but at the same time I find myself grieving for my mother whose pain is beyond words. They lived five hours away from me ans we are now having to pare over six days of life into a three room apartment. How does one do this and find a way to go on with life as if there is the possibility that there will somehow be a new normal. Thank you for being you and sharing you best self with all of us. in life there is joy and death sorrow, however; one does not exist without the other. Love to you and your family.

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  62. I can empathize with your grief. We lost our oldest son 12 plus years ago and our life was changed forever. Then our first grandbaby was born too soon in 2014.As bad as we(I) hurt I could not take the pain away from my daughter. Grief is a process that will be with us forever. I read your blog as you gave us a peek into your life and my heart ached for your loss. We had some sunshine break through the clouds this Dec. as we were blessed with twin grandbabies. I guess what I am trying to say, is that will be some sunshine in your life sometimes when you least expect it. It won't change what happened but it will help you bear it.

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  63. The last photo, of the 4 you, may be the most tragically, painfully beautiful photo I've ever seen. Thank you for being willing to share it - and your "guide".

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  64. xxoo...a journey traveled...never closure. April one year since my love died of ALS...Sending love to you...no misconception that grief is over, no such thing as closure..

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  65. Eleni's loss was such a tragedy. I'm grateful that you are allowing yourself to grieve and shading your stories. To often we just want grieving people to get over it get on with but grieving takes time. It's a bit like raising a puppy. ..someday, it may walk quietly by your side but for now it is a wild and untamed force in your life. Bless you.

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  66. Whatever your pain, whatever your loss, continue to create. Pick up that needle, that pencil, that brush, and make. Pour your feelings, your loss, your anger, your sense that this will never end, into the thing you create. Your pain and focus will bring great richness to the work of your hands, the act of creation becomes intertwined with memory, a tribute, a thing of beauty, a reminder and an object of power. You are not lessened or reduced by your pain; rather, you have grown to encompass and endure it, and you are a more whole and powerful person.
    I am grateful and moved that you are able to share with us with such painful honesty. Grieve, but be at peace: Ελένη ζει και πάλι στην εργασία σας

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  67. Thanks for sharing this with us. Each and everyone has it's own way to grief but it helps to know that one isn't alone. Lots of hugs.

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  68. You have given your sweet Eleni the most meaningful memorial you could give, sharing her life and progress, your dreams and hopes, fears and sadness. Your beautiful baby girl will always be alive in your heart.

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  69. God bless you for again reminding us how very precious life is. Prayers for you and your family.

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  70. I think of Eleni and your family very often. Thank you for sharing this with your readers... this is beautiful. Please know that so many people are thinking of you and your family. You are in my prayers.

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  71. Peace and hugs to you and all your families. Your words of grief are acknowledged and appreciated - it is indeed a journey; and you will carry wee Eleni with you. She will not be forgotten.
    love to you from the Yukon

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  72. Oh sweet Rachel--my heart goes out to you, your children, your husband, your sadness. I've never thought you have "moved on", just that you don't talk about it in the blog all the time.

    And Rachel, you truly are a poet. I need to print this out to save it for myself, for others, for later. Because it is so eloquently said, better than anything I've ever read.

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    1. I agree that you are an exquisite writer. I teach high school English and I have read a large amount of writings. Your talent is beyond compare. It is so poignant and touches our souls and hearts. You most assuredly could be a published author.

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  73. Rachel, thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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  74. Dear Rachel, I am a widow of 21 months after being married to my wonderful husband for 41 years. I agree with everything you have written and I know that while it may seem to outsiders that we are "doing fine" the reality is much different. With the help of God we just keep putting one foot in front of another.

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  75. Dear Rachel, I am a widow of 21 months after being married to my wonderful husband for 41 years. I agree with everything you have written and I know that while it may seem to outsiders that we are "doing fine" the reality is much different. With the help of God we just keep putting one foot in front of another.

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  76. Rachel, I know everyone grieves in their way and that everyone circumstances are different. An Australian author Hannah Richell suddenly lost her husband in July 2014. In her blog below she has written beautifully about her grief process which may give you some comfort. Thoughts and prayers are with you. Anne

    https://hannahrichell.wordpress.com

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  77. Having spent many years as a pediatric oncology nurse, I have spent a lot of time with grieving parents. The isolation they feel can be overwhelming. As I read and reread your post it occurred to me that perhaps their loneliness and isolation arises partly from an inability to articulate their feelings to those around them. You have a special gift for writing that could provide "words" for others that struggle. I would love (when you are ready) for you to explore publishing. I wish that I could have handed this to many parents over the years in an effort to help them put words to their feelings...

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  78. I read your blog all the time. When you lost Eleni; I grieved along with you. One month ago today, my Mom passed away. Your words today have touched my heart and soul with their truth. I'm so sorry for your loss. But thank you for your words.

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  79. There's nothing I can say to reiterate all the wonderful comments above. Your words are amazing as always. But that photograph something entirely of its own. It is one of the most moving photographs I've ever seen in my life. Thank you for allowing us to see it

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  80. Dear Rachel, many hugs to you from across the continents. And love to your family. Your words are so poignant and the pictures are truly remarkable... I lost my mother 18 years ago, when she lost her long and valiant battle with cancer. And I grieve for her still. The rawness of the wound goes away, but the wound never heals... And we do need to move on, because it is not that we are moving on and forgetting, but rather that we are moving on, forging ahead into a future built on the past...

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  81. How I wished a real tutorial existed when I lost my daughter. I believe that is why there are so many memoirs about grief. Each of them hopes to help the next person find the answer that doesn't exist. I recognise myself in so much of what you describe. You capture so well the contradictions of grief. Thank you.

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  82. I too think it is always there. The pain does get quieter with time but has a way of opening to deep longing at moments, to see them, touch them, hear them, have time with them. One day, one day.

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  83. Thank you for writing this. My partner lost his brother last week and I found some peace in your words. My thoughts have been with you about this subject and I am glad you're surrounded by love to help you through this time.

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  84. There are no words Rachel. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this. I am deeply sorry for your family's loss.

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  85. My heart aches for you and your family. May Eleni's precious memory be eternal. **hugs and love**

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  86. I just found your blog and read this post. It hit way too close to home for me. My father was murdered almost 8 months ago. Thank you for your openness and honesty. You are exactly right saying to do things as you are ready. It is a long, hard journey that we are on. One day at a time, one tear at a time. The wound is temporary but the scar will be with us the rest of our lives. It's what we do with the scar that matters.
    I will pray for you and your family.

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  87. Rachel, I've been trying to get my words together since last week for this post. I found your blog the first week of January and I began following it daily since mid January. I have read about your precious Eleni. Your words telling her story are so honest, pure and heart wrenching. The pictures you posted are so raw with emotion and grief. You and your family are so brave and so blessed to have one another.
    Since finding your blog I have started quilting and sewing again. I began quilting 15 years ago. I have sewn since I was 8. But I've been sidetracked a few years. I love modern quilting and the new fabrics. Once again I am sewing, designing and buying fabric again (the best part!) I love your blog and I thank you for the inspiration to create again.
    God bless you and your precious family. Eleni will live on in all of your hearts. I will pray for you and your family. Oh by the way, I love color too!


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  88. Good morning Rachel,

    I woke up this morning wondering about you and your family. I had not read your blog or any blog for months due to being busy with my own family and I am getting my masters. I awoke on a beautiful sunny day and thought I wonder how Rachel is. I am truly sorry for your loss. I am also very happy for you and your family as well. It seems that with loss some of the pain is able to fly away, let the tears flow and the pain relieve itself. Your posts are always so beautiful. So heartfelt and sincere. I send a huge hug to you and your precious family. I can feel Eleni smiling down on you.

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  89. I just found your blog, and am utterly heartbroken to learn of your recent tragedy...I am so sorry, and cannot imagine the pain you and your family are dealing with and will continue to feel. Thank you for sharing your journey with us...I hope it helps you.
    Your sentiments about grief are very similar to my sister-in-law's, who is also a writer, and who has joined a movement to "fight" the cultural perception that grief should be hidden from others. She is a "guide" of sorts, and perhaps her FB page, "Grief Rites" might be a resource to you, and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/GriefRites/?fref=ts&em=1
    Thank you again for sharing your beautiful soul with us so eloquently...it takes such bravery to do so, and is such a wonderful tribute to your precious Eleni.

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  90. Love and peace to you and your family, Rachel.

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  91. Just thank you, for being willing to share, for being gifted in your use of words in explaining some of life's most difficult situations. You are a beautiful soul. Thinking about your family on this Mother's Day. I hope you find peace during this day, let your grief wash over and subside as you need.

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  92. You have been on my heart this Mother's Day and I wanted you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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