This week I write with a heavy heart.
Hubby's uncle, 61-year-old Randy Lang of La Salle, was riding his motorcycle Sunday evening, Sept. 8 in St. James Township, when he struck a deer just before 9 p.m. He was thrown from the motorcycle and died. The call came to us Sunday night about 10 p.m. just as we were preparing for bed.
Death is always hard to overcome, but what makes this tragedy especially hard is that it happened less than six months after Hubby lost his father unexpectedly in April.
Grief is the internal part of loss, and the internal work of grief is a journey. Grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and unique as the person we lost.
Navigating this journey can feel helpless. Sometimes we're quiet. Sometimes we hug. No one ever said it was easy to walk alongside someone in their darkest hours. Grief is not just a series of events, or stages or timelines. Loss happens in a moment, but its aftermath lasts a lifetime.
For the past several weeks I've been working on a special edition that will be included in the Reminder on Sept. 16 called "Sympathy and Understanding." Every article in the special edition deals with ways to cope with the death or terminal illness of a loved one.
If you've recently lost a loved one I would recommend reading through it. If it's too soon, hold on to the publication and read it when you feel ready.
Several things from working on that special edition stayed with me, and have not only helped me understand Hubby's grief now in the present, but that it does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us.
One article from Sturm Funeral Home talks about coming to terms with the sudden death of a loved one and the traumatic grief that it can have on the families and friends affected by the death.
In one portion the article reads: Here's the truth of things: if your loved one died from a sudden death, you have been brought face-to-face with the realization that tomorrow is promised to no one. It is ironic, but one consequence of sudden death is that it can make you appreciate life more than you ever would have if you had not undergone such a traumatic experience. Now we know that no one in their right mind would seek out such a loss in order to teach themselves a lasting life lesson, but it does let you pull something meaningful out of such a tragedy.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one also begs the question, "Is there a time to move on?"
Page 2 of 2 - Tracy Renee Lee is a funeral director, author and freelance writer who has dedicated her life's work to comforting the bereaved. An article she wrote entitled, "Move on–a ridiculous term" is also included in the edition.
She offers a reality check reminding those grieving that you are the authority on the subject of your recovery timeline. No one can, nor should, tell you how and when to feel better, when to get over it, or when to move on. She reminds us that the death of a loved one requires a completely new structure in functionality that may take some time to adjust to the new requirements in life.
She goes on to say that when you love someone, they are forever a part of your existence. In Tracy's words, we never move on, we simply live on.
Grief can bring with it unfamiliar terrain and we hope that our "Sympathy and Understanding" edition will be a source of information, resources and comfort.