Only through great love
can come such pain.
In June of 2003, my husband and I were seeing our dreams come true. We had a beautiful two-year-old son, and our second beautiful boy was born on June 6th. We had just bought a home with enough bedrooms for our growing family. David and I felt beyond blessed. Our lives were full of joy.
Then, on the morning of June 26th, I received a phone call from David’s office. A kind and compassionate co-worker called to deliver the terrible news that David had collapsed at work. EMTs were working on David as we spoke, and they needed to know if he was on any medication or had any heart condition or illnesses.
“No, no! He’s very healthy. I don’t understand. What happened? Is he breathing?” I asked.
“No.” was the co-worker’s response.
David’s death was confirmed an hour later, in a hospital emergency room, while my mother and I stood beside his body. David had died from a fatal arrhythmia. His heart had simply stopped. There was no explanation. No satisfying answers.
Thus, a young widow with two very young children, my journey into the work of grief and mourning began. I felt thrown out of my own personal nest; grief and loss seemed to separate me from everything familiar in my life. The rest of the world seemed happy and full of joy, while I was trying to make it through the grocery store check-out before bursting into tears. There were times I wished we still practiced the wearing of mourning garb so strangers would understand, just by looking at me, that I was deep in mourning―even though I was showing up at Mommy-and-Me play time at the park.
As my journey unfolded, those who had experienced great loss were my most helpful guides. Sharing my sorrow with those who had experienced similar loss allowed my mourning to flow and my grief to dissipate. The ability of those friends and family members to companion me has made all the difference in my life.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked./ And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. /And how else can it be?/ The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. – Kahlil Gibran
It has been ten years since David’s death. My sons are beautiful boys, who have happy and full lives. We continue to mourn David, and we honor his memory a thousand ways throughout our days. And now, I can see that my sorrow and grief carved so deeply into my soul that in my new life, I am able to allow in more joy and light than ever before. Only through great love can come such pain.
You can not create experience, you must undergo it.
– Albert Camus
As someone who has faced profound, unexpected loss, I understand the journey you are on and would be honored to support and companion you as you move towards hope and healing.
My own experience with grief and mourning, my years as a practicing licensed school psychologist, and my coursework with the Center for Loss and Life Transition, have given me many tools and resources to support you in your process. I will help you discover which practices, whether journaling, artistic expression, spending time in nature, or participating in a Courageous Mourning Encouragement Group will best nurture you in your grieving process.
Together, we will consider how I can support you best.