Sunday, October 15, 2006

Good Grief

Saying for the Day: No two people grieve the same!

For the last eleven Sundays we have looked at grieving.
We have examined what Pastor Granger Westberg called the ten steps in grieving.
His book which is not very big called “Good Grief” is available form .

Today I just want to make a few last statements about grief.

First no two people grieve the same.
Grief is the path from our old life with the person that is now gone to our new life without them.
The more of ourselves we have invested in the old life the harder the path to the new.

A friend of mine was a missionary in Africa when his father died.
He received word.
He grieved for a day or two and then life went on as normal.
Because his father was not part of his life on the mission field.
Several months later when he went home on furlough and he stood in his old home he was almost overcome with grief.
His father was a central part of his life there.

Even when we have done everything right there can come things that trigger a short new grief experience.
It might be a song on the radio or entering a place the two of you enjoyed.
This is a very normal thing.

Sometimes we do most of our grieving before the person dies.
WE know the person is dying.
We watch them go down hill and we grieve.
Our life is already changing.
Sometimes people who have grieved in this manner feel guilty because they didn’t have much grief after the death.
But they shouldn’t the grief had already taken place.
Their life had changed and now they just feel relief for the person who doesn’t have to suffer any more.

The best thing we can do for somebody who is grieving is to be there for them.
Let them tell the story a hundred times.
Let them cry.
Pray with them and for them.
But be there.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard where trains still run and a big White Rabbit keeps the tourists coming.– Pigeon Falls was hit by a blizzard and we are including some pictures to show you how bad it was. This is October. The roofs fell in on two buildings. One wall collapsed on Eino’s garage. The old snowplow can’t get the city street free from snow. If this keeps up it will need the dragon fire to keep it warm. It looks like a long winter ahead.
The train did get through and dropped off a young man in a trench coat who went to visit Eino. They had to go to Nancy’s because Eino had people trying to restore one wall of the garage. The fellow told Eino he was from Homeland Security and the government wanted him to be quiet about the Hermit statue . It was a matter of national security. But he wouldn’t tell Eino any more than that. Eino asked for some identification and the man got up and left. Eino had to pay for his coffee. Eino called Homeland Security and they denied that they had sent anybody. Now Eino is more confused than ever.
Mrs. Trumble says she is going to buy a snowmobile so she can go hunting that rabbit in the snow. It will leave tracks and she can follow them.

Today's link: Mando's World: - Remember to put the words Dr. John in the comment to get those pretty JCPOINTS. Check your points HERE.
Yesterday Margaret violated the one rule this blog has. "Thou shall not tag Dr. John". It was a gross violation of the rule. Now rules exist for a purpose. When Dr. John gets tagged he gets all tense, his hair stands on end, his heart rate goes up, he sneezes, he gets cranky, and his concentration is lost. Poor Betty has to calm him down, put an ice pack on his head and say soothing things to him. You see he plans out his blogs a week in an advance. He is over organized. Upsetting that organization derails the train. Where will he put the tag? Which great and deep thought must be discarded to be replaced by tagged drivel. Ordinarily he would ignore the tag . But this is from Margaret who single handedly saved the marathon with her copy of list five. This is Margaret who always leaves good comments. He has a moral obligation to respond. So despite his need to help you understand the universe Dr. John has decided to replace Wednesday's blog which was entitled " The answer to everything", in which he would have given you the key to life and the universe, with the tag. Because of his need to stay with the organization Dr. John will simply discard Wednesday's original blog.
WE went to early service this morning. The sermon was good and the singing not bad. Had coffee afterward. The coffeew was good. Then we went grocery shoping. In the afternoon I worked on the prize list for tomorrow's drawing. Betty worked at fixing the outside layout. She has to climb up on top to get to things and that leaves me out. She then took pictures of the entire layout as we get ready to close it down for the year. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Kat Campbell said...

Oh Margaret, what have you done to us?

Pidgeon Falls needs to declare a disaster and get some money from the EPA... WAIT, you have to have a Mayor to do that!

4:46 AM  
Blogger sleeplessinoklahoma said...

Gosh, I hope everything gets back to normal soon in Pidgeon Falls. Who was that man???

I just loved this entry on grief. For those of us who have lived with death for so long, grief is a relief. It is the finality of the experience. While it still creeps up from time to time, it did indeed mark the end of that particular journey. Thanks for the insight.

Blessed be...

6:40 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Oh no! I have been very, very naughty. Please forgive me Dr. John? I am very, very sorry.

Wow, the snow really did a number on Pigeon Falls.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

When my mother was dying, we grieved with her through her process. But she was born in South Africa and had wonderful stories to tell of her childhood, and she used that process to tell us stories of her childhood that we had never heard before. I wish I had tape recorded them. It was just as interesting as Isak Dinesen's "Out of Africa". But, it wasn't until six months after my mother's death that I felt the deepest grief. It hit me like a freight train.

Love the photos of the snow. It's bizarre, isn't it? Today we are finally getting the first rain we have had in many, many months. And this is the rain forest...! What's going on?

10:24 AM  
Blogger bazza27 said...

I guess no one will dare tag Dr John after this!

11:07 AM  
Blogger The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

I think even after we go on, grief is still present at some level with us. Maybe grief is the wrong word - I have found in the six years since my husband died that he is still with me in so many ways. The first year was awful, but now, I take comfort in the way that things remind me of him. It doesn't hurt the way it did, but he is still so much of my life and who I am.
So glad the snow is in Pidgeon Falls and NOT in my neck of the woods!

12:05 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

I guess I owe Margaret a big thanks then -- I don't want "the key to everything." I quite like muddling through and making my own discoveries. And even though I am not quite as fond of making my own failures, they too, serve a purpose.

Can Pidgeon Falls allply for federal disaster relief?

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking to my blog! Cheers, Amanda

2:25 PM  
Blogger butterflies said...

Good post once again on grief.
I am grieving all the time with James.And we come to new grief often..little things we encounter.Like,no longer being able to go out for a coffee,or the movies..we have been grieving lately because we cant do so many things we used to.But we are grieving together for what we are losing.Some days sadness will overtake me.Other days I sing for joy that hes still here with me.
Grief is a rollercoaster!

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

I'm sympathizing with the residents of Pigeon Falls. The kids and I drove north toward Erie yesterday. Right into a snow storm! We had no clue what we were headed into and it put a bit of a damper on our plans to spend time at a couple of pumpkin farms with big Halloween displays. Ah well. We recovered nicely at the outlet mall.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

Thank you for all you do for us. This grieving series has been much needed by many. I know a few of us will be refarring back to it as time goes by.
The pictures of Pigeon Falls sure tell a story. It is a winter wonderland there. I hope this encourages someone to run for office. This sort of things can happen to any town and someome needs to take charge. Eino best becareful with someone noticing and taking the Hermit statue while they work in the garage. And we have had many peope before lie about who they were, we don't know if that guy was really from Homeland Security. What if it was one of the company that cleaned out the Hermit's home?
As soon as i saw Margaret message yesterday i must admit to giggle a little. she had no idea, lol...

I knew you would do the meme. You are such a softy. Can i ask that you please post twice on Wednesday..the meme and the Key to Everything..Maybe it's just me but i would like to know what it is and where to get it, ;p ...It might come in handy through out life i say.

Certainly i will read both post if available.

I hope you and Betty have a wonderful evening and stay warm. The pics are just beautiful...I love seeing the town again..

Read you tomorrow God Willing.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Nea said...

Oh my gosh, snow........Yikes.....can the train still run in snow? Who gets the job of shoveling the snow?

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very true are the words about grief. There are times when even after almost 13 years, when I find myself overcome with grief for my mother. And you are absolutely right, it is always in a "place" where she played an integral role. October and the changing of the leaves is always a trigger for a few melancholy days remembering my father who has been gone 7 years. A crisp fall day should find my dad out for a brisk walk...with me tagging along.
Again, thank you for the wise words.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous sandy said...

So much snow and in October,! Good luck with the clearing and restoring.
Perhaps Mrs. Trumble could donate/add snowplough to her snowmobile. As well as clearing the snow the added weight would slow her down and give the White Rabbit ample time to disguise his footprints!

I always wanted to have a key to all the answers of the universe, but tell me Dr. John is it one door? It must be a very, very big door and a very, very big key. Would I be strong enough to push such a door open, indeed would I be able to lift such a key? So close to all the answers! Alas!

6:48 PM  
Blogger Sunflower Optimism said...

Dr. John, thank you for the post on grief - the one on grieving before a person dies really hit home for me. Each time I see my dad he looks more and more frail. My mom said that the other day, when they had company, she was calling and looking for him and couldn't find him. She looked in all the rooms and didn't see him, all the rooms were dark. Then she went back in the bedroom and turned on the light - my dad was sitting in there - but disoriented, didn't know where he was, where the light switch was, or anything - he said he thought he was dying. My mom talked to his doctor who says he has pre-Alzheimer's dementia.

My heart is breaking for my dad, now.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

You know, grief is such a strange thing. I was thinking about that the other day. I still grieve each time I pass my old place of employment. I miss Verna so much. I know she's in Heaven, and isn't hurting, but I just wish I still had her here.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

tee hee hee Thou shall not tag Dr John! You know you are just asking for it that way! You are too funny!:)

8:39 PM  

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