Hope Floats

I have great writer friends, like Susan who wrote this blog last evening that just popped. “To find peace in loss, to forgive yourself, to hope, to love, to remember…to live. To let go. To say Goodbye…”

On early morning Saturday my grandmother left this world to have breakfast with my grandfather for the first time in close to 30 years (thanks to my cousins for that awesome thought!).

I could not bring myself to go to the hospital. I had went to see her Friday night, held her hand, and she told me “I love you” before I left. That was enough for me. I did not know that I could go and watch another person die in front of my eyes. I did not think that my memory banks could hold that placement, as they still did with Kevin.

With my grandmother, it is sad, but so different. With the elderly, it is something anticipated, even if you cannot quite embrace the fact that they are gone. My sister and I ran into the gentleman who does the embalming for Fred Groff funeral homes on the way home from market. She knows him from working at the local hospital. He was talking about death and how, with the elderly, it’s not so bad “but when you see some 28 year old guy come in, that just doesn’t make sense.” I held my breath. Kevin was just 36. What must have the funeral directors thought when they brought his body in? The body that had been ravaged by cancer, not the body I remember that was so strong…

Susan encouraged me in her blog yesterday, although I doubt she realizes it. “To hope, to love, to remember…to live”. I think I lost those first and last parts. I love, I remember, but do I hope? Do I live? Those seemed to have gotten lost in the mix of the upcoming anniversary, the re-diagnosis of my father’s cancer, the loss of my grandmother. I miss hope. Kevin used to inspire that in me when he was ill-despite all the signs that said he would die, he never let me dwell on that. It was only that he was alive. There was hope in the fight.

Where’s the fight for MY life? For my hope, to let go? For my hope to create a future of happiness without being completely overshadowed by grief and hard times? How do you find your hope?

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Comments 7

  1. Brenda,

    someone once told me to find hope in mystery, for with out mystery there can be no hope or faith. I know it’s an odd place to search for hope, but I’ve used this idea myself for years when I felt lost confused and unsure about my life.

    If we had all the answers laid out before us there would be nothing left to hope for. So I find my hope amongst the chaos of life, I find my hope in the small patterns I find that make me think, or just hope that maybe just maybe there is purpose to the wonderful insanity of our daily lives.

    My thoughts are with you today. Thank you for opening you heart onto this page. It helps us all understand some of ourselves through your words.

  2. “Hope in the Lord and he will renew your strength.”

    Without God relying on God and the hope he gave me, there’s no way I would have come through my own grief.

  3. Brenda: I don’t think you have any idea just how much of an inspiration YOU have been to me, and to countless of others who have experienced loss. In grief, we are united — we understand the torrent of emotions that seem to engulf us, that keep us frozen, afraid to move forward with life, afraid to let go.

    Loss is deeply personal, and while everyone, sometime, experiences that grief that comes with a loss, it’s hard to imagine anyone else going through something similar for how all-encompassing those emotions might be. The world outside those emotions doesn’t seem to exist — it’s just you and your heartbreak. It’s personal to each and every person, and yet that experience as a whole and those emotions that we feel are what we feel, what makes us feel not so alone.

    You are never, ever alone.

    Like you, I feel like I was lucky with my grandparents — it was expected, and as it was my first real experience with loss, I felt at peace knowing that they weren’t suffering any longer. But there was another loss that I didn’t expect, that caused so much heartache that sometimes I couldn’t bear it — it was a dog. It wasn’t even a human being. But nevertheless, I had loved her deeply and couldn’t reconcile the fact that she was gone. As such, it took time to understand and accept it, and it took time to forgive myself after blaming myself. Because I had prayed and prayed and prayed for some kind of miracle that didn’t — couldn’t — come true. And somehow, I blamed myself for that.

    I can’t even begin to imagine the anguish of a tragedy, of experiencing what seems too-soon. I can only imagine the depth of those emotions and the heartache that that brings, and my heart goes out to every single person who has ever experienced that.

    My heart goes out to you. You are such a source of inspiration, Brenda — for your courage, for your strength, for your heart — and for your own fight to keep moving forward, to keep living, to keep loving. Memories can be a source of anguish and grief, something we want to forget because it reminds us of what we don’t have. But memories can also be that source of healing, that source of hope. Because with memories come love. And with love, there is life. If we find that memory to hold onto, if we find that reason to love, then maybe the healing begins, and with the healing comes the living.

    Maybe. Thank you for speaking out on the subject of grief. Thank you for always being a source of strength and courage. You, my friend, are an inspiration.

  4. Susan-Thank you so much for sharing so openly with me. I hope we continue to inspire one another!

  5. Christine-I know this is true for you, and for me. Sometimes, it just feels impossible to see God in the midst of all of this…

  6. We must have faith, and we must have hope, I wholeheartedly agree

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