Grief and Me

By January 15, 2015Loss

It Allowed the Seas….                         by Ariela

Last Sunday, The NY Times ran the article “Getting Grief Right.” The title is curious — as if there is a right and wrong way to grieve. There are so few spaces to talk about grief, and our immediate response is to fill that space with something uplifting. Sometimes in the ever-current quest for happiness (Are they playing the “Happy” song again?), we forget that grief is a part of being human. Here’s the comment I posted in the Times.

I don’t know how grief can be delineated in stages or chapters. For me it is amorphous, with many deep and mixed emotions. I go back and forth and around with grief and guilt and relief and anger and despair and longing and love.

My daughter had a rare condition that left her a quadriplegic and non-verbal. She also had a severe seizure disorder. She required care 24/7. I’ve been grieving almost all of her life, ever since I learned she would never live normally. In spite of her disabilities and medical issues, she lived 26 years, far longer and fuller than many experts predicted. Her many accomplishments and strong will made her an inspiration to many. But, I am not consoled by her wonderful life.

Since her death last year, I have donated time and resources to charitable causes in her name. I have travelled and read books and gone to movies that I never had time for before her death. All distractions. Nothing fills the gaping hole in my chest.

We all grieve in our own ways. Judging from the number of people who have responded to Dr. O’Malley’s article and the intensity of their responses, we have a lot to say about a subject many people don’t want to talk about.

  • Penni Thorpe says:

    So good that you are writing and talking about this very important subject of grief. Keep going my friend. See you on Saturday.

    I keep thinking of the woman rabbi saying “maybe we can help replace a little of the light”…or something like that. The hole I think just morphs around…and we continue to accept what we can of light being offered to us and through us.


    Penni Thorpe Flower Essences, Yoga and Therapeutic Touch

    Website and Blog: you-tube: pennithorpe structured water:

    cell 650-218-5163


    • In a way, that’s what the disposition of Ariela’s things (the books, the clothes, the medical equipment) is all about. By giving her things away to people less fortunate, I am trying to create a little more light in the world. I hope to continue that effort. Thanks for your help.

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