Notes from the Waxhaws

A new reality

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I recently read  a good book by Mary C. Neal entitled To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story. Dr. Neal is an orthopedic surgeon who had a near-death experience after drowning in a kayaking accident in Chile. Throughout the book she relates how God has been involved in her life through everyday miracles…meaningful events that occur in all of our lives, but that are usually explained away as mere coincidences…miracles that have carried her through some of the darkest times of her life, including the loss of her nineteen-year-old son Willie.

In one short paragraph, she relates what I thought to be a very apt description of the grieving process…

I do not believe that a loss of the magnitude I’ve experienced in losing Willie is something a person “gets beyond”, “works through”, or any of those other well-meaning, but impossible-to-achieve platitudes. Grieving a loss is a matter of learning to incorporate the pain into a new life and a new reality. As Martha Hickman wrote in her book Healing after Loss…’There is no way out, only forward'”.

I’m finding that, indeed, one doesn’t really get over the loss of a loved one. It seems to be more a matter of slowly adapting to the new reality that becomes a little clearer…and a bit more permanent with each passing day.

Written by Jim

August 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Books, Grieving, Musings

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