Permission granted to grieve


A dear friend experienced a devastating loss in the past week. In a matter of hours, her world shifted irrevocably. Yet, even before the day was over, she was already trying to rise above her sorrow and regret for what might have been.

But I hope she allows herself to give in to some of these feelings, at least for a little while.

I remember vividly the 13 days my husband Charles lay unconscious in the ICU prior to his death. For 12 of those days, justified or not, I expected him to come home. Those last 24 hours were excruciating, and when his oxygen finally dropped to a deadly level, there was nothing left to do after that final few private minutes with him. I was led out of his room and down the long hall to the space where you wait while they wake up the hospital chaplain.

Looking down, I realized someone, somewhere, had placed a cup of ice water in my hand. I’ve spent years working to accept…and heal…and recover – and those are for sure all the right things we encourage each other to do. But I have to tell you – at that moment, as I walked down that hall, it felt really good when I slammed that cup of ice water against the wall.


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