Keep the door to her life open. Edith Hickman
the grieving end? The honest answer is that it never completely ends. There will always be sadness and we will never forget,
nor would we want to forget a life so dear to us; but the devastating emotions of new grief do subside over time.
I have read that we know we are healing when we think about
our loved one's life more than the circumstances surrounding the death. Another turning point in grief healing is when the
memories of our loved one bring more comfort than pain. A part of us dies when a loved one dies—the life we shared is
gone. But if we allow ourselves to grieve, we will find one day that our loved one lives on in the life we create after loss.
From Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman, January 15 entry:
the loved one has died, the memory, the sense of the person's presence, has not--nor the possibility, after a while, of taking
continuing joy not only from the reminiscences of the past, but in the extension of the person's spirit into our ongoing lives.
Into the nebulous, ongoing mystery of life I welcome, as if through an open door, the continuing spirit of the
one I have loved.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The article was first published in September 1999 by The Chicago Tribune,
and then reprinted by Marshall University in 2000, thirty years after the Marshall plane crash. The crash killed everyone
aboard: Seventy-five members of the Marshall football team, coaches, university staff, community members
and flight crew. The deaths left 70 minor children; 18 of those children lost both parents. It remains the worst single air
disaster in NCAA sports history.
A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Julia
Keller had just turned 13 at the time of the tragedy, Nov. 14, 1970. She writes: But all I really can remember is looking
around the church at those stricken people and their friends and wondering what they would do next. I meant it literally:
What would they do when they went home after the funeral, and the day after that, and the day after that? How would they go
on? Almost 30 years after that plane disintegrated in a bleak West Virginia field, I found that I was still wondering. How
did those with loved ones on the plane—the children, parents, siblings and friends of victims—ever resume their
"Sometimes it seems like 30 years ago," said Keith
Morehouse, who was nine when his father died in the crash, “and sometimes it seems like it happened yesterday.”
Then and now, I wanted to know how people lived with such a loss, with the sudden, permanent demolition of the way they
thought their world would be. Where does grief go?
The rest of It's always with you... attempts to answer this question with honesty and compassion. The author concludes: I asked about the progress of grief,
but I learned about the purpose of memory.
Or, you can access
archives of in-depth coverage and anniversary editions at the Huntington, WV, Herald Dispatch.