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When Does the Grieving End?

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Keep the door to her life open. Edith Hickman


When does 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:

Though 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.
 
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For an eloquent description of the lasting effects of grief, go to It's always with you...by Julia Keller. (PDF. Requires Adobe Reader. Free download.) 
 
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 lives?
 
"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.
 
 
Read more about the crash and its aftermath at marshall.edu
 
Or, you can access archives of in-depth coverage and anniversary editions at the Huntington, WV, Herald Dispatch.
 
Movie:
We Are Marshall with Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox. (2006) 
 
 
Visit I'm Grieving as Fast as I Can for my own thoughts on closure. 
 
 

 
Go to next page: Shadow Grief


  August 2017

 


 

Why can’t I find a page or link that used to be here?

Over the last nine years, The Grieving Heart® meandered into many topics and lost its purpose. I have deleted 40 pages to bring it back to the original focus of grief and helping grievers.

Web addresses come and go and I cannot guarantee the accuracy, safety or longevity of third-party (external) sites. Adding links by request, or finding and fixing broken links are massive time consumers, so I have deleted many outside sources and will limit additions in the future. The external links that remain are checked on a regular basis and related to grief, helping grievers and pet loss. 

I will continue to honor and remember veterans and fallen soldiers because it is the least I can do for those who have given so much.

I hope that my renewed attention to grief information will make The Grieving Heart® a better experience and comfort for you. Thank you for visiting. CJ

 


 

 My E-mail:

Christine@thegrievingheart.info 

A Word About E-mail: One way to decrease SPAM e-mail caused by Internet bots is to deactivate the live address link. You can still contact me by copying and pasting this address into your own e-mail program. Thank you.

 
Note to Visitors:
 
I read and respond to grief email at the end of each month when I update this site. If you need a more timely response, please visit a well moderated grief healing discussion group. It is free to use and requires registration to participate. I am not part of this group, but certified grief counselors are there to help, support and comfort grievers and those who love them. Because the counselors lost funding for the site, they are grateful for voluntary donations.
 
 
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How complicated and individual mending is, the time required for healing
cannot be measured against any fixed calendar
. Mary Jane Moffat
 
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