Mysterious Moments–Narratives and Grief
Several years ago, I heard a grief story that, like a song repeating in my mind, refused to leave my thoughts or feelings. It occurred when I was visiting a friend’s elderly mother in her assisted-living apartment. On the wall close to her recliner was a portrait of her adorable eighteen-month-old son with curly blond hair, blue eyes, and rosy cheeks. I knew that he died shortly after the portrait was painted but had little knowledge about his death. For some reason, I asked her about her experience with grief and she shared a story that had not been told previously and, to my knowledge, was never told again.
Her son was born with an untreatable heart condition and, for those eighteen months, he experienced great suffering. As a woman, steeped in Southern culture, she never shared the pain of his death. But for years, her grief remained raw and nothing—-not her family, not her profession, not her religion—decreased her distress. When her son would have been about 18 years old and draft eligible, she was watching the evening news that contained graphic TV footage of the Vietnam War. Suddenly, she had a thought that forever altered her grief. In that moment, she realized that he never had to take another’s life and that he didn’t have to die alone and afraid. His short life was filled with love, and he died in the loving presence of his family. This thought brought healing to her deep, enduring distress.
Thereafter, I found myself listening for similar stories from individuals in grief. The number of people who experienced these “aha” moments surprised me. Their occurrence was variable—sometimes close to the death to sometimes many years later.
Because grief can be so isolating, I decided to write a book, Mysterious Moments: Thoughts That Transform Grief, to hopefully decrease that sense of isolation. It is a collection of 10 stories based on real life experiences of loss. The stories include a variety of relationships, and, although each story is different, the common thread that ties them together is that each griever experienced transformative thoughts, altering their course of grief and offering healing and hope.
Mysterious Moments: Thoughts That Transform Grief is available through Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1618460293/) or at your local independent bookstore.