Thursday, September 6, 2007

Birthday thoughts on surviving grief

Tomorrow, September 7, is my 63rd birthday. I hate telling people how old I am. I don't feel old. I'm told I don't look my age...thank goodness! But today when Pavaratti died at age 71, I thought, "yikes, he's only 8 years older than I am." It made me more determined than ever to live my life to the fullest, to do all the things I want to do, to continue traveling, to continue writing, to continue enjoying my friends and to love my husband more and more each day.

I then think of my daughter Marcy, who died much too young at age 27, before she could really experience life to it's fullest, before she knew what it was like to have a child, before she could travel the world with her husband and children. I thank God that I had her for 27 years, and she was able to have some wonderful experiences, and that even though she was killed in an auto accident only four months after she married, she at least had a great love and was able to marry.

I hate listening to people who say, "When I retire, I'll travel and do everything I've always dreamed of doing." A great thought, but my philosophy is "Why wait?" Do it while you still can, while you are healthy and can run through the sand, climb that mountain, swim in that sea.

I lost the most precious person in my life, my daughter. Except for my husband, I have no other living blood family members. Why not go out there and enjoy a beautiful sunset, see all the wonders of the world, write a great American novel, live, live, live...

This is one of many thoughts that might go through your mind as you go through the grief process, a process that can last a lifetime. You are always continuing to heal and one of the things that is so helpful is to live your life as your child would have wanted you to do. Everyone must do what is best for them in whatever time they need. As time goes on, that grief gets what I call, 'softer.' It will never go away, there will always be a hole in your heart, but you will know when it is time to move on with your life. I have chosen to move on with a great desire to live as long as possible and see everything there is to see and everything there is to do. And I always keeping my precious daughter Marcy in my thoughts every step of the way.

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