Resources for Grieving

The Year 2020 was awful for all of us – and particularly for those of us who lost loved ones. As some of you may know, I recently lost my beloved husband Tom to bile duct cancer. We knew “something” was amiss in early 2020; he lost a lot of weight quickly and for no apparent reason. He got the diagnosis of this rare cancer in early May and was told he had just a few months to live. He went through several rounds of chemo but died in early December.

Everybody goes through the grieving process differently, and from personal experience, I can say you don’t know what your own process will look like until you’re in the middle of it. My journey of grieving was a slow grind. My 60-year-old husband went from an active person with lots of projects and plans to a bitter, angry, constantly complaining, grumpy old man who looked at least 80 years old, reduced to skin and bones – all in the space of seven months. The process wore on me from the inside, while my brave outer shell kept a smile on my face, a cheerful dress on my body, and an unflappable attitude that would not crack under any circumstance. 

The moment the van carrying my husband’s body pulled out of the driveway, I fell completely apart. The shell cracked open, ugly and primal, going from “completely unflappable” to “completely unhinged” in the space of about 3 seconds. I screamed and made noises that frightened my teenage son. I wore my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers for three days and constantly wept. Unable to sleep, my body felt like it had been shaken, slapped around, and thrown to the ground. My digestive system was askew, my nerves were shot, my brain was in a fog. 

Then I was fine. After three days of weeping, I woke up the next morning with the sun streaming through the window and a light breeze wafting through the room on an unseasonably warm December day. I told myself I could choose to be happy. And I am. The weeping and crying are long gone (reappearing only once, after I was told my son and I had both tested negative for covid). I’m back to my usual cheerful self, wading through the inevitable paperwork and phone calls that attend a loved one’s death. 

So how do you get through the grieving process? I honestly think it depends on how resilient you were to begin with. Years ago, an Episcopal priest told me I was the most resilient person she had ever met. I’ve been through all kinds of crap and have learned how to recover from it. I’ve worked on becoming resilient, and when I needed those skills, they kicked in. 

Nevertheless, here’s what I’ve found helpful:

Whew! This is the first writing I’ve done in months. Thanks for bearing with me!

Blessings, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles: Stories of Unlikely Connections & Unexpected Gifts, along with several other fiction and non-fiction books.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.