Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Beauty of Grief


Why We Talk About Them
By John Polo

We talk about them because we love them. In life. And in death.
We talk about them because they are still a part of us. And always will be.
We talk about them because the love we shared and the loss we endured have shaped us into the person we are today.
We talk about them because we find it therapeutic. For our minds. For our hearts. For our souls.
We talk about them because it helps us. And we hope it will help others.
We talk about them because the memories make us happy. And we need to feel that.
We talk about them because the memories make us sad. And we need to feel that.
We talk about them because we want the world to know the struggle.
Of cancer. Of suicide. Of drug addiction. Of heart disease. Of sudden death. Of terminal illness.
The struggle of loss.
We talk about them because we want you to appreciate what you have. Because in hindsight, we realize we may not have.
We talk about them because they are still ours. And we are still theirs.
We talk about them because in the day to day grind that is life, we sometimes feel them drifting away.
And we know that talking about them will make us feel closer to them today.
We talk about them because we want to.
We talk about them because we need to.
And yes, sometimes, we talk about them because nobody else is.
It is now our responsibility to carry on their legacies.
We talk about them because we take that responsibility very seriously.
When Michelle was sick and dying, she would often tell me of her fears that everyone would forget her.
That she would become a distant memory.
That nobody would speak of her anymore.
That it would be like she never existed.
Nope.
Not going to happen.
Not on my watch.
Not now.
Not ever.
We talk about them because we refuse to let them be forgotten.

© Copyright 2017 John Polo
John Polo with his wife Michelle

John Polo is a Stepfather, writer, author, and speaker who lost his wife Michelle to cancer, in January of 2016. She was just thirty years old when she died. John's grief was profound and in his book about the experience, Widowed. Rants, Raves, and RandomsJohn does mention that he had thoughts of suicide in the face of having lost his beloved Michelle. Ultimately though, John's book is one that offers hope to those who grieve. He details his own account of experiencing the acute pain of grief, and the hope that comes from moving through the grief and beginning the healing process.

I am honored that John was willing to let me share his poem above. When we spoke, he had this to offer to those who are new to the journey of grief:

"I know the pain that comes with losing your love.  That deep, gut wrenching pain. I know that you don't think you can make it through. I promise, you can. Be kind, patient and gentle with yourself.

Survive first. Live second."

Photo at top by Harli Marten on Unsplash

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