My darkest hour precedes the dawn.
When loveless night begets the morn.
For I bear the heart that’s torn.
No longer shall I be lovelorn.
As love eternal is reborn.
Grief is an awful thing. My friend is suffering from it awfully at the moment due to of loss of a very loved pet and a family member. I have had my own grief over the years for the same reasons and so being the person I am I try to explain it to myself and also to give some hope to my lovely friend who I do care for greatly.
Grief is as I said awful. We all handle it in different ways.It is in these circumstances when someone in our lives passes and we have to accept that we will never ever see them again. It’s the end, finality. They are gone. Or are they?
I am not a religious person, I never have been, I find established religion abhorrent, but I do not deny all the tenets of spirituality out of hand. Maybe there is a continuance of consciousness after we die. Maybe there is reincarnation. My view is that nobody has ever come back to tell us and probably never will and that is why I cannot accept spiritualism either which I believe is just the milking of peoples gullibility. I do not accept that dead relatives speak to us from beyond the grave… but.
My example in point is my father who died just days after Christmas in 2007. I was always closer to my mother I suppose, but my father was always the one who spoke the wisest words to me especially when I was down or in trouble yet again. I miss him greatly. I miss his philosophy of life, a lot of which I share now.
Over the past 2 to 3 years, maybe more, I have often spoken to him. In fact in my recent toxic marriage his was the voice of reason that I heard. He was the one that convinced me that I shouldn’t be in that relationship, that I would never be happy as long as I stayed with that woman. I knew that she was making my life a misery yes, she had been for the last few years at least. And yes I had left before, several times, calling it a day, only to weaken and return.
That was no answer if I wanted to find happiness in my life again. And I had heard him before along with quite a few friends (who are still alive) telling me that I would be a fool to return. Unfortunately I weakened as I said and ignored them all, several times. Such a pity as I could have found this happiness I am experiencing now maybe a year or more ago. Such a waste but maybe this was karma telling me the time wasn’t right then. I hope it is now…. And so?
Was this the spirit of my dead father giving me advice from beyond the grave? I believe not. As I said I do not believe that the dead talk to us. I will explain what I think was happening. Obviously after 54 years I knew what my father thought. I knew what his reactions to my problems would be. His advice to me had always been sound in life and I believe my brain searched for that advice from within myself and my memory. I just knew what he would have told me if he had still been alive. I believe my brain transfigured his words and advice from the past to my present. I was hearing him yes, but through myself. It was not his dead spirit I could hear but my very much alive father speaking to me from the past. From my experience of him in the past.His words to me lived on… in me.
And so. What is this grief? Why do we suffer this terrible mind numbing pain when a much loved relative, friend or pet passes. Why does our brain run in loops asking why, why, why? It is our brain processing the fact that we will never see them in a tangible form again. Our brains are dealing with a terrible stress of loss which can and often does make us ill either physically or even mentally. But the brain is a wonderful thing. It also has the power of restoration. No we will never totally get over that grief. It will always reside in our mind but the brain learns to compartmentalise it. Put it in perspective. File it away safely. It will always pop out again especially on anniversaries or when a certain thing or place for example, reminds us of that loss again but the pain does decrease with time. It always does. It has to or we would go insane.
And in my view, the departed never leave us. They are always there but within ourselves for evermore. We remember all their little ways, all their words (or woofs lol). We remember how they reacted to our problems, our love for them and theirs for us. We remember their advice, their faces, their smiles. We remember everything about them and they live on forever, not in some hidden place, but within us. They live on in our hearts and minds and souls forever more. They become an integral part of our very being and we should not mourn them but rather celebrate the fact that we knew each other and loved each other. We always will. The deceased still live through us, the living and we should accept that and take solace in it.
And so… grief is awful but it actually a vital part of the healing process. It allows the brain to process our loss and heal that hurt. It can take a while to do that and we do need to allow ourselves that time and healing but also we must not shut ourselves away and compound that grief with self isolation. We have to repair and restore.
Stan M Rogers. September 2018.
I have not copyright protected this piece and it is publicly shared for personal use. Feel free to copy and paste, download or share if you feel it helps you or someone who is suffering loss. But please. If you do share please do not alter or amend and please leave my attribution in.
Time for sleep in Chateau Rogers but I thought I’d share this piece I found in my odds and ends files from 2009. I’d forgotten about this and even put it under ‘unfinished’.
I kinda like it.
Castles in the Sky.
Sometimes I sit outside on warm summer evenings
And I think such thoughts
Such sad painful thoughts
But I look above to heaven.
There are no gods there, but I see
Great castles in a pink puffed sky.
Figures in clouds
Those dragons. They burn. They hurl fire but they fade.
And I see your face
Feel your fingers in mine
Just history now but I feel them still
And yes… tears come. Sobs from my heart.
At things lost. At memories.
An orange sun sinks in the sky
And I know you feel its warmth too
I feel it touching your skin, I touched it too
And a breeze gently stirs. Bending flowers before it
I feel it on my face, drying tears
Touching my lips, lips that kissed yours.
But I sit here in this sadness
And I wring my hands in hope
That those days will come again
That my exile, my solitude will end
But for now. I will go. Try to forget.
But I feel that one day …
…one day I will return.
When dragon fire no longer
…. Will burn.
Copyright Stan Rogers 2009.
Exactly one year ago today I received the news that I had liver cancer. I’m not going to go into the details as they are all well documented on here.
It was my birthday weekend and I was given the news by telephone at 4:30 on the Friday 8th September 2017. I didn’t do much celebrating. But since that fateful day in September 2017 so much has happened. One could say my life has utterly changed. It is true to say that I would not have believed on that day last year how much it would change in the coming year.
But mostly I survived the cancer. Yes I was lucky. I believe it was due to the diligence of my doctor, Neil Pandya, at my local practice in Dublin Ohio who kept pressing for more tests even when I had been told that I was ok. And yes I do wonder if that would have happened if I had been in the U.K. then. Maybe it was karma that had seen me return to the USA in June even though I had many many doubts at that time that things would work out between myself and my wife Kit. Maybe it was predestination at its best. Maybe predestination is still in play?
In the year that followed I had the operation, a liver resection, which again is well documented in this site. The operation was a complete success and by Christmas 2017 I was cured and virtually back to my old self but a little wiser. In January this year I told Kit I could no longer carry on with our marriage and by February we had filed for divorce which became final in April this year.
One of the tenuously possible reasons for the liver cancer may have been down to the fact that I had been diagnosed with hepatitis C. I have undergone drug therapy for that in the U.K. and I am pleased to say that it is also now cured. I have my final meeting with the nurse and blood tests on, ironically my birthday on Tuesday next week but the previous test 4 weeks ago already showed that I was free of the hep C virus. I am just completing the course of treatment now.
I have lost a lot more weight in the past year also. At the time of the op I was 175lbs (12 stone 7lbs) and I had already lost 45lbs even at that time through sensible eating and exercise. Now I have lost another 40lbs, mostly since April and I now weigh in at 135lbs (9 stone 9lbs). In fact I am now so fit that I no longer have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol.
So there you have it. One year on and such a momentous 12 months to look back on. And for most of it I have either faced it alone or feeling alone but I hope that will not last. Until then there will be some mystery to my life….haha. But until then I have 2 birthdays to celebrate…😀
Today I had to try to book a routine blood test at the docs. I’m hoping to get the ok to cut out most of the meds I take now. I was 17th in the call queue when I got through. Well inspiration hits at the strangest times and I wrote most of this. Not one of my best but I kinda like it.
Bright blue sky morning
Early morning mist lays on the meadow
Sitting barefoot on the porch edge
Feet on dew drenched grass
I am thinking, thinking hard
Where am I now?
Where do I want to be?
I do know that
But where will I end up?
What will I become?
Who will share this future with me?
Yeah, happiness is what I want
I guess I think I deserve it now
… and past disappointments haunt me
… broken trust hurt me
… bitter betrayal burnt me
But I survived.. yep I guess
I moved on… oh yes.
… I moved forward… oh yes.
And all that poisoned water
It’s gone, passed under the bridge
It’s fresh and cool now. I can drink life
… without sickness anymore.
And glances back? Yeah maybe a few.
I hear Killdeer’s plaintive calling. I sip coffee
Nostalgia… sometimes, but bittersweet now.
.. the past wasn’t all bad
It just became that way
And so I am this way.
Just sitting on my porch, feet wet.
On a late summers day.
Copyright Stan M Rogers 2018
I love this little thing, Black white and blue
I love the colours, I see them as symbols
Blue for the sky on sunny days
In so many bright and sunny ways
The good things, sunny smiles, bright sunny people.
The white is for fluffy fair weather clouds
Those small everyday doubts blowing away
I don’t have a lot and they worry me not.
… summer breezes on summer days.
And the black is for the bad times
The darkness of my nights when the black dog bites
When everything is dark
But I pat his head … hear him bark, take him to the local park
And I become my self again.
And together they symbolise me I suppose
A lot of love, a little doubt,
Mixed in with ‘What is this all the hell about?’
They are my life
The ‘me’ The only me.