Coming Up For Air

This past week I’ve been suffocating under a heavy mantle of grief.  On Monday I had learned I lost a friend of over 30 years in a car accident.

Since I received the news, time has become a fuzzy thing.  It seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace and then race at a dizzying speed.

I found myself lost in thoughts of …. nothing.  I grieved for my friend, his wife, and son.  I grieved for lost opportunity and the unfairness of life.

I struggled with sadness and anger in unequal amounts as waves of one or the other crashed over me when I least expected it.

This morning I took a long walk at the lake and while I contemplated the beauty of nature, I was reminded that – like fear – we can’t let grief overwhelm us.  We have to acknowledge it and then let it go … because if we don’t, it will suffocate us.

Bluffer - June3

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Memories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Coming Up For Air

  1. treerabold says:

    I have no words other than to say how sorry I am.

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  2. Dear Joanne, I am so very sorry for your loss. I read your post when you wrote it but was unable to comment at the time. I have been thinking of of you. I know that the hurt doesn’t go away but with each passing day one is able to deal with it a little more easily. I’ve read all through your the comments and don’t people say the loveliest things. I hope their kind words have helped. Hugs to you xoxo

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you so much Carol. I really was so uncomfortable about sharing my grief but discovered the process was rather cathartic.
      I had no idea how much I would be embraced with kindness by the blogging community. Their words – like yours – really did lighten my burden. I shouldn’t have doubted the caring of the wonderful people we interact with through our blogs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend, Joanne! Sending hugs and prayers to you! If it’s any consolation, he’s always with you, surrounding you with love.

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  4. I’m so sorry Joanne and my condolences to you and Gilles. It was the anger that surprised me about grief since the sadness is to be expected…don’t insist on letting the grief go too soon, sometimes it will catch you again by surprise and that’s all okay. XX

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. I admit the anger caught me off-guard too. I’ve experienced my fair share of loss – both family and friends – but I’ve never felt so emotionally all-over-the-map.

      Writing about it really helped me a lot. It seems my grief was looking for a voice.

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  5. beeblu says:

    How sad to lose a friend and a such an enduring friendship. Condolences, Joanne.

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  6. mmrli says:

    So sorry for your loss. I understand your sentiment. You summed up how I felt when my father passed away.

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  7. LB says:

    Joanne, i don’t have the words to ease your grief but know that loving thoughts from across the WP family are with you.
    So very sorry for your loss. LB

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  8. Joanne, I skipped one day of reading and missed the most important post you’ve ever put out here. I’m so very touched that when you came up for air you turned to your blogging friends. I grieve with you and I grieve for you. I’m so glad to know that you’re spending time with your friend and helping her through what must be the most horrible time she’ll ever know. Sometimes, I do think that stepping in and helping someone else through it is the best way for us to get through our own grief. None of it easy, but where else would you be but by her side?

    Do remember that there are stages of grief and that you will go backward and forward for quite a while. Do remember that you’re not just dealing with grief but also shock. Give yourself lots of time and remember that as long as you are here and other who knew him are here, he will never be totally gone. He’s influenced each and every one of you every day you knew him and you’ll carry that on with you forever.

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I know that you’re going to find your strength by passing it on to those who need it even more than you do right now. That’s just how Joanne is! Am sending many virtual hugs your way!

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you Torrie for your supportive words and kind thoughts. I think it is the shock that we struggle with the most.
      For days I had no words to describe how I felt. Gilles and I would just look at each other and our eyes would well up.
      I am so grateful for the kindness of the blogging community. I was reluctant to share my words but was embraced in response.
      Thank you so very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautifully said at a time when words are hard to find. Hugs Joanne x

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  10. pike says:

    Joanne ❤

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  11. Heyjude says:

    It’s the suddenness that hits us when something like this happens. Your mind goes into total shock and disbelief. Your heart really does break. It hurts. A lot. Moving on will take time, don’t rush it. You may find yourself in body-shaking tears in a moment. It’s a scary time Jo, but at least you have come up for air – that’s a good start. And you are among friends, virtual and real.
    Jude xx

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    • joannesisco says:

      You’re right Jude … friends make all the difference – both in the good times and bad.

      Putting my grief out to the world has really helped. Giving it a voice has dramatically softened the edges and I’m so grateful to each and every one of you who shared your love and concern back to me ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Norm 2.0 says:

    So sorry for your loss. Sudden losses like this always remind us of how precious our time here is and how important it is to make the most of it.
    Virtual hugs to you my friend. In the meantime: one day at a time.

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    • joannesisco says:

      You are so right Norm. This has definitely been a reminder to myself not to waste so much time and energy on things that don’t really matter.

      Thank you for the hugs. They are one of the things in life that really do matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. bikerchick57 says:

    Joanne, I am glad you came up for air. Love and hugs for you.

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  14. Dear Joanne,
    I am so sorry for your loss; such a tragic way to leave this world. I know that feeling when all around you the world stops while you try to understand. Take time to grieve. It is a step in the process of healing. I love how you decided to take a walk at the lake and how you shared your sadness by writing about it. Now you carry the memory of your friend and the time you spent together forever in your heart.
    xxoo

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you for that. I didn’t want to write about this. I didn’t want to dump out the contents of my heavy heart … but the walk at the lake made me realize I needed to.
      Expressing the words somehow made it easier to shed some of the weight.

      I am so grateful that my kind friends in the blogging community responded to that need and would send back their warm thoughts. Thank you, I appreciate it so much.

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  15. You must remember this friend in life, not death. Celebrate the memories he gave you.

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  16. Oh, Joanne. I’m so sorry. A sudden and senseless death like that is hard to fathom and the grief weighs so heavily because we are unprepared for it. I don’t know if we ever really let go of the grief but we learn to live with it. Hugs to you. xx

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    • joannesisco says:

      Sadly, you know this one too well, don’t you. Grief does seem to bind people in a way that no other emotion can.
      Thanks for your hugs – they’re always therapeutic.

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  17. Corina says:

    So sorry to hear about your friend’s death. All you can do for his family is be there…not just now but later, when everyone forgets to check on them…be there then.

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  18. I am so sorry for your loss and will keep you, and your friend’s family, in my prayers. Some deaths hit us so much harder than others….it’s like a shock to our system. And, although it’s hard to believe now, in time you will find peace. My friends and I now hold a yearly benefit, in memory of our high school friend who passed. It keeps her memory alive, brings dozens of our friends together each summer, and has helped tremendously with the healing process. I hope you’re able to find comfort in your special memories and friendships as well.

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    • joannesisco says:

      That’s a lovely tradition to have. I remember reading once that someone doesn’t truly die until there is no one to remember them.

      The shock is slowly wearing off and the reality is settling in. A good person leaves behind good memories and these I hold on to.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. de Wets Wild says:

    So sorry for your loss Joanne. I hope that the happy memories will soothe your hurt.

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  20. Sammy D. says:

    Joanne, I’m so sorry. Tragedies like this bring an element of shock along with sadness and it takes awhile to feel like what’s around you is real. I’m glad you pushed yourself to get outdoors. Those we lose wouldn’t want us wasting a minute grieving them instead of living our moments, but before we can get back to living, we do need to feel the love and value of the person we’ve lost.

    Hugs 💖

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    • joannesisco says:

      I agree with you Sammy. I think the sudden shock is what throws us off balance and it takes a while to find centre again.

      … and I am. The sadness is going to linger for a while but the shock is dissipating and the reality is setting in.

      Thank you so much for the hugs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Mrs. P says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost a good friend. Though it is hard to do…one must move forward.

    I personally have found much solace in creating something in their memory. For my father it was a painting. A friend of mine is working on a shadow box and “mother’s garden” and another friend will be creating a book of “momisms” things her mother used to say to her when she didn’t know what to do. She was very close to her mother and they spoke several times a day for most of her life. Whatever way you choose to heal yourself, I hope that it helps you to gain solid footing again, soon.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Your comment about the ‘momism’ made me smile remembering my own mother’s funeral. Two of her granddaughters delivered a eulogy about her momisms that was so very funny.
      Yes – we somehow manage to find the memories that comfort us. Yesterday his wife and I were able to share a few laughs. Whenever we were together, we always managed to laugh at something – glad that hasn’t changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh, Joanne I’m so sorry to hear your news. I lost my grandparents in a car accident and there is something about the suddenness that makes the loss that much harder to bear. My condolences to all families touched by this tragedy.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Oh Lisa, that’s a terrible way to lose your grandparents. The suddenness creates a shock wave that stuns us. You’re right – the loss feels unbearably heavy.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. His wife and son are doing remarkably well under the circumstances. I hope my grace under pressure is never tested to this degree.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Su Leslie says:

    Joanne, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I’m glad that you have some space to feel your grief and, as you say, acknowledge it. Sending my kindest wishes and big hugs to you. xxx

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  24. Alex Hurst says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I think car accidents (or accidents like them) are one of the most tragic ways to lose someone. I lost a coworker that I’d just finished training to one. That was twelve years ago and I still think of her from time to time. My thoughts to you and his family.

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    • joannesisco says:

      These accidents create thoughts of ‘if only’. They are a reminder of how unknown our time is that we have available. It just strengthens my belief that we have to make the most out of the time we have.
      Thank you so much for your kinds thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Sue Slaght says:

    Dearest Joanne I am so very sorry for your loss. Such a sudden loss makes the shock and loss so piercing. Sending my love and heartfelt sympathy. Big hugs across the miles.

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  26. Oh, my dear… I am so sorry that you are hurting. I’ve been in the same spot… the one where there’s a loss that for some reason confounds. Not necessarily because it’s sudden, or the person was close, but because the magnitude of grief feels out of proportion.

    It’s a fine line to walk – processing the grief and being consumed by it. My heart goes out to you and your friend’s family.

    Thank you so much for sharing here.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Oh Maggie – this one has me confounded in so many ways.
      I know you and I share the same characteristics – we think too much and feel too deeply. It’s a brutal combination when we are dealing with loss.

      Although I was very reluctant to write about this, it has helped me process my grief and shed some of its weight.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. shoreacres says:

    I sometimes think we shy away from others’ griefs because they make us remember our own. And yet, that remembrance of grief also is a reminder of shared humanity. If we hurt together, we’ll heal together. You have my condolences.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Unfortunately we all have to deal with grief eventually, but it doesn’t seem to get easier over time – at least it’s not for me.
      Thank you for your kind words. Your comment of a shared humanity reminds me of the saying that happiness shared is doubled and sorrow shared is halved.

      Like

  28. Lynn says:

    Oh Joanne, I am so sorry to hear of the tragic loss of your friend. Sudden loss knocks us right off our feet, leaving us feeling so overwhelmed with grief. Sending you a big hug & wishing you a peaceful heart.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Lynn, it’s much appreciated. This one hurt a lot. I had hoped that writing about it would help me release some of that grief … much like that walk on the beach helped.

      Like

  29. Oh Joanne, I am so sorry to hear that and, at moments like this, there really is no right thing to say. It is unfortunate that grief is a part of life and it seems like you are dealing with it the best way you possibly can.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Marissa, you are so right … there are no words – at least if there were, I wish someone could tell me.
      It’s hard enough to deal with my own grief, let alone trying to find the right words to say to a dear friend who is now unexpectedly a widow.
      I don’t seem to be getting better at it as I get older.

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  30. Please accept my deepest condolences, Joanne. So sorry for your loss. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  31. ChristineR says:

    It is the suddenness of these things that squeeze one the most. So many ‘but if only he/she wasn’t / didn’t / hadn’t’ … Wrong place at the wrong time. It’s the randomness that brings home the fragility of the family unit. Take care, Joanne. At my stepson’s funeral, my brother-in-law gave us a geranium and now when I see it I smile. It took some time though.

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  32. NancyTex says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Joanne. Please accept my deepest condolences and virtual hugs until we can get together for coffee (or a hike) to hug in person. 😥

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  33. “We can’t let grieve overwhelm us”. It is true I suppose, but easier said than done. I lost my best friend of 30+ years last year in May and it threw me off. Like I lost my balance, so I know how you feel right now and I am very sorry for your loss. I always buy an orchid, a rose or a tree when someone, who was very special to me, passes on -even for our dogs. Planted when mourning and grieving, but later on they make me smile when they bloom in memory of a special one. (Sorry for the novel)

    Liked by 1 person

  34. lovetotrav says:

    I am so sorry for your loss as well as for your friend’s family. Unexpected loss is so quick and hard to understand. There is no time to discuss and share with the person. It just happens and the “whys” can drive us crazy. You are on the right path taking the time to think and work and feel your way through it. Take care of yourself as you grieve.

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  35. Purpleanais says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I was in the same place you are now not that long ago – it’s a horrible place to be. You just have to go through the process, embracing the pain and hurt is the *only* thing you can do – I am sending positive vibes your way (I’m sorry if it sounds trite)

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    • joannesisco says:

      Grieving is a natural part of life … I appreciate that eventually we will all be faced with it, but I was shocked at how eviscerated I felt by this one.
      You’re right – it is a horrible place. Thanks for the posiitive vibes. I appreciate them a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. bulldog says:

    Sorry to hear of yourfrieyouyour friend… but as we get a little older it seems to happen more and more… then you start to hear of those a lot younger than you and one start to question life itself… but as you say, one must acknowledge the fact, mourne the passing and move on, there seems little explanation of why we go and when… so I try to embrace their life as it was, rather than the passing…. does that make sense?

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    • joannesisco says:

      It makes total sense Bulldog … in a world that sometimes doesn’t make any sense at all.

      I’ve dealt with the death of family, friends, colleagues … but this one kicked the stuffing out of me. I needed the reminder that we shouldn’t let our grief define us. It drains the colour out of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

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