It’s a Process

"I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn't get better. You get better."
                              Joan Rivers

I'm learning that surviving loss and grief is a process. And, just like all things in life, there are bumps in the road and sometimes dangerous places to navigate. Living in the aftermath of losing my husband is a constant state of discovery, change, rediscovery, and remembering. In fact, there are a lot of "R" words that go into the this recovery process. Words like restoration, refinement, reminiscing, randomness, revitalization, relinquishing, remorse, and regret. Regret. It's one of those places that are dangerous to navigate and when I go there, my brain instinctively tells me not to linger, because the danger of getting stuck is very real. And, strange though this may sound, I've even found relief -- both for my husband and myself. Relief for him because he is no longer suffering, and for myself because I am no longer worrying about all of the "what if's". . . because now these don't matter any more. "All of this takes time," I tell myself. Time, patience, hope, faith, and love. The love that I've learned to show myself through the grace that I extend inward. Grace that allows me to fail and to get up and try again. To hurt and to heal. To be strong enough to move forward, carefully mixing the love that Brian and I shared while he was alive, and the love for him that I will always hold space for, tucked away in my heart. 

Thirty years ago I went through a divorce. To deal with the heart ache and stress, I would sit at my dining room table each night and write poems. Now, all these years later, those poems are in a newly published book I authored, Roses Among the Thorns. It's amazing how much of that poetry, expressing the grief of lost in yet a different way, crosses over into the grief I feel surrounding Brian's death. One of those is "Rite of Passage." Grief over love lost through divorce. Grief over love lost through death. Both are summed up and felt by the heart in my favorite children's phrase: "It's exactly the same . . . only different." Hugs.

Rite of Passage
                by Julieanne Gentz
As I stand alone watching
my life passes by.
I feel like a stranger
without knowing why.

Who is this person
I thought I once knew?
How did I get here?
What can I do?

Life is a mystery 
I don't understand.
I give it my heart
but it won't take my hand.

I know I can make it 
in the world on my own.
It's just, I get scared
to do it alone.

Life is a mystery 
I can't comprehend.
But one day its journey 
will come to an end.

So I need to keep living,
and doing my best.
Trust in myself and 
let God do the rest.

For I've many treasures 
yet to uncover,
hills to climb over
and loves to discover.

Things won't be simple --
might even be rough.
But I believe in myself
and I pray that's enough.
                                    copyright 2022

3 thoughts on “It’s a Process

    • Thank you, Marshall. I appreciate your thoughts on my writing, both from your POV as a writer, and as someone who is working their way through grief themselves. I am having a tough time getting to my computer to post lately. Not that I don’t have anything to post, but because I sometimes just can’t make myself sit and do it. I am working on marketing my book of poetry from my divorce (30 years ago), and that is inspiring me to do something with my writing/journaling that surrounds Brian’s death. I hope things are going well with you. I will try to have more posts for you to read! Do you post your writing anywhere? If so, I would love to link up with it and read things that you write. Have a great day!


      • thank you for the compliment. I have never tried to publish anything I write aside from profesioal presentations of years ago but I was writing a lot on various FB pages related to Spirituality and Widowhood and I found it very therapeutic a way to deal with grief. My own lasted about 2 years and I am ready to move forward and I certainly encourage others to follow your steps and get feeling and hopes for the future out of our system and we better deal with grief. Perhaps your late husband’s death had another purpose in getting you to move forward on stalled dreams, May you be abundantly blessed


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