It’s been 17 years since you died. Every year, I’m reminded of it. The 25th of October you left this world after being hit by a car. You flew through the air, and I wonder: What were your last thoughts? Did you realize this would be your last seconds? That you never would see your family and friends again?
Who would you be today, if you were still here? You were only 16. We talked about moving in together when I was 16, because we needed to spend as much time together as possible. You always made me smile, no matter how bad my day was. But after you died, smiling was harder. For years there was only blackness. When I saw other friends, it did not feel right, because I knew there never would be another you. Nobody could replace you, no one understood me as well as you did. You loved me to bits, and it was mutual.
I don’t know if there is a life after this. I’ve pondered that possibility since you died. To never see you again, feels terrible. I hope you are sitting on a cloud, watching over me. Are you sad? Sad because you had so many dreams that never will come true?
I’ve felt guilty for years. Why did I survive when you didn’t? I’ve been in two car accidents, but I’m still here. You were at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that feels unfair. You were loved by so many people, and you always saw the good in everyone around you. I’ve tried to keep that in mind, to bring it with me whenever I encounter new people. I am blessed to have known you.
Are you proud of me? Did I manage to become the person you hoped I would become?
17 years later, and I can still see your face and hear your voice when I close my eyes. The memories we shared are so precious to me, and I can’t and won’t ever forget you.
15 years ago my best friend died after a car hit her. She was on her way to school, probably walking while dreaming about her future. About the things she wanted to do, the day coming up. Off course, I don’t know this. But I knew her. I know she lived her life everyday, without fear. She had just had her 16th birthday, one week before she died. Almost an adult, but with so many years in front of her.
People say that often the best people die first. I know this is a cliche, and that sometimes we forget the negative after someone dies. But I know the reality of what we experienced together. How she made me laugh about anything. Forgetting the people around us, making me feel so happy. I remember her smile, her wisdom beyond her years.
I never forgot her. I also couldn’t stop the pain of feeling torn in two. The tears that never stopped, the funeral where I sang for her. Where I went to the front of the church to tell her how much she meant to me. The way I couldn’t cope with others smiling, laughing together. How dark the world got, my nightmares.
Today she is still there. The guilt over me surviving when she didn’t. And her voice, telling me not to be stupid. That she wants me to live life to the fullest. That I owe her to experience the things I couldn’t.
I will never forget you. And I’m glad. I’m glad for every second we spent together.
At the moment I`m reading The Mummy at the Dining Room Table.
In the book well known practitioners recount the most memorable case histories of their illustrious careers. Engaging and surprising stories of human behavior are dramatically and often humorously portrayed. Each chapter gives a behind-the-scenes look at how therapists work with clients whose problems and behaviors aren’t found in standard psychology textbooks. The book also shows how these eminent therapists often cure these apparently intractable problems and learn something about themselves in the process. I was especially moved By Robert A. Neimeyer`s case history “Reconstructing the Jigsaw Puzzle of a Meter Man`s Memory”, and wanted to learn more about this fascinating therapist. I found this interview, where he talks about grief. What follow is the interview, and a description of him and his thoughts about grief.
Even though grief and grieving are a natural aspect of life, it can be overwhelming physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D. has dedicated his life to the field of thanatology through his extensive research on the topics of death, grief, loss, and suicide intervention.
Dr. Neimeyer is a professor and director of psychotherapy research in the Department of Psychology at the University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Additionally, he is the editor of two respected international journals, Death Studies and the Journal of Constructivist Psychology. He has published 24 books and over 300 articles and book chapters. The Art of Longing, a book of contemporary poetry is his latest creative endeavor.
This interview is the first segment in a two part interview. In this introduction, Dr. Neimeyer portrays how grief rocks the foundation of our world and how through a newer model of grief therapy called “Meaning Reconstruction”, we can explore and integrate our loss into our life. Meaning Reconstruction is a process of healing grief through the telling and re-telling of our life stories; seeking new meanings to re-affirm and re-build our life in a world without our loved one. Dr. Neimeyer is advancing this model of grief in his research, counseling practice and life’s work.
In the second segment of the interview Dr. Neimeyer explains a deeper understanding of meaning reconstruction grief theory and shares more of his personal and professional insights. The second segment concludes with a reading of his poem entitled, The Art of Longing.
The man in an inspiration for therapists and clients who need to find meaning in their work and life.
Humans. One moment they`re there, in the next, gone. Traces from yesterday`s laughter still lingers in the air as storms and typhoons sweep over the last giggles. When the wind calms down, silence speaks and leave its marks in the sand. This time, at least 10.001 possible laughs blew away, and serious, cold stones will be raised instead. No-one wants to see their grayish, terrifying message. They remind us of our grief by it sober, cold surface. The hard granite knows no compromise; The only option left is for us to fall on our knees, letting our anguish out. Our tears fills baskets, but it`s still not enough. No tears can take away the pain. We plant flowers as a token of our love and we try to go on with our lives, even when we’re broken.
<We look at gravestones all the time, and we manage. We’ll have to manage, for their sake
This Weeks Writing Challenge asked writers to say how they leave their traces. The challenge showed a picture of flowers lying on a 150 year old grave.
This prompt brought a whirlwind of thoughts alive. They came washing over me like a typhoon washes over the shores. Left behind is havoc, both outside and inside people’s worlds. I think about the tiny graves that must be dug out, by hands feeling numb. I think: I want to remember this. I want to look every typhoon in the eye so I see it’s prey. Never letting myself waver. We have to face storms coming our way and use our remaining energy to remember them.
Their own memories drowned.
On the other side of the world an estimated 9.8 million people have had their lives and homes devastated by the super-typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines on Friday. Heartbreaking stories and pictures are being broadcast of the destruction inflicted by the storm (by hletters).
In USA, another storm blew away happiness and joy. A girl with a huge heart left us, leaving behind a boyfriend who loved her and many friends who truly appreciated her. She lived a life filled with strife, but also beauty. She preferred to stay outdoors, as near nature as possible. But nature craved her back the same way hungry waters craved thousands back in the Philippines.
Her death is silent. The world is not turned towards her as they’re understandably turned towards the Asians. But I do wish to leave a mark on her grave, too. I do hope I can lay my trace on her grave by writing this to show that a beautiful flower has died.
I hope, dear Nico, that I’ll always remember you. And I do hope, there’ll always be flowers on your grave.
Even after 150 years.
I’ll miss you