Pine forests and dramatic skies – are very inspiring for me.
Links to Part 1 and Part 2 of this story:
Below are recent recordings of my song:
To be honest, I did not expect to write a “Part 3” about this song. But just last week, I received an amazing message that I really wanted to share with this story.
I wrote my song “It’s Not Forever” as a way to offer hopefulness – not only to other people, but also for myself. I dedicated it to a certain woman named Sammi. With the words of, “You say your pain will always be there,” I am speaking to her.
On my last post, I completely accepted Sammi’s disagreement with my lyric line of “It’s Not Forever.” She told me that her grief was forever and her pain was never going to change. I understood because I felt exactly that same way for a very long time.
I have shared many exchanges with Sammi on this blog since we first connected on an Internet grief forum three years ago; I have never met her. From the very beginning, I found her writing to be powerful and believed that our exchanges were very touching. Sammi told me that I was free to share any of our correspondence on my blog.
A few weeks ago, I wanted to let her know that I had just posted a song and story dedicated to her. I sent her a message.
A week went by and I didn’t hear from her.
Finally, I saw she posted a message on her Facebook grief page named “The Indescribable Journey.” (Her words are in brown and mine black):
Been MIA for a week or so. Had emergency surgery and just got out of the hospital a few days ago. I think I’m related to Job.
I’m so sorry, Sammi. I read your words above and at first I thought it was related to your JOB! Honestly, I know you’ve been working very hard but I’m hoping you are better soon. Please let me know how you are doing.
Another week went by. I was anxious to hear how Sammi was doing and relieved when she finally shared more about her ordeal. But I was completely surprised and shocked by what she wrote.
Sammi is a real person and has suffered from horrible grief in her life. First, she lost her mother when she was 18 and that changed the course of her life. But when her 36-year-old son, AJ died suddenly 3 years ago – the impact that had on her life was indescribable.
I was once told that the agony over losing a child didn’t begin to subside for at least seven years. That ended up being true for me personally.
I share now Sammi’s touching words that she wrote just last week after she came close to death:
I had emergency surgery two weeks ago, something else I didn’t ask for in my life. I had a perforated bowel, so the decision was taken out of my hands. I thought this was just another trial for me to get through, but I was mistaken.
What awaited me after I woke up was wholly unexpected and a gift. I woke up feeling lighter, like I hadn’t felt in three years. I woke up feeling settled, not as angry. I think I had an epiphany. I don’t remember anything from the time I went out before my surgery until I woke up in my room. Nothing. Blank. I just know I felt different.
I discussed this with a few people and one nurse asked me, “How do you know you didn’t have a conversation with your son or with your mother? How do you know you weren’t visited by someone and just are not allowed to remember?” That was a very interesting statement. My sister-in-law said, “Maybe you just realized that you weren’t ready to go yet, you weren’t finished here?”
My best friend told me she prayed daily to AJ to help me get through this intact. She told me she was so afraid I would never come back. When talking with her and with my brother they both said, “You sound different. You sound like you. You’re back!”
I will believe them because I feel that way. I think maybe I saw AJ and my parents and they all gave me a collective boot in the ass and told me to get on with life. The pain of losing my beautiful, smiling boy is still there. The hole in my soul is still there. The sense of loss and a life cut short is still there, but it seems to hover around me until I let it in.
I will decide if it is a strong day or a weak day for me. I will decide to stand tall or crumble.
Grief, my ever-lurking stalker, will be let in by me from now on. I will no longer allow myself to be its victim. I will fight back for my right to exist without constant sorrow.
I think I now have an army behind me on this indescribable journey.
Oh, Sammi, all I can say is, “Wow!” Did you ever believe that was possible? That is exactly the way I’ve described my own personal journey toward healing. The memories of pain and the ache can always be ignited, but feeling lighter about life is such a gift. Perhaps in your dreams, bits and pieces will be revealed to you over time. I am so happy for you, Sammi. And relieved that you are okay! Sending love and a big hug.
No, Judy. I did not believe it was possible. Ever. I don’t know if I will ever know what happened, but I accept it as a gift. Yes, I can jump back down into that darkness again. The way is open. There are no roadblocks. I won’t though. I want to move forward. Now I actually want it.
My mouth is hanging down – this is more than unbelievable. The day you were in surgery, I posted a song and story dedicated to you. I shared your message of how you were certain your grief was forever. It really is in a way; grief changes us. But the ugliness can turn into something beautiful.
How can that be? In your case, I feel a kinship. I know something you do not realize. What you actually want is to be in the light to inspire and help others, which you most certainly will.
I am coming along slowly. I have read my reports and have learned how scary the whole thing really was. I don’t think I have truly comprehended the touch and go situation I was in, but I am starting to. I got part of my staples and sutures removed yesterday and that was a relief, two more weeks and I see the surgeon again and have the others removed. I am always tired and very antsy when I’m up. Nothing worse than an RN for a patient; I am feeling better though.
Not to burst your bubble but “the light” is the last choice I would make. I don’t like the “center of attention spot.”
Actually, light can be interpreted many ways. I didn’t mean spotlight. I meant that you managed to just get the hell out of that dark place you were in. I see my son as my light. You were in AJ’s light (and your mom and dad’s).
Helping others is: sharing how you managed to survive, as well as to embrace life again.
“It’s Not Forever” is a song that reminds me how precious life is. So I end my post with two sweet pictures taken while celebrating my birthday last month with my children and former housekeeper, Rosa (who is like part of my family).
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