Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Grief Tunnel June 3, 2013

Four years ago today, my mom’s life changed forever. It was mid-afternoon, and she was feeling incredibly accomplished after having submitted several job applications. (She had been laid off from a gig at the local newspaper two weeks prior). She confidently clicked the “submit” button, smiling because she knew someone that knew someone there who would certainly give her a positive recommendation. Then it happened.

The phone rang, she answered it, and so began the blur of sudden death and it’s aftermath. It is one of those days that everyone involved remembers to the moment where they were and what they were doing at various times throughout the day. Passing through their lives as death waited with baited breath to knock so unkindly at their door.

But all have emerged, and as a general observer of people I’d have to say they have all become stronger because of it. I may only be a dog, but my heart tells me there is no timeframe for grief. Everyone takes different paths along their own emotional journey to recovery, and it is not a race. There is no right way to grieve either. It’s one of those situations you never wish to be in, but once it happens you somehow work through it blindly until you see the light of hope at the end of the tunnel.

I am proud to report my observation of that light shining surprisingly brightly today. Mom surprised me by getting home a little earlier than usual, and with her was my grandma. They didn’t look sad or pensive. Quite the opposite, in fact. They were laughing about something or another. The real kind of laugh where you could see right through their tearing eyes to the joy in their hearts. It was a sight that made my heart smile.

I didn’t know my mom four years ago, but I can picture that day vividly in my mind. I can see her enthusiasm working away on the computer. I can feel the shock that followed that phone call. I didn’t know her then, but I know her now and I would say that she (and grandma for that matter) are on a healthy path to recovery. It hasn’t been perfect and I don’t expect perfection to start now, but there is something to say for reaching the end of those stages of grief everyone talks about. Shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining and depression round out the first parts of the process. Then follows the upward turn, reconstruction, and acceptance. Hope. Like grief, experience has led me to believe hope is a living, breathing thing that is fueled by our thoughts and emotions.

Today I turn all my extra emotional energy, all of my positive thoughts, toward hope. For my mom and dad. For my grandma and my aunt.Β And for the bright light at the end of the grief tunnel.Eyes on the Prize

Related article: Let Me Be A LanternΒ of Love – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/01/05/let-me-be-a-lantern-of-love/


31 Responses to “The Grief Tunnel”

  1. Arman Says:

    <> and a scratch behind the ears πŸ™‚

  2. The grief tunnel…I like it…that’s how it feels.

  3. huntmode Says:

    I love you, Wiley. HuntMode

  4. I forwarded a link to your post to TamrahJo writing at The Good, Bad and Ludicrous

  5. Leisa Says:

    (((Wiley))) *leaves a juicy bone for ya*

  6. Basil Says:

    A hug to you all!

  7. And I would imagine that you have been instrumental in helping her through that tunnel. Joy to you Wiley!

  8. Sadly sometimes I can’t see the light at the end of the grief tunnel – the ways through this tunnel are sometimes confusing :o)

  9. I don’t like the grief tunnel. I like the light of hope at the end of the tunnel a lot better. We are sending prayers and happy, healing thoughts to your Mom and family. xo

    Love and licks,

    • Dear Cupcake,
      I agree with what you say about that light of hope shining bright and true. Thank you for your kind words – I did pass them along to the family. πŸ™‚
      Lots of love,

  10. Ian Says:

    The journey through grief is much like a tunnel, as I have learned since my mom died over a year ago now. It really is like a tunnel in many respects, dark and a bit scary at first, but if you keep going, you eventually come out the other end. As you sagely said, “…all have emerged…”
    Love the picture of you by the way.

    • Dear Ian,
      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. No two experiences are alike, but I’m so happy to hear you have made it to the other side of that dark and confusing tunnel! And thank you for your compliment on the picture – I’ll be sure to pass along regards to my photographer. πŸ™‚
      Come and visit me again soon!

  11. I like that description, Wiley, “grief tunnel” and I was there a year ago when my Mom passed away, then we lost our doggie at the time, Lucky Girl, five months later…it was tough, but we found our way out of the tunnel and focused on the light in the wonderful memories we revisit time and again. Lovely post and don’t ever lose hope.

    • Indeed – everyone’s grief tunnel is different but the ending of hope is the same. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom – and what a double whammy to lose Lucky Girl so soon thereafter! My heart goes out to you! Thank you for your thoughtful words. Shine on!

  12. Wiley-what a wonderful photo and post-grief really does feel like that-what a wise dog you are-paws up from Jack Henry, Hubble and Anna-

  13. […] The Grief Tunnel (wileyschmidt.com) […]

  14. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    June 3, 2009. An emotional D-day of sorts for my mom that has lasting impact to this day.

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