Friday, June 24, 2011


I have read a variety of quotes with a similar message. I think anyone who has dealt with trauma, loss or tragedy has come face-to-face with this choice. I also think that, at times, we have all chosen each one of the three options. I just hope that as we all get further from the moment that provoked this epiphany, we manage to choose to let this event strengthen us. To grow instead of be wilted. To swim, not sink. There is no need for one life to be wasted for the sole reason that one life was lost.


  1. Jackie, this sentiment is perfect!
    It is true - because our partners died is not reason to stop living, laughing, experiencing joy, finding the new in ourselves, in life and in others. On the good days this is the Yes! reminder and on the dark ones - to know that our lives are the biggest gift. I know my husband wanted life so badly and I know that carrying on, finding happiness and maybe even one day love again - is honouring his life and not wasting mine.
    Grief is a painful journey but one of the gifts it is teaching me every day is that life is so incredibly short. I am not going to waste my time - it will make me stronger. I recently went on a very adventurous trip. One I would not have considered when my husband was alive. I wanted to prove something to myself. I wanted to conquer another fear. When I was away my son sent me a text that said " I am so proud of you for doing this and Dad would be so happy to know you are carrying on the great adventurous life you started together." One of our joys was traveling together, so to go without him was an emotional decision.
    I had absolutely no fear, because the big one I have already lived through - his death.
    From now on, my life is going to be facing fear so that at my (hopefully many many years from now) death I will know I carried on in strength, with love and with an open heart - how it got that way is the story.
    But I can choose to swim and everyday I wake, I want that to be my choice.
    Thanks Jackie for reminding us there are things in life we can choose and I choose life. Not just life but a fucking great one and I am going to show up and raise my hand and say "Yes" to life.

  2. Your last sentence says everything. Thank you for the inspiration. My hope is sooner or later, every single person that has lost someone makes the last choice of that epiphany.

  3. Jackie and Annoymous, its so true, people say to us you are strong, but do we have a choice, did we choose this NO, so we all have to be strong and swim, I just want to feel happy again one day soon I hope. I hope I have your courage to go on vacation on my own.

  4. I so wish I felt that way on a daily basis. For the past few weeks I have felt such an incredible sadness that I just cannot shake. I thought I was doing good and then it just hit me. So much responsiblily for 1 person. I have never been alone. I want so much to feel that uplifting feeling and go on, but it feels lately that it is such a chore.

  5. Two quotes I found helpful:

    "Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost. Or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good." -- Elizabeth Edwards

    "Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives." -- Greta W. Crosby

  6. What a beautiful quote. I love that loss makes us artists.

    I think it is the burden of responsability that is very hard. To carry on making all of the decisions, having to do all of the work, being the sole parent, or grandparent. To be the "one" who must work, write the cheques, deal with the problems, climb into bed at night alone and wonder "did I do it right? Have I done everything that I could do?"
    But I have learned that the more I do, the more I see I can do. That the more I face my fears the less fear I have.

    To anonymous above: you will go, you can go. I decided I had to do something to shake me out of my depression, to make me realize life was still worth living. I chose travel, because my husband and I loved to travel together. It is something he expressly told me to keep doing. So in the dark winter months, when I felt like I had no hope I went to our travel agent and said "what do you think, should I go?" her response?
    Yes! Do it! Have something to look forward to. So I booked it.

    Last week while I flew in a pontoon plane into the mountain ranges and glacier lakes of Alaska ( me who was terrified of the open sea and small planes) I felt like I breathed real air for the first time in two years. It was so beautiful I had tears in my eyes and at every beautiful vista I thought "I send this to you" - to my husband, with such gratitude for his life, his wisdom and the knowledge that to live again I would need to travel.

    I had no fear.
    Not even one moment of fear.
    i just felt grateful - for my life and for our years together.

    I think wisdom is learning to accept that our circumstances have changed and to do everything in our power to carry on, despite the loss. If someday we find joy again - then we are blessed. But as Jackie said so perfectly "there is no reason for one life to be wasted".

    There will be days even weeks of sadness. All i can say is what helped me - during those times: coming here and connecting, staying in close contact with friends and family, going outside in nature and pausing and seeing - really seeing the beauty of it all and knowing some day it will be my turn to go, but not today.

    Live all of your days - you have every right to each and every moment. And there will be moments of pure joy - I believe that with all of my heart.

  7. A wonderful post - and fabulous anonymous comments.

    I'll be using your last line, Jackie ... "There is no need for one life to be wasted for the sole reason that one life was lost." and the anonymous poster's "Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives." -- Greta W. Crosby. Words to live by.