(85) Closure

With the closure of my grief, I would also like to tell you that bereavement is not only about grief, loss and sadness… but also about joy and happiness.


In my first blog, I wrote that you’re not the only one who must deal with grief one way or the other. I wanted to share with you the journey I had made so far because of the loss of my daughter and my wife. I also wanted to share with you the lessons I had learned in the hope that you might be able to apply these to yourself.

In the 72th blog, I looked back over a period of almost 3 years and described how I was consciously and unconsciously processing grief. Looking back, I realized at the time that the raw pain of grief had changed into the soft pain of sadness, that I had found new opportunities on my path and that despite my sadness I had become a happy person again.

When publishing the 84th blog, it became clear to me that it was OK to be sad… because my wife had died… and I missed her. But, I should let her go in order to be able to get on with my life! And not only that, I also should fully accept the person I am deep inside including all limitations and possibilities! In retrospect, I also realized that I had changed so much that deep inside me I had become silent… almost serene.

With the publication of this blog, I’ve come to a point where I truly can say that I did let go my deceased wife and because of that she is able to continue her path in the universe where she is right now. Although I can’t feel her presence anymore, somehow, I understand that we always will remain connected with each other.

At the time of writing, my feeling clearly indicates that my grief has come to a closure. However, it’s my opinion that it never will come to a finality. There will always be moments in the future that I recall my late wife. During those moments however, my sadness will not hurt me anymore. A partner will understand that and will be there for me during those moments… just as I will be there for her.

The serene silence inside me, I wrote about in my previous blog, is still there. Although at the time of writing it feels more like… inner peace. Probably that’s because I truly accepted who I am… with all my abilities… and all my limitations. I also notice that I, much more than I used to do so… that I ignore unnecessary hassle, nonsense conversations and nonsense topics. It feels as if I need to squeeze a full new life into that part of my path of life that I’m walking right now. It’s obvious to me that while using all lessons I’ve learned I can finally continue with a life full of happiness, opportunities and most of all new challenges.

With the closure of my grief, I would also like to tell you that bereavement is not only about grief, loss and sadness… but also about joy and happiness.

(84) Letting Go

“I do understand that you are grieving because your wife has died and you are missing her dearly. But, if you do want to get on with your life then you should let her go.”


At the time of writing my wife died 6½ years ago… time flies. Our marriage experienced the usual lows and many highs, and looking back to those 35 beautiful years that our marriage lasted I can only remember the great moments we had together.

We had agreed during our marriage that the one who lived longest shouldn’t stay alone, but should seek a new partner. In my opinion, such a promise is one thing, to honor it is quite a different matter. I had several relationships in the period after her death. Ranging from superficial to intense and with a duration varying from short to over 1½ years. Looking back, I must note that my deceased wife was still deep in my system. Of course, that’s beautiful because we had a great marriage, but in a new relationship it’s a disturbing factor. And, yes, I can hear the statements that the new partner should accept that your deceased wife is still in your system, and that is rightly so, but it is in my opinion not fair to the new partner.

In the end, I came to a point in my life that I decided not to become involved in a new relationship anymore. I felt outstanding, many friends were around me, it felt great that way. During that period, I carried a necklace with our wedding rings attached to it. It gave me peace and comfort. It also gave the feeling that my wife was always with me. Although I couldn’t touch her physically, I clearly could feel her presence.

A couple of months ago, the necklace seemed to be getting heavier by the day. Don’t laugh… pragmatic as I am I even checked the weight of the necklace on the scales. Of course, it’s weight didn’t increase, but in my opinion, it felt that way.

At a certain moment, a voice said to me, as if the person was literally standing next to me: “I do understand that you are grieving because your wife has died and you are missing her dearly. But, if you really do want to get on with your life then you should let her go. You must also accept the person you are deep inside you; you must accept yourself completely. Add to the necklace with the wedding rings the symbol of an angel and one of eternal life.”

It took a while, but eventually I bought an Ankh and the wings of an angel and added these together with the wedding rings on the necklace. To my surprise I felt myself changing the following days. Colors looked brighter… more radiant. Water felt different… softer. I was happier. The world around me seemed friendlier. People looked at me differently… or was it that I looked at people in a different way.

Recently, the voice told me: “It is time to have on the necklace only the symbol of an angel and one of eternal life; without the rings.” This time I listened to the voice immediately and took the rings of the necklace. At that moment, my life seemed to upturn. It became silent within me, almost serene, but also a deep knowing; you could call it inner peace. It also felt like the world was holding its breath for the miracle that was about to happen… the miracle of meeting a new soulmate.

(83) Dilemmas

The dilemma at a choice between different interests with respect to dear ones could be that this requires key decisions from which future happiness depends. It is choosing between two dear worlds and you must make the best of it. Sometimes, afterwards, you regret your choice. But you can never know where that other choice would have lead to. Maybe you would’ve regret that choice too in the end. And at that moment, when the awareness is there, you suddenly step into a grieving process.


The past few blogs I’ve asked the readers if they could help me by providing me with their experiences they’ve had, experiences they are still going through perhaps and, what their opinion was about that. The story of one of the readers triggered something deep inside me. The blog is not just about her story alone, but also about others.

I would like to thank again all readers for their contribution.

What is the story about in this blog?

Kathy, a fictional name, and her partner have a son and a daughter who lead their lives for a long time.

The son lived alone and passed away a few years ago. The son had often visited his parents and his sister. Kathy and her partner took comfort in walking and music… and they took comfort from their daughter’s family. The daughter had much grief about the loss of her brother. From personal experience, I know all too well what the impact is when you lose a child. It doesn’t matter how you explain it, only people who have experienced this themselves will understand you. You’ll carry your sadness for the loss of a child for the rest of your life.

The daughter has a family and a child and lives abroad because of het partner’s work, it’s at about 6 hours flying distance. It’s a happy family. Despite all communication tools we have in our today’s world, Kathy misses direct contact with her daughter. The distance doesn’t make it easy either.

The daughter misses her brother, he often came to visit her. She also misses her parents and would love to have them living near her so they could see each other more often.

The relationship between Kathy and her mother was never optimal. Nevertheless, Kathy is doing a lion’s share of the care of her mother. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Kathy to keep it up. There are other family members who could help her mother. Her mother, however, considers it Kathy’s job to take care of her. Her mother doesn’t ask anything from the other family members.

When Kathy is with her mother, they never talk about Kathy’s deceased son. When Kathy is with her daughter, they can talk about him. Here Kathy feels herself complete again… as if her family is one tight set again.

Kathy and her partner are not one of the youngest anymore and have so their shortcomings. Moving to her daughter is not easy and how do you arrange the care for your mother? And all the acquaintances and friends that they have now… all those that you’re going to miss? It would be a whole new start… and that at her age.

And there you are… how to proceed from here?

Everyone wants everything from Kathy. If Kathy stays here for her mother, then Kathy will eventually blame her mother she can’t be with her daughter. When Kathy choses for her daughter then in the end, her mother will start complaining to Kathy she’s not with her.

An almost obvious question that is not asked to Kathy, in my point of view… “What does Kathy want?” In my opinion this a form of hidden loss and hidden grief, one of the variants of a mourning process.

What is it you want when you need to make such a choice… where nobody realizes what’s going on and because of that the question is not asked… or… is everyone afraid to ask that question to you? But most important is… “What do you want?”

The dilemma at a choice between different interests with respect to dear ones could be that this requires key decisions from which future happiness depends. It is choosing between two dear worlds and you must make the best of it. Sometimes, afterwards, you regret your choice. But you can never know where that other choice would have lead to. Maybe you would’ve regret that choice too in the end. And at that moment, when the awareness is there, you suddenly step into a grieving process.

A choice like that is rarely a simple one, but once made you should totally go for it. Never look back with the idea you should have taken the other choice. It’s about you and your partner and more important… it should feel if not great, it should feel good. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

(78) Farewell

She was done with it. Her life had been a long struggle, a fight against that debilitating disease and against the ignorance of people. She was all done!


She was done with it. Her life had been a long struggle, a fight against that debilitating disease and against the ignorance of people. She was all done!

She had learned a lot in this life. That people couldn’t understand, or couldn’t accept how ill she was and how hard that was for her. Most just said that she was a beautiful young woman. Those people only saw the outside. Those people never saw who she really was.

Despite everything she had done during her life, she had made every effort within her capabilities. She had fought so hard to accomplish everything time and time again. She had learned a great deal in this life. It hadn’t been in vain.

There was nothing more for her to do. She had done everything she could do. She was ready to leave!

She had said her goodbyes to all her friends. That day had been tough for everyone. Not just to her friends and her family, but most of all to herself. She was tired. Soo very tired!

She was ready with her life here on Earth. She was ready for the journey. She wanted to go to that other side. She wanted to leave.

But, something held her back. She still hadn’t said her goodbyes to her mother… and… her father. They hadn’t yet given her permission to leave. They still couldn’t let her go.

She was so tired… real tired. She wanted so badly to start her journey. She was ready to go.

There came a moment, that the father said to the mother while their daughter was peacefully asleep and yet seemed to hear everything… There came a moment the father said that it was fine for him. That it was okay for her to go. That it didn’t matter how long it would still take for her to start her journey. It was all right!

The father went home. He was tired of managing all that was necessary so her friends could say their farewells. It had been one of the toughest tasks in his life. No one had any idea how cruel that task had been to him and how tired he was. Soo tired… dead tired.

As he drove home, she ‘joined’ him in the car to say her goodbye. She was happy that he allowed her to leave. Extremely happy. She was ready with her life on this Earth. She wanted so badly to leave for the other side where she could meet everyone again. Where it would be a feast for her. Without that sick body. Without all those limitations.

Yes, while he was driving home she came for him to say her farewell.

It was a great feeling. As if his daughter was again sitting next to him. He became peaceful… and that moment… she left.

The father was called. He should come to the hospital. It didn’t go well with her.

He saw his daughter in the arms of his wife. A heartbreaking mother… with a broken heart… her daughter had died in her arms.

He saw a joyful daughter in her arms.

A daughter who was so happy that she was finally on her way. That she was finally rid of that body she had struggled with all her life, that had caused her so many problems. That she had finished a life where so many hadn’t understood who she really was. She was so happy that she had got everything, really everything, out of her life that was ultimately and humanly possible for her… it was okay.

She was happy she was finally on her way. She is a happy… spirit!

(75) Impossible Choices

A choice that is made with love and that is accepted by all involved with their heart is not a choice at all… but a matter of course! To me that is unconditional love!


They love each other. But the thing is… her parents are not really happy with her relationship. They do not stand with her! And that she finds very difficult. She finds it difficult because she loves the other deeply… and she also wants her parents no sorrow because of her. She feels lonely… all alone… but she’s being forced to make one of the most difficult choices in her life.

A choice? Can you even speak of a choice in this case? Essentially it’s almost impossible to make a choice! After all, whatever the choice is, as long as it is not accepted by all involved with their heart (emotionally), there always will be people who consciously or unconsciously do not agree with it.

How often does it happen that you have a bad feeling about the choice that was made… but you don’t understand why? How often does it happen… that you are aware that you do not agree with the choice made? In all these cases, loss, whether it’s hidden or not, plays an important role in our life. Loss that translates itself into helplessness, sadness and in extreme cases even into bereavement.

One way or the other, we always have to be aware of that loss before we can accept it. And with that we end up in one of the many variations of processing grief. It also means that in this particular case loss has a (completely) different meaning for all involved. Because of that each person involved processes the resulting grief in a different way.

An illustrative example.

They both agree that they get divorced.

They both used to work at the same company and when at home they could discuss what they experienced during the day. They were a happy couple. She started to work with another company. A company where everything that was carried out was confidential and one was not allowed to discuss this with other people. Their relationship started to deteriorate because of that. She, on the other hand, was pushing hard to maintain their relationship on the level it used to be. He was promoted and the company needed him to work abroad for prolonged periods. The job required to work closely with others, so closely that a relationship emerged with one of the staff.

The both agree that they get divorced… but for different reasons. He, because he felt he couldn’t close the gap between his wife and himself. She, because he was cheating her.

Processing their grief will be different for each of them. Not just because they have different personalities and cultural backgrounds, but also because the staring points of their loss (the divorce) is different.

Now back to the choice at the beginning of this blog.

Every person is responsible for their own choices. But the other one, who loves her deeply… can only observe with all the love that person has… and can only be there for the one who makes the choice. Whatever you may think of this, however deeply they love each other, it’s my opinion that you are never allowed to influence the choice of your loved one. The parents are important too. And it’s my opinion that also the parents are not allowed to influence the choice of their daughter when it relates to love. Whatever happens, they may only observe and be there for her.

Isn’t it sad? On the one hand you do not want to grieve your parents and on the other hand you do not want to lose your loved one. You’re in a dilemma… it’s just not fair… it’s hardly possible to make a choice. And… should you even make a choice?

shutterstock_223648765The person who makes the choice, should do this with the heart. And it doesn’t matter how bad it is for the others… they are only allowed to watch and be there. For one thing is sure, when they interfere with the choice it’s my opinion that that choice is the wrong one.  Either the relationship ends or… the relationship will be infected one way or the other with the choice that was made… or there is a feeling that choice is enforced by one of the persons that are involved. The person who makes the choice should be able to do this freely, with the heart and without influence from anybody.

When everyone involved cannot accept the choice that was made with their heart then it’s my opinion that every person involved will end up with a mourning process from bewilderment through helplessness, awareness and hopefully understanding to a kind of acceptance. Because one way or the other, whatever the choice is that was made, the relationship with her and her loved one is damaged. And, also the relationship with her and her parents is damaged.

We really don’t think about it when we make these kind of decisions. Whatever the choice is, relationships will never be the same again. It’s my point of view that when this kind of choice is either influenced or enforced you cannot speak of true love between the one who makes the choice and the one who influenced whether it is the loved one or (one of) the parents. It is certainly not fair to the one who was “forced” to make the choice… and not only that… this person is scarred for life!

The alternative… a choice that is made with love and that is accepted by all involved with their heart is not a choice at all… but a matter of course! To me that is unconditional love!