Grieving Changed Me – I Knew Love Wins

Grieving Changed Me

It was nine months since Babe died. I sat with M at the coffee shop. She saw changes in me. She wanted to know if saw any changes in me. Grieving changed me. I think it changes everyone. Here is an excerpt from Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again on how I was changing:

“How are you different, Ray?” M asked. “When I look at you, I see what I see. But, I don’t see everything. There are parts of you that only you know. And, there are parts of you that you don’t recognize and only God knows them. . . . What matters to you, Ray?”

“You do, M. My family does. My neighbors do. The people at the Y. The baristas at the coffee shop. The birds that come to my bird feeders. I feel myself connecting to everyone I meet, and to all of God’s amazing creations surrounding me. It is this sense of connection that is pulling me out of isolation. It is healing my open wounds. It is creating a new heart for me, one capable of loving all and receiving love from all.”

M smiled and said, “Love is leading you, Ray. Love wins. Love heals. The more you love, the greater your healing. Where love is, the door is always open.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at https://dancingalone530.com/dancing-alone/

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright.

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Gratitude Became my Grieving Turning Point

Gratitude Became my Turning Point

M continued to encourage me to be grateful for Babe. Being grateful was difficult because I fixed my focus on what I lost, not what I had. It was only later when I realized being grateful was the grieving breakthrough I sought. It was only later when I realized I couldn’t be grateful and sad at the same time. Here is a journal excerpt where I continue to express my gratitude for Babe.

“You taught me to love. You taught me about love. You were, and still are, love. Each moment we spent together, you taught me another love lesson. Each time you touched me, you taught me about love. Each word you spoke to me was a message of love. Each time you looked at me, you filled me with love. How can I choose to do anything else but love? You’re a gift. I buried your body, but I did not bury you. Ciao—until …”

I finished my brief journal entry. I was smiling. My heart was at peace. The images of Babe lingered with me. For the moment, life was good.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at https://dancingalone530.com/dancing-alone/

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright

Relearning to be Grateful

Relearning to be Grateful

M told me losing the ability to be grateful is common among men and women who grieve. She encouraged me to “relearn gratefulness.” She suggested I begin by journaling my gratitude for Babe. Here is an excerpt from Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again:

“I am grateful for how Babe helped me lighten up and not take life so seriously. I am grateful for how she saw in me what I couldn’t see for myself. I am grateful each time I heard her laugh. I am grateful for the times we made love. I am grateful for each of our dates. I am grateful for how Babe taught me to manage a household. I watched and learned from her. The lessons she taught me helped me to keep the house clean, cook, make things neat, and manage money. Little did I know, God was using Babe to prepare me this part of my life.

I am grateful for the small things. I can still see her childlike excitement at decorating for Christmas, her delight while she cooked a meal, or her enjoyment as she sipped a cup of coffee. I am grateful for watching her get all dolled up for me. I told her many times she was born beautiful. I am grateful for her excitement whenever we planned a trip. She would start packing two weeks early. “I am grateful for the moments when I was anxious and she’d put her hand on my neck. As if by magic, my tension and anxiety would instantly disappear.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at https://dancingalone530.com/dancing-alone/

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright

Can You Sing a Song ~ Joseph Morris

Can you sing a song to greet the sun,
  Can you cheerily tackle the work to be done,
  Can you vision it finished when only begun,
    Can you sing a song?

  Can you sing a song when the day’s half through,
  When even the thought of the rest wearies you,
  With so little done and so much to do,
    Can you sing a song?

  Can you sing a song at the close of the day,
  When weary and tired, the work’s put away,
  With the joy that it’s done the best of the pay,
    Can you sing a song?

Joseph Morris

Today’s Reflection ~ Gratitude

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Kahlil Gibran

The Kiss ~ Sara Teasdale

The Kiss

BEFORE YOU kissed me only winds of heaven
     Had kissed me, and the tenderness of rain—
  Now you have come, how can I care for kisses
        Like theirs again?

  I sought the sea, she sent her winds to meet me,
     They surged about me singing of the south—
  I turned my head away to keep still holy
        Your kiss upon my mouth.

  And swift sweet rains of shining April weather
     Found not my lips where living kisses are;
  I bowed my head lest they put out my glory
        As rain puts out a star.

  I am my love’s and he is mine forever,
     Sealed with a seal and safe forevermore—
  Think you that I could let a beggar enter
        Where a king stood before?