Saturday, May 22, 2010

Living “In-Between…” Thoughts on Life After Any Loss

I am learning to live “in-between.”

I am grieving the loss of my mother, who peacefully passed in my arms on April 23, just three days after my last post. But as grief ebbs and flows, low tide is filled with planning and dreaming of what life holds in store, as I move toward the unknown on this uncharted journey.

Living “in-between” happens for each of us when crisis strikes. When we arrive there, it’s a place full of contradiction.

I know this because I am alternately strong and weak, determined and defeated, bold and hesitant. Everything has changed, and so have I.  So I live in this uncertain space, trusting that the waiting will reveal an unknown truth, a purpose or meaning behind the introspection and newfound patience that I've learned to have with myself.

No one knows how or when they will be called upon to live “in-between,” but I’ve found strength in recognizing that, even within despair, there are moments of happiness that peek through the clouds, just long enough to let you know you’re still alive.

Whether you grieve the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship or a tragic realization that destroys your current world like an errant asteroid, whatever crisis you face will have a beginning, a middle and an end. Resolution will occur, in time.

“In time,” I say to myself. “In time.”

In time, I’ll be able to have memories without tears, look at keepsakes without a tight chest and quivering lip, or take a familiar drive to a familiar place without envisioning my beloved mother beside me.  In time I will feel whole again.

Like anyone who has experienced loss of any kind, change is upon me. Since I am not one to rush through pain (it actually makes it last longer, I’ve found), I am embracing the grief, honoring it, and giving it its place in my life – for a time.

Living “in-between” means I have given myself permission to live into my own answers, to uncover and discover a new self, even if I cannot imagine it yet.

“God closes a door and opens a window,” holds true for me. It’s also true that like so many who struggle through loss and grief, I’m still in the room, feeling the walls but not finding that window. I suspect it's because God knows there are days that jumping out of it may actually seem like a good idea to me. 

“In time,” I say to myself. “In time.”

Until then, you live “in-between.”


  1. Dear Doreen,

    What you wrote is such a beautiful truth. Time does heal, and just as you described. I cannot get over the wonderful way you have with words- these essays should be published for the world to enjoy!

    Love, Michol

  2. "I’m still in the room, feeling the walls but not finding that window." WOW. I don't know what else to say. Love ya kiddo, xo KJ

  3. Your son posted your blog on his Facebook page and I'm glad he did your words ring so true with me about loss and I'm glad to find someone who can write about it in a such understanding and touching way. After reading this I feel more confident in getting through the losses i have had and the ones that are sure to follow.

    Thank you, Brittni

  4. Brittni,
    Thanks for reading, and I'm so glad this inspired you. Loss is a part of life, yes, albeit a part that sucks. But from every bad thing that happens, we grow in some unexpected way, I've found. It takes time, most times, to figure out what the growth is, exactly, but eventually, it becomes clear. Believing that it gets better helps it to get better. Thanks, again, and take care.
    Dom's Mom

  5. I really appreciate your reply and good luck in continuing your blog. You've made a fan out of me.

    Thanks again, Brittni