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Reply by NatR
13 Mar 2017, 3:35 PM
My thoughts are sent your way Jimmie as the others have wrapped their hearts around you - I also feel for you and send you positive thoughts and encouragement to keep on going one minute one hour one day at a time.

it is exhausting to have one charge but you have several fronts to battle on
please know you are thought about and that your mission is one of supporting all and now you are needing it returned to you  - 

remember there are only so many hours and only so much strength you can give away
your family knows how much you live and care and help  
theyappreciate you and love you
We all care too and send virtual hugs 

not all of our trials make it into messages here but for each one that is posted - we all learn we are not Alone 

be encouraged 
natR ❤️

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Reply by Xenia
18 Mar 2017, 9:05 PM
To All:

Does it end?  To-day is to be a happy day for our Family.  My youngest daughter has been promoted to a great position in her employment and her husband is holding a surprise party for her.  Our family and some others totaling 25 or so.

I awoke feeling on top of the world then a dam broke somewhere in my heart and my whole body was trembling.  My weeping was unstopable and I realized again that I was alone at these gatherings.  No John to share the moments, the laughter, the congratulations and the love.  My heart was breaking and the feelings I have to-day are so different from the days after John died and the year or so after.  I was numb and strong, should be dumb and strong as I was number and dumb to my feelings.  Everything had to be done.  Get this done, get that done and so the year went doing all the things that had to be done and putting true grieving on hold.  Weeping at times, missing John a lot but not with the anquish I feel to-day.

Getting over it certainly is not part of grieving I have learned.  Learning to grieve without reservation is part of my learning.  I read that it is ones right to have "grief outbursts"   This I believe is what I have to -day.  Outbursts of loneliness, missing John and knowing that as I have said before all the weeping will not bring him back and that is why it hurts so much.

I am not feeling sorry for myself, I am feeling and that in itself is something I put aside for a long time.  Feeling, no not to-day, feelings must be moved back even though I have felt I was doing okay.

Like Jimmie the feelings are there and must be acknowledged and to-day the safe place for my feelings is sharing with you on this message board.  I went through my friends whom I could call and would understand...no, not that one, not that one, and I went to my friends on Canadian Virtual Hospice where I knew I could spill my feelings and not feel I was wanting sympathy.  All I need is understanding from others who have gone through this grief burst.

As I get ready to head to the party I know it will be a happy event and I will enjoy the family and friends and in my heart keep John close even though he will not be there in body he will be there celebrating with the family in spirit.

Thanks for letting me unload.  


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Reply by oldbat
18 Mar 2017, 9:35 PM
Dear Xenia,

What a strong, resilient and brave woman you are.  I so admire the way you have painstakingly picked up the strands of your life and woven them into a tapestry of love and endurance.

I hope that you have fun tonight, among people who cherish you.  You can be sure that John is happy both with and for you.

You go girl!



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Reply by NatR
19 Mar 2017, 1:10 AM
My thoughts go out to you Xenia, Jimmie and all 
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Reply by Jimmie
22 Mar 2017, 12:05 PM

Dear, Xenia:  Thank you for writing and for the honesty and hard earned wisdom of your words. In response to your opening question, it seems to me that the grieving of which you speak does not end. Perhaps it alters in tone or intensity over time, winding back upon itself like a slow moving river; butI think deep grief once experienced becomes a constituent part of who we are. It permanently changes the nature and quality of our thoughts and feelings, of our being - and it changes our bodies as well. I think our bones, our lungs, our hearts, our gut, our arms and legs all retain a living memory of  what is lost, all are vessels of grief. These "grief outbursts" which often catch you unawares are both emotionally AND physically convulsive events leaving you physically and emotionally depleted, exhausted in their wake.

I was with a very good and trusted friend last night who thirty five years ago lost his infant son months after the child's birth.  There are times, he told me, even now after so many intervening years when some seemingly innocent memory, or sight, or sound, or comment brings back the force of that loss and he physically crumples - knees buckling - lungs constricting - souls gasping in a spasm of grief. It is not linear - we do not move without return from one point to another point to another point along a straight line.  Life, I thnk, is more like a tighly threaded spiral.  WE traverse the same emotional landscapes again and again.  The changes in height (or depth)- in tone or ntensity - being real, but almost imperceptible more often than not. It is a long way home, a long and winding way home - so it would seem to me.

One intrusive but relevant thought: Grief and grievance derive from the same ancient, base word.  They originally referred to a burden, a weight, a heaviness, harm, or injustice.  It is a heaviness we feel in our bodies as well as in our spirits - our sorrow as well as out anger.  You are right, Xenia, we have to learn to grieve without reservation.  We have to let our hearts scour ever corner of their chambers that we might give true voice to who we have become and are in all our complexity. That we might rest.  Such learning and speaking without reservation is a kind of birthing, a kind of sweat lodge. A kind of way through.  Perhaps the only way through though I have prayed and argued angrily for an easier, easier path for others as well as for myself.

Thank you for writing.  Thank you to all who have listened to you - near and far. I am here, this morning, a bundle of bones, and dry dust.  It goes on - the distant whine of trucks moving along the highway that skirts our town , the catchall clutter of Sarah's "big" bed jammed up against my own - unsorted wash, plates, mugs, magazines, a litter of unopened mail, a bill from the folks at Income Tax demanding (for the thrid time) I repay the $7.51 they say I still owe them.  Sarah's pillows. 

And so it goes, dear.  I began this letter in the dark.  It is daylight here now, but still dark where you are resting. In this part of the world we are used to hearing that it is the West that must carry its poor cousins in the East. The one thing we in the East can send you each morning in patial repayment is the Sun.

I am crippled by the heaviness of sadness today.  It colors my thoughts and leeches the strength from my bones.  That is the truth of my own heart today speaking "without reservation".  It goes on.

I send you my affection, my gratitude, my admiration, my love. 





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Reply by Xenia
25 Mar 2017, 8:11 PM
Dear Jimmie:

Thank you for responding to my cry for help and understandihg and thanks to Oldbat and Nat.  You, like the song, Are Wind BEneath my Wings.  You help me through many a outburst and I find comfort in your words and understanding.  If I was close to you I would hug you so here are the hugs by email.

Jimmie, you should be a Poet Lauriete, your words are filled with intensity and feelings that few poets express.  I have read some of the poets works and they often leave me cold.  You, however speak from the heart , from the tissue of your body, you put your feelings outin a way others who have suffered souls gasping in a spasm of grief and feeling loss bodily understand your grief.  I have never read or heard from anyone express what you did and it expressed what I was feeling last Saturday when I had a "griefburst" 

One who has or is experiencing this type of grief can share it with others who have or are going through the same.  You speak of Sarah's big bed jammed against mine.  I too had this so I would not be far from John.  Even though we were in separate beds we were together.  He sleeping , me listening for his uneven breaths, the cries of pain, the restlessness I was there to help him through this moments, clinging together knowing we could get through these moments one more time.  What we shared during those moments when he would not be aware of his cries he would smilelater during the early morning ask, what, why are you holding me and stroking my arms.  Together we would comfort one another and await the moment when we could and would drift off to sleep and get through another night.   In the morning John would ask "did you help me last night, did you rub my arms".  Then say "You know you can't keep looking after me"  His concern even in illness for me gave me the strenght to go on regardless as you write Jimmie we are cripplied  with sadness but we carry on as we are tightly threaded in the spiral of life that we choose to keep until the end of our lives with our loved one.

Thank you again for your friendship and love .  All on this message board sharetheir emotions and we search for the meaning of these emotion and learn to treasure our memories.

With fondest regards to all;

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Reply by Xenia
09 Apr 2017, 4:54 PM
Good Morning All:

Checking in to let you know I have hit another milestone in my life.  Another year another birthday, 80 and I am still kicking.  Seems like yesterday I was waiting to turn 18 so I could join the Air Force.  Never came to fruition but life has been good.

Seems that life goes on regardless of the sorrows we have had or are having and we go on always aware that every day brings another moment in our lives to share with others be they family or friends.  

My greatest gift in the past two years has been Virtual Hospice and that I had found a place in my busy life to take time to write, read or just know I had many friends on this message board.  All the gifts I have received in my 80 years I do believe Virtual Hospice has a special place in my heart as you all have lifted me up when I was down, made me laugh when I was sad and helped me through many a tearful day.

To you I say Thank You and even though we may not be in contact as much I turn often to reread the messages and I always come away smiling knowing we shared so much together and helped one another.

Hugs and love to you all.

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Reply by Jimmie
11 Apr 2017, 11:16 AM

Dear Xenia:

Another circumnavigation of the Sun. Congatulations!!! 

When I read your post, I immediately imagined myself as a small boy standing on the pier at the edge of Halifax harbour watching the approach of your weathered wooden vessel.  I was waving to you, cheering you, shouting your name.  You were quiet, but smiling, hands holding the rough rails, the light of joy in your eyes, a seasoned nobility in your posture. 

I thought, "She's safe home" as you passed, as excited kids will do, and was grateful. 

I have a deep affection for that rocky point on the harbour. It is a sacred space. It's where my grandfather stood to watch my dad sail overseas during the war, and where my Mom stood to welcome him home. I lke the smell of the ocean there and the sight of the horizon over which the ships appear and disappear.  My Irish ancestors having fled the Potatoe Famine arrived here under sail.  They used to have a wharf down there.  It's long since covered with concrete, buried, but I retain a sense of connection and ownership when I stand there. How many lives came and went, from there, eh.  How many stories lost to memory over the years.  How much struggle unacknowledged, grief - excitement - promise and disappointment - satisfaction and regret.  The ships, large and small, grand and humble.  The lives they carried the same. Going and coming over the horizon.

I wave to you as a child and as an old man, Xenia.  I celebrate another year of your life, another going and coming around the still Sun through storm and calm, sorrow and celebration.

There is a writer of mysthology who wrote that "The souls of the dead surround us like the sea." I take comfort in that thought - that my ancestors recent and long since - my family and friends departed - surround me lovingly still like the sea - provide safe harbours for me when I am distraught and promise continued companionship when I venture forth through troubled waters - each year, each difficult day.  May you find similar comfort, Xenia, in the same manner as you begin another journey around the Sun.  Safe travels, my dear.  Happy birthday.




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Reply by NatR
11 Apr 2017, 1:10 PM
My dear Xenia

very Happy Birthday to you
imagine 80 years!
i hope you are enjoying your home, your view and your very being ❤️

Sending you an arm load of wishes and good thoughts for this community nh year 

you are right - the message board has wonderfull people who are all sharing and supporting each other
Jim is a great writer :) his notes are good to read

on my home front I have been battling illness
I moved to a senior building looking out over a frozen lake, in January  and as lovely as my new home is - with a balcony and great view :) I caught one respiratory bug that dragged me down for a month 

the while building got it - and it was exhausting

now I am  on antibiotics after starting up with a fever again and another infection in my lungs - borderline pneumonia 

i threw away my weigh scales  - lightening my load when I moved lol so I can't tell but I think I lost a couple pounds - which is a good side effect 😊 

Spring showed up for a couple days and then winter swooped back in with snow and freezing rain ☔️ 
so I am celebrating feeling better, celebeating Spring, the easter season which is celebrated by many religious groups and also to me a sign of renewed life, warmth and friendship 

you are one one of the group here that I feel safe, accepted and treated like family 

sending Xenia ❤️ love
sending each reader a hug and a wish for a wonderfull spring 
with fond regards 
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Reply by Nouce
11 Apr 2017, 1:32 PM

Greetings to all,

Thank you, Jim, for this reflection on Xenia's birthday. My milestone is that I just received my certificate of Canadian citizenshikp. So I am still here working away in the cradle of the Confederacy, and caring for Pablo, but feeling specially blessed and surrounded by my Canadian mother, within the sea of human love.


Love to you all,



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