Sunday Post 4: Healing After Loss

Posted by Danny

It is a costly wisdom, and God knows we would not have asked for it.  But it is also true that coming through a great sorrow can make us stronger, teach us what is really important.

But to survive the death of a loved on is no guarantee of greater wisdom.  We can also become embittered, reclusive, grasping.  That’s when we need friends, communities of faith, even professional help.  But if we can weather the storm, we will have a better sense of who we are and what we want most in life.  And we will learn to savor and cherish cool water, sunshine and wind, the smell of roses and the love and friendship we have now.

A week or two after Lisa’s death, her mother gave me a daily devotional, Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman.  This book has meant the world to me.  The entry for January 13 is above.  Oh how I can relate.

I’m taking writing lessons.  I started on Friday.  Someone has to help me – I have some significant areas in which I can improve.  As my teacher and I talked about my new found passion and about the book I hope to write, she began to dig at my motives.  I’ve shared before that this loss has given me  great discontent at times with life.  Nothing seems even any longer.  Before I was happy – a steady, straight line of happy.  Fulfilled at the same level I had been for years. 

The new me has found valleys that are deep.  Times where I could nearly feel the world crumbling around me.  And yet, losing my best friend has awakened me in so many ways.  I’m no longer content with the straight line of joy.  I’m no longer content to sit through a worship service thinking about lunch.  I’m stirring.  I’m seeing things and appreciating things like I never have before.

Late this afternoon Michelle and I walked to Whole Foods to grab a salad for dinner.  The brisk air had meaning.  Her cold hand in mine had meaning.  Her words, “Dad, I’ve got something to tell you…” made my mind stand at attention, not always the case in the past.  In ways I’m alive as never before.  It’s not always a good alive, but it is an acute sense of being that is unfamiliar. 

In a way I think I let Lisa down by not being all that I could be when she was alive.  And it is certain that I would rather have the straight line of joy with her than the squiggle I am now without her.  But if she could see me with a true appreciation and sense of what’s around me – perhaps a better listener and observer – a keener student of this world, I think she would enjoy.

About these ads
Previous Post
Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. Dana

     /  February 6, 2011

    so, so beautiful

    Reply
  2. My husband and I have been working our way through the same book after the loss of our son. If nothing else it has taught me that while grief feels personal and alienating, it really isn’t. So many of us are suffering the same thoughts and feelings, and the words of others who have been there before can be comforting. And although my situation is worlds away from yours, what you wrote about being awakened to the world around you really resonates with me. I need for everything to have meaning. I need for everything I do to be conscious and to matter for something. Going through this loss has made me look at everything differently. And you articulate so very well a lot of what I have been feeling. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 6, 2011

      Iconcur. It’s amazing how I now need purpose in everything. I think I look constantly for something to come out of this tragic event. I don’t believe God caused this to happen. I do think I expect something meaningful to come from it. I’m not sure what – I hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

      Reply
  3. I have read some of your posts and from what instincts tell me, Lisa knew you were being the best you could be with what you had at the time. Understanding and compassion overlooks trivial matters, insight and forethought sets the path. You’re on a beautiful path of discovery, one that will deepen your gratitude of life and fatherhood, all the while with an Angel looking down from above and smiling in agreement.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 6, 2011

      I hope she’s watching – sometimes it certainly feels like it!

      Reply
  4. Barbara Rogers

     /  February 6, 2011

    Bruce, I am soooooooooooooooo proud of you!!!
    And I praise God for your witness to your world!
    I have no idea how many people receive your blog, but I want you to know that reading it each day has become one of the highlights of my day!!! I wish everybody could read it. Therefore, it is A MUST, in my opinion, that those who have lost loved ones and have to go through some of the trials (and joys) you are experiencing, and also those who KNOW such people, NEED to know your experiences and how you are dealing with the whole grief process. I have never read anything like this. (Maybe I just have not looked.) But please, keep sharing with us…and please find a publisher to put it into book form so that those who do not have access to this blog can find strength, comfort, and wisdom in your words. I know the Lord will tell you when the time is right.
    May He keep giving you strength and guidance for each day.

    Reply
  5. Beth Gentile

     /  February 6, 2011

    Bruce,
    There are no words to tell you how wonderful we think the blog is …Bill and I laugh (very loud)out loud at so many of them – and some of them have made us cry so hardto the point we have had to come back later and finish reading. The “What’s in a Name” was so “Lisa”. Bill said he could just see her having that disdainful, yet humorous, conversation with you! I cannot imagine how much you miss her. We all miss her, too. We are so proud of your endeavor to move towards a book – having forwarded the blogs all over to family and friends…so many, many folks have responded, “This needs to be captured in a book!”. We love you all. So much. beth and bill

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 6, 2011

      You know what would make a good book? A Bruce/Bill co-authorship! That would be one to read.

      Reply
  6. Katie Martin

     /  February 6, 2011

    You capture every feeling so beautifully. I hope that your writing teacher doesn’t change too many things! I have also been sending your blog to friends and family who are dealing with loss. The gift you are giving is immeasurable.
    Where did you find your writing teacher? Is it a class or are you getting one on one instruction?

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 6, 2011

      It’s one on one. A friend recommended her – we’ll see how it goes. I think she can help me pull this book together which is important to me right now.

      Reply
  7. ThunderBear

     /  February 6, 2011

    Danny, I continue to be amazed at how you just put yourself out there. The depth to which you are sharing your healing process is a true testament to the person you are. Not only are you touching those people reading your blog dealing with loss, but you are touching folks who are simmply struggling in their day to day lives trying to figure out their own faith. I read a lot of what you write and simply burst out laughing and then the next time I sit down to read, I can hardly finish what you’ve written for constantly wiping tears from my eyes. You write from a place of such truth, honesty and love–you are something rare in the world of today. I’m thankful for knowing you.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 6, 2011

      I think most people who know me would concur that I’m something rare – I’m going to take that as a compliment though! I appreciate your encouragement. It’s not always an easy life huh?

      Reply
  8. timcowan64

     /  February 7, 2011

    Thanks for your openness and sharing your story, brother. Looking forward to following your blog.

    Reply
  9. Robyn

     /  February 7, 2011

    AWESOME! Can already tell the writing lessons have taken hold.

    Reply
  10. Wow! I just lost my dad and one of my (five) sisters sent this to all of us. Great book!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Tanner Tweets

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 6,339 other followers

  • Past Posts

  • Contact Us

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,339 other followers