In GRACEFUL LIVING by Shirley Brand14 Comments

Someone asked me once, what made you so strong?  Life did. Remember that old song by Ricky Van Shelton, Life Turned her that WayThat is what deep grief does to a person, it changes who you are, it changes your hopes, your dreams, the direction of your life in so many ways. On May 13, 2010 my life did that.

I held his hand all night, we talked, actually I talked, he was in a coma, I pretended he remembered and we laughed a bit, I told him how much I would miss him, how I was a strong woman and he knew I would be okay. Boy did I lie. About two weeks earlier, we had talked in length about his imminent passing, what his wishes were, what I should give to whom, if in spirit he could come visit me. Was it going to hurt, I had said “Yes, it will only hurt me. Where you are going is nothing but love.” He believed me. We hugged, we said goodbye, “I will miss you for ever.” I think that is what I said. The last time we talked he said to me, “promise me you will live a good life, travel, have fun, meet someone, do it now before you run out of time, there is never enough time. I love you, thank you.” Then he was gone.

In the micro second of the last breath from the body and the spirit leaves to return back to the grace of God, I had the most profound moment in time. Actually time stopped. I felt God in that moment receive him. I was kissed by God is the only way to say it.  The sun came in through the large hospital window, that 20 minutes from soul departing and when the nurse enter the room was the most precious time I spent on this earth.

After the funeral, after the family leaves, after the phone stops ringing, after all the noise in your head goes quiet, what is there? Nothing, there is nothing. That nothing I call grey matter can lasts as long as it lasts, for some, six months, others sixteen months, me, well three years later I started to remember. The grey matter started to dissipate. Then I asked myself what happened to the last three years? You spent it in grief, was answered. Don’t think I remember any of it. Only a glimpse here and there.

That is what grief did to me, and for a good reason. Within that vast empty space, lay the loss of my husband and companion of 32 years, business partner and friend. If it had not been shadowed by the grey matter, I do believe I would have gone crazy. There is nothing that can prepare you for such a great loss in your life, nothing. Someone who was a part of your every day, someone you talked to every day, someone you slept with every night. Gone! Forever! Another profound moment is when you say to yourself, “He is not coming back!”  The next profound moment, “Move on, it is your life now.” All are part of the grief process.

Your breakfast, lunch and dinner become unimportant, you don’t even notice the weight falling off. I would find myself at 2 a.m. walking around a rambling large house, rambling both in my head and coming out my mouth. This took a long time to stop. I sold the bed we shared, got a new one. Did it help, don’t remember. I started going and having a Thursday night supper with a friend at a beautiful golf course. I talked, she listened. What a great friend she was, she too passed a few months later. Oh ya! More grief.

About 24 months after the loss of my husband, I started to get over the anxiety attacks. Thank goodness, they were hard. Every time I went into a store, I had to leave. The only benefit was to my pocket book. Then it started, more than one or two days without tears, was able to sit and watch a movie. Because I had meditation in my background, I found I could meditate into a fully relaxed state and started to benefit from healthy meditations.  Started to be with friends once in a while, however there was no emotions shared. The meditation allowed me freedom, brought in love, spoke with spirit, started to free myself from the grief. My emotional roller coaster was slowly coming to a halt, well maybe slowing down, after almost three years. I started to remember things, started to enjoy another human’s company, started to realize that walking the floor all night and talking to blank walls, was not going to help me rebuild a life.

Realizing it was not my time, I still had things on this earth to experience. Starting one step at a time, a person comes to terms with grief. It is not an enemy, it actually helps you to survive, stay in grief as long as you need to! There are many stages of grief. Grief affects each of us in a different way. There is no limit on the time it takes for a person to come through grief, or how deep you lose yourself into grief. There is one thing I learned well, let it happen, don’t stop it, feel it, live it, let your heart be broken and let it mend.

One day you will smile again, you will have a life again and with the grace of God, you may share a bit of yourself with another human on this earth. My dogs are my sanctuary, and my best friend Molly, my life anchor. If you find yourself in grief, ride it out.  It never ends, you just learn to ride it well. “Let go and let God.” Namaste.

About the Author
Shirley Brand

Shirley Brand


Life keeps one busy, looking, living, learning, working, seeing, mothering, fathering, loving, then there is the end of life, you either witness it or you are it. What I have learned? Take time while visiting this earth to be with yourself, a retreat with only you, it can be the kindest thing you can do for yourself and the people around you. Took me years to figure this out and how to make it work, wish I had done it many years ago. From now until I leave this earth, I will be good to myself, be kind to yourself, take a silent retreat, with you! Go! Now! Get to know you.


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    Thank you Shirley, I’m just beginning my journey of grief at the loss of my husband last week. Is there a blog that I could join to share experiences and to help each other. I really need this. My husband was so wonderful and I miss him so very much. Tears are on edge all the time ready to spill over. Thank you.

    Linda Hunt

    1. Shirley Brand

      Thank you Linda, so sorry for your loss. I sent a private reply. If you need help I am here for you.

  2. Kim

    Thank you Shirley. This was exactly what I needed to read today. Wishing you joy and peace. Kim

    1. Shirley Brand Author

      Thank you Kim, glad this could give you a little comfort, best to you.

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    I really did need that

    1. Shirley Brand Author

      Thank you Linda, glad that was of help to you in some small way.

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    Thank you. I needed this.

    1. Shirley Brand Author

      Your sure welcome.

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    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Shirley Brand Author

      Thank you Karen, glad you enjoyed reading it.

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    Recalling his words “to live a good life, travel”..rejuvenate strength. Recalling his love and good times one had to spur forth motivation to live for him…metta🌷 always for him- wendychoying

    1. Shirley Brand Author

      Thank you Wendy.

    1. Shirley Brand Author

      Thank you Frans

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