My brother’s service honored him appropriately. His daughters gave great eulogies, and the hymns were Bluegrass Gospel. Friends and family came from all across the U.S. His wife was surrounded by love and good memories. Again, thanks to all who have reached out in support of my family over the loss of my brother!

Wish You Well. Previously, I mentioned that during the summer, a class in our church read The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers. I said I had to work hard to digest good literature. I am accustomed to easy reading mysteries such as written by David Balducci.

A friend downsized his library. He gave me several Grisham, Balducci and other books to read. I have been reading Balducci mysteries.

When I began to read Wish You Well, I quickly realized the book was not a mystery in his usual manner but a story of mountainfolk life deep in the Virginia mountains. A father, who was raised in the mountains, is killed in New York City. The mother is in a coma. The children, who only know city life, go to live with a grandmother they have never met. who lives in hard-scrabble poverty of coal mining country.

In the story, the grandmother (Louisa) graciously gives from their harvest to another family headed by a very evil man who essentially starves his family.

The granddaughter (Lou), for the first time in her life, worked very hard in the planting and harvesting of crops. I saw the following quote and thought of my student loan discussion of fairness in last week’s blog.

Lou looked angry. ‘That’s not fair. He sells his crop and makes money, and we feed his family.’

‘What’s fair is a momma and her children eating good,’ answered Louisa.

The book is good, and I have seen the movie, starring Ellen Burstyn; I recommend both.

Grief: Although there are some academic arguments regarding Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s stages of grief, they are widely accepted.

As you might imagine I have spent considerable time thinking about my grief. Grief never completely goes away but writing helped me absorb Dawn’s death. I am trying the same process for Don. I will try to honor him and observe my grief through poetry. I will share my work when my feelings are less raw.

I am past denial. My visits to Nashville made the reality of his death very clear.

At my age, death is a much more active part of life than a few years ago. I have friends and family die on a regular basis, so anger seems a waste of time. I am more accepting of death as a part of life.

An important part of what Kubler-Ross calls bargaining is the sharing of stories and integrating those experiences. I believe it is important to use the stories and memories to support one another. I am in the midst of that stage. I heard good stories about Don from friends and family.

The depression associated with loss I fight with the joy of love. My faith guides me through that wasteland. My family and friends support me along the way

Acceptance has come quicker with my increasing age. Dwelling on loss hinders my ability to serve and be a support to others. Dwelling on loss makes me the center of my life. That is not the life I seek. I prefer moving on.

Understandably I spent time and effort telling stories and supporting my family this week. As a result, my blog is brief. More next time!

Peace

Jerry

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