Skip to main content

Grief in Progress

In my closet I have a cardboard treasure box of notes and momentos from significant people and moments in my life. Sad to say, they are mostly from people I have lost to death. These people have had a positive impact on me and this is how I honor and remember them. This week, I had to add an obituary of a dear friend of mine to that treasure box.
I know that death and loss are natural parts of life, but knowing this does not make the loss, or the grief, any less painful. In fact, I was surprised by just how much the news of Michael’s death affected me. After all, I hadn’t seen him in several years. But regardless, the friendship he gave me made me a better man. For that, I am grateful and cannot help but miss him.
Regardless of whether a death is anticipated or a complete surprise, shock often hits you when a loved one passes. Then, immediately following your loss, accepting the fact that your loved one has indeed passed away is a hard pill to swallow. After someone you love dies, you can be confused by your feelings, maybe even feel frustrated or embarrassed by your response to death.
I say this not to be morbid or morose. I am simply reflecting on my experiences. When I lost my first spouse (Craig) to AIDS, I was angry that anyone could have called this disease a “punishment.” Especially when most never knew the kind, gentle man that he was. He was only 32.
When I lost a former fiancé to cancer, I was confused at how someone as loving and giving as Azalea could be called away by God when the world so clearly needed more people like her. She was the only person I personally knew that came close to saintly in her love for people. Still – she also died young and we were left with one less light in the world.
Of course guilt came each time. They say it’s one of the stages of overcoming grief. I felt guilty that I could not have spent more time with these wonderful people. Perhaps I didn’t tell them I loved them as often as I should have or that they inspired me beyond measure. I certainly feel that way about Mike, now.
Yes, death and loss is a very sad business, and you can feel it very deeply.
The reality is that eventually, we will all personally succumb to it. But not for now. The good news is that I (we) have today to honor the life that we live and honor those that have helped us create the person we now are.
I will miss Mike. I miss all of my friends and loved ones that have gone before me. And in their honor, I will continue to treasure their memory and make good use of the contributions they have made to my life.
If you have lost a loved one, I hope you can relate to the words I’ve written. I leave you with this quote; “Man, when he does not grieve, hardly exists.” - Antonio Porchia
Go – Live Life Well (and to the fullest),
John Aaron Villarreal
Twitter / Facebook


Popular posts from this blog

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage …

Should You Take Supplements?

Often I am asked about supplements and their role in a healthy diet. My take is that while vitamins and minerals are essential to life, the human body cannot self sustain this requirement. Therefore, it is imperative that we eat a well-rounded, low fat diet in order to obtain an adequate variety and supply.

Unfortunately, Americans have become infatuated with supplementation. Mega-dosing has become a common practice for both athletes trying to improve their performances and the “average Jane or Joe” trying to compensate for inadequate nutrition.

Research indicates supplementation is ineffective in improving athletic performance in a well-nourished adult. That’s to say if you are eating well, taking additional doses of supplements won’t give you an edge.

In fact, excessive amounts of fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) may prove toxic since they are stored in the body and not easily excreted. Even some water soluble supplements such as vitamin B-12 have been shown to cause toxi…

What To Do When You’re Chronically Stressed

Of all the modern-day ailments that seem to affect us, none is more pervasive than stress. Everywhere you turn, there are factors lurking to redirect you from your peaceful pursuit of happiness and lock you in the clutches of “stress.”

What exactly is stress—and what more insidious effects does it cause? The dictionary defines stress as “great pressure or force; strain.” In today’s world, we think of stress as the result of too much pressure laid upon us by life, causing mental worry or anguish. This, in turn, manifests itself in tight neck and shoulders, headaches, nervous stomach, etc. But these physical and mental conditions are really only the beginning.

Studies show that stressful situations can develop into more threatening health conditions. For instance:

A sudden or unexpected stressor can activate your adrenal glands, which sends adrenaline and other hormones into your bloodstream. This brings about an increase in your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood flow to…