The Healing Corner: Barbara's Story

Grief Doesn't Stop

Today ten years have passed since your death. I still miss you with every breath I take. Holidays are always very hard for me to get through. When I look up at our beautiful clear blue skies I remember how much you were thankful for such simple things. You left me with so many wonderful memories of good times we spent together. You also taught me so much. I always look for the good in everything and truly believe things will work out given time. You never complained about anything and were always a happy and thankful person. I see you in every beautiful flower and every cardinal that flies by.

You didn't have an easy life. You grew up during a war when times were hard. Your brother died in that war at only 17 years old. Upon graduating you spent one year with strange family as a mother’s helper, doing housework cooking, and helping with their children. This was a law at the time of Hitler's rule. You then worked for 3 years as an apprentice to be a seamstress in a large factory. Afterwards you had a certificate and they would hire you for a paying job. You married at 24 my father who you knew from church. After 11 years and 4 children later, you left your family and friends and moved to America. You spoke no English and gave up the only life you knew. The 2 week voyage with 4 children ages 10, 7, 4, and 1 for 2 weeks on an ocean liner would have done me in. You had sea sickness most of the time. You still never complained.

It was 6 years before we could buy our first home in Pompton Lakes. We were happy to get out of the apartment in Newark. We continued to go to the German Methodist church for some time but then switched to our church in Bloomingdale. You could not have done any of this without your trust in God. He held your hand through it all.

Then one hot summer august night our lives all changed forever. Rainer, at 16 broke his neck in a diving accident and was paralyzed for the next 8 years. You learned to care for him after many operations, never sleeping a whole night through. We had to move to a house where his bedroom was on the first floor. We all grew up quickly after the accident. My father worked night and day to pay for the endless medical bills. Our church and town had many fund raisers to help. Those 8 years were so hard for us all but when Rainer died there was such an emptiness in all our lives. We all knew his suffering was over, but we still missed him so much. In those 8 years he still managed to graduate with his high school class and continued on to attend college. He was always a good student. Before his accident his name was in the local paper every week for most goals scored in every soccer game. Life changed in an instant.

You still had to suffer more when you had to go through a divorce after 30 years of marriage. It as a shock for us all. I told you then I would always be there for you, and I did all I could to get you through that terrible time. Luckily I had John to help me. Your faith helped much more than I could. You still remained a thankful person after all that happened to you. Your family and countless friends will always remember how you touched their lives. You were a blessing to us all.

I have always been a very private person and my thoughts and feelings are usually kept to myself. I feel everyone at some point in their lives go through some tragic loss. We all cope differently, but we all have our own crosses to bear. If I could take the pain of grief away I surely would. I do live my life with my Mom always in the back of my mind, trying to do what I know she would want me to do. I hope my story will bring you a little insight into my grief without my Mom.

Love Barbara

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