Saturday, May 31, 2014

On Death and Grief: Nineteen Years Later

I like to look for quotes that will express what I feel I can't. Often, my posts on Facebook will be a quote on a subject that I am struggling with, or thinking of. I've been told that I should use my own words more often and quote others less. But the act of searching for a good quote often helps me and strengthens me as I usually read through many quotes before finding one I want to post. 

This morning, I wanted to post a quote about death. About grieving. About my loss and my heartache over Laurie Ann. I began to look through quotes that I have through an app called "LDS Quotes". I don't know as that I had any expectations about what I would find, but I wanted to find something to express subtlety the significance of today to any who would read. I did not expect to be schooled. I did not expect to be changed. I did not expect personal healing to take place. My expectations were clearly not high enough!!

Here's the quote: “Resolving grief is more than just accepting the death. It involves gradually reinvesting that emotional energy, not in the past, but in the future; not in pain, but in growth.” — Kathleen Rawlings Buntin

It has really never occurred to me that I can "resolve" my grief. And perhaps, being completely honest here, I haven't wanted to resolve my grief. I have felt the need to grieve. To hold this pain as some sort of evidence of my love for Laurie Ann. But today, after nineteen years, I feel like I am ready to resolve the grief and to reinvest my emotional energy into the future, "not in pain, but in growth". And it may be for this one day or for a week, a month, a year, or for the rest of my life. And I may continue to feel the pain and sadness of my loss. It will be a process. Gradual. But I am ready to progress. I am ready to purposefully move forward. I am ready to be more in control and more focused on growing. 

And I find it curious that I have to convince myself that it is a good thing to do. That it in no way diminishes my love for my daughter. I believe that The Lord wants me to be able to grow. He wants me to be able to look forward, not back. There is a resurrection, a day for tears of joy and for a joyous reunion to take place. And as I stay focused on that, my heart and soul are filled with hope and faith and desire to live my life in such a way as to guarantee a joyous reunion. A day when the songs of the heart will be sung all the day! 

I think I will print this quote out and read it everyday. I will begin today refocusing my emotional energy to the future and allow the Spirit to help me resolve my grief.


  1. It's so true, Patti. I didn't expect that quote to touch me the way it did, either. Maybe it's a gift from Laurie Ann to you. Mom, she says, I love you so much. But your love for me has new places to go, and as you go there, your love for me will grow in ways you never expected. It's a beautiful day.

  2. Oh, Patti, my first though when I read that post on Facebook was "Is that possible?" I too find that if I don't invest that "emotional energy" in the past, I feel like I am forgetting and abandoning my son. But in reality, I know that he wants me to focus the emotional energy that came from his life into things like being a better mother for the children that I currently get to have with me. Thank you for helping me understand my grief by sharing what you have learned from yours. I love you, my dear cousin.