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Sometimes, out of nowhere,
the grief washes over me,
like the ocean tide
covers the small stones
on the sandy beach.
A thousand memories of her
fight for recognition
as my mind becomes                                                                       
a movie projector gone mad.
The tears flood my face.
I am totally oblivious
to space and time.
All that I can feel,
all that I am able to contain
in that particular moment,
is that she is gone,
and that I am alone,
utterly and completely alone.
I allow myself to sink
into that moment,
feeling it with everything I have.
I know I must do this,
and I also know
that the moment will pass,
and it always does.
The tears dry up.
My eyes are again open
to the world around me.
A familiar sight or sound,
perhaps a bird at the feeder
or a neighbor
eyed through the window,
reminds me that life goes on,                                                          
that I have survived,                                                                    
that this world still offers me                                                          
its wonder and magic.                                                                                                                           
I am not yet whole.                                                                                                                                                                  
I am changed forever.
But life is still good,                                                                                                                                            
if I want it to be.                                                                                                                                    
And I do.    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR------------------

When the diagnosis of terminal cancer was given to Patty Gries in September of 1993 a four and a half year journey was begun that brought to vivid consciousness the precious nature of life, the caring people of hospice, the sadness of loss, the totality of grief, the wonder of healing and the overriding power of faith. Throughout the ordeal Ron wrote as he was so strongly affected by the experience, leading to the publishing of his book "Through Death to Life" where he shares that most personal writing and then to a ministry of helping others. For almost 18 years Ron has spoken throughout Michigan to a variety of organizations and grief support groups- educating, encouraging, consoling, and sharing his story of triumph over adversity while promoting hospice care. He is now in his 20th year of hospice volunteering.

Ron has had many of his poems published in Bereavement Magazine. Andrea Gambill, then editor, offered this endorsement of Through Death to Life. “This eloquent collection of poetic writing allows a glimpse into the very soul of love. Rich in the pictures of a life well-lived and much loved, it is a victory over the ashes of grief. Ron has the ability to express the feelings we all carry deep in our hearts and when our words elude us his gift restores our focus and enriches our souls. This elegant memoir reminds us that peace and love and joy persist – even in the darkness of unthinkable sorrow. A superb piece of writing.”


                                                                                                                 Ron Gries     10/31/1997