When will I stop hurting?

"I lost a loved one nearly a year ago. When will I stop hurting?"

The question was simple but difficult to answer.

She was challenging me. I wanted to help her, but I knew that only she could answer that question.

Whenever someone writes to tell me about a death, I always talk about the difficult months ahead. I refer to it as a "Year of Firsts." The first holiday, birthday, anniversary, summer picnic or other personal event without that loved one.

Then there are those little things you never really paid attention to before, but now find a gaping hole right in the middle of your day. Like the time they woke up each morning, how they had their coffee, the sound the door made around dinner time when they arrived home and the way they said "hello."

But there was something about this message today that made me stop and really think about what I needed to say.

Oddly, I decided that the pain she was feeling was a good thing, but I wasn't sure she wanted to know that.

Here is exactly what I wrote to her:

When will you stop hurting? That is a measure of the love you shared and how does one measure love? By remembering them long after they are gone. "Memories" are the shadows of a life well lived that remain long after the light of their being has gone out. May you never forget. "Pain" is the echo of remembering those special moments when all the world belonged to the both of you. The day will come when the pain of remembering turns into understanding the privilege of ever having them in your life at all. Remembering will be a joy. Although the pain is great at times you are reminded still, how very much you loved and were loved. May the rest of your life be a reflection of that love and when your time comes may your passing cast long shadows for all who loved you, too.

Bob Perks Bob@BobPerks.com

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