A Living Goodbye; A Living Hello

Life is: Life relating to itself, Knowing itself through relating.


Eighteen years ago, today, my husband died suddenly before my eyes. It was quick and shocking.

The grief journey it took me on was anything but quick.

A friend on Facebook just now asked, “How does one say goodbye and go on?”

How do we live a goodbye and grief? How do we live hello and joy? They go together, goodbye and go on. They go together, hello and go on.

For me, I’ve found it’s a living goodbye, and a living hello. It’s all tangled together, in a beautiful, and sometimes not so easy, dance.

Gary’s death was a doorway into awakening to the depth and beauty, the light and dark, the sacred and mundane. It was a doorway into a true relationship with life, because we can’t be in relationship with life if we are not in relationship with death.

I am not romanticizing it. It’s not been easy, nor was it easy for my daughters and family members who grieved Gary’s death. It hasn’t easy for the hundreds of 9/11 family members I worked with, or the hundreds of clients and students I’ve taught and coached. And, I am certain, it’s not easy for you. We all know grief.

If we are looking for easy, we won’t find it in grief, and we won’t find it in life.

Yet, we can find ease. We can find softness and grace. Life is filled with grace if we open our arms to be held in love. Not romantic love, but the love that carries us through it all, even the very painful things we are now witnessing in our world. I write this two days after the Boston bombings. I write this as other  bombings are taking, and will take, place in our world.

Today, I celebrate Gary, our daughters, our four grandchildren, our life together, and the years since that have, I hope, made me a more real and loving woman.

Today, I celebrate you, your grief, your journey, and the way you grace this world.

Today, I celebrate our humanity. In light of all the tragedies we face, the love that we are is greater, by far, than any hateful and violent acts we do to each other.

This I know.

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7 Replies to “A Living Goodbye; A Living Hello”

  1. Dear Jules,

    The gripping choking grief rises up today but it very clearly brings with it so much joy in memories of our dear Gar and I am blessed to be sharing that with you all —our very dear family.

  2. Julie,
    Thank you for the gentle reminder of love. Without love there would be no living, without love there would be no dying. There would only be existence and non existence. Peace and light to you.


  3. As the first anniversary of my beloved Chris’s death nears next month, I am inspired by your words and your being, Julie. You continue to open my awareness and experience in ways I am only beginning to comprehend. Just as with Chris.

    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

    With love, -C

  4. ” I celebrate our humanity. In light of all the tragedies we face, the love that we are is greater, by far, than any hateful and violent acts we do to each other.

    This I know.”

    Appreciating your hopefulness and perseverance here as well as all your authenticity in the tangle of hello / goodbye. <3

  5. They say, “Time heals all wounds.” Somehow, I know this isn’t true. But we turn, turn and turn, as the song goes. Turn the pages of time. Over time the truth becomes reality and clarifies life for us. What his meaning in your life is and remains to this day, hopefully has become clear and full in your heart. I hope you find solace in the truth and meaning. I hope the meaning holds you close everyday that you go on without his presence.

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