by Jill Francis on September 3rd, 2016

We used to play a game as children, and though I can’t remember all of it, I remember:  “can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, gotta go through it”…and so it seems to be with loss…you’ve gotta go through

Loss has impacted my life in many ways this year:  my best friend from high school lost her father suddenly and unexpectedly, with no chance to say “good-bye”.  Another dear friend lost her father due to abandonment; an odd word to use for a woman over fifty, but when your father chooses the new wife over you and when he refuses to be part of your life, what else is there to call it?  A sweet, young friend of mine lost a baby through miscarriage, a high school acquaintance lost his teenage son to suicide (I cannot fathom the pain of losing a child).  And I had my own personal loss this summer as my mother’s fourteen year struggle with Alzheimer’s ended.

Five experiences of loss, completely different from each other, yet all leaving the similar impact of pain, emptiness, loneliness and questions.  We will each grieve in our own way, we will wrestle with the emotions and the questions differently.  We will each process the anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance differently and at different rates of speed, but we each must go through the process.  Unfortunately, there are no short-cuts, no “quick fixes” and no substitutes for “the Process”…there is only through (I've heard that trying to short-cut the process can make you crazy.  I don't know that for sure, but I don't recommend you take the chance!)

Fortunately, there are grief counselors and support groups in every community if someone needs help with “the Process”.  There are many support groups online and I have friends who rave about online support communities (Grief Share and Grief Net are two).  There is also help if you become stuck in one of the stages of grief (I am too well acquainted with anger) or if you cannot arrive at acceptance.

If you have had a loss (loss can mean divorce and job loss too), you are not alone and you do not have to go through it alone.  If you are struggling, ask for help, talk to a family member, a friend, a counselor, your pastor, an online group, or e-mail me (  It takes courage to ask someone to go through the process with you, but in doing so, you’ll find you’re not alone on the Journey of Through.

Take a deep breath (and maybe some chocolate) and look Loss in the eye and step toward it:  Can’t go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it, gotta go through

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Wanda J. - September 4th, 2016 at 6:34 PM
You expressed that beautifully. Just a brief comment: I've learned that working through is not a straight line; often you repeat a phase that you thought you had conquered. Don't be discouraged; it is still part of working through. Love you my friend.
Jill Francis - September 15th, 2016 at 10:49 AM
Thank you so much, Wanda, you are absolutely right and I appreciate the encouragement. You are loved.

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