by Emily Brechting, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Susan Mast ALS Foundation
what I’m learning about grief by Nancy Cross Dunham
what I'm learning about grief ... is that it need not be a heavy gray shawl to wrap myself in, clutching my arms tightly across my chest
nor ... need it be a granite rock that I should try to push away
neither is it ... ... at least, no longer ... a vast dark ocean ready to pick me up and slap me down without warning
what I'm learning about grief ... is that it is not me, but that it offers to become a friend
a friend ... who will lightly lay a hand on my shoulder when tears come in the dark
a friend ... who will laugh out loud with me at remembered silly moments
a friend ... who can still hear the music of our life
what I'm learning about grief ... is that this friend doesn't intend to leave me
but promises to hold my hand to carry my memories
a friend ... who will bear witness to my love as I venture toward the next day and the following night
In May, we hosted our first Gather meeting. During these virtual meetings, loved ones of ALS patients connect to share their grief, support one another, and tell stories. Gather involves laughter, tears, and plenty of encouragement. While grief is unique to each person, Gather makes it possible to travel this journey with others who understand ALS and loss.