Your Grief Self-Portraits


Your Grief Self-Portraits

A few weeks ago we wrote a post about grief self-portraits and we asked readers to share their selfies with us.  Check out some of the submissions we’ve received below and keep them coming!

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by Carm Russell

Yesterday the Seahawks had an amazing win over the Vikings.  My daughter and her father shared football texts the last 2 or 3 seasons he was alive.  Their last season of texting  (2013-14) and yesterday’s win are connected.  The top picture was taken the day the Seahawks won the 2014 Super Bowl.  A video of my husband wearing the hat while he was in neuro icu the day of the Super Bowl turns out to be a recording of what are likely the last words he ever spoke; ” Go Hawks, love you Bo.”  Bo is our nickname for Shaleena.

Yesterday I tagged Bo in the video clip again just prior to the Seahawks turning the game around.  I thought what good timing.  And when they won by 1 point she was over the moon.  I took the bottom photo on my walk after yesterday’s Seahawk win.  I am moving forward, optimistic, and yes, happy!  But still hold that memory and those words in my heart; in our hearts! The Cowboys star is not without it’s own significance (top-on the hat, bottom-on dog’s collar).  David/ Dad’s favorite team is DC.  When one or the other is out we root for the team that is still in.

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by Jackie

My Grandpa died on January 22, 2016. The pain was too much to deal with…but I was so busy I didn’t have time think. I was trying to help Granny with all the paperwork and trying to keep her as healthy as possible. She was hospitalized for COPD complications for a week in January and in April. She had only been out of the hospital less than 48 hours when we got the call my Aunt had passed away on April 11th, 2015.

Granny decided she had to get better because our family couldn’t stand to lose her after losing Papa & Teresa in less than 3 months time. She seemed to do okay but I knew she was lonely and I was too if I wasn’t with her. My husband, my son & myself decided to move in with Granny in October. It would help all of us out in many ways. It seems like October was a lifetime ago. Things were looking up- Granny didn’t have to go back to see any of her doctors until December & we were so happy to have a much needed break from doctors. The thought of having Thanksgiving as we normally would didn’t sound appealing to me or Granny. We went out of town to her brothers house a few hours away.

On December 13th we had to take Granny to the ER for what ended up being bad Kidney Stones. She went into septic shock shortly after arriving & a day later she was put on Life support. What happened next was 2.5 weeks of trying to get her off life support with 2 decisions to “pull the plug”- but Granny & God had other plans. She came off of the ventilator but she couldn’t move her arms or legs at all. We had another week together & she even came out of the hospital for a day but her time came to go home to heaven with her husband and daughter on January 10th 2016. My whole family lives within a block or two of each other- aunts, cousins, grandparents, parents. I hadn’t lost anyone close to me in 12 years when my Papa died. 12 months ago I had my entire family a phone call away. My grandparents were my rock and my Granny was my best friend.
These pictures are all of me today. They show how tired I am…I stayed away from my son and husband the whole time Granny was in ICU. We had her funeral on my birthday Friday January 15th- the day I made her a Grandma 34 years ago…. How emotional I’ve become again. How much my world is starting to unravel now that it’s hitting me she’s gone. This is me on day 8, 283, and 363- January 19, 2015.

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by Gina Marciano

My beautiful mom passed away on 2/12/14.  She was my everything! I recently took her eyeglasses to my optometrist and had the lenses changed to my prescription. Wearing her glasses gives me such comfort and strength.

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by Eleanor Haley

This is the house I grew up in.  I slid down these stairs in sleeping bags when I was 8…9…10.  I walked down these stairs on my way to proms…graduation…the day I went to college.  I walked up these stairs the last time I saw my mother…when she was frail and sick…when I said goodbye.

Sometimes I feel so disconnected from my past-self, the one who felt safe and secure in the world knowing I could always go back home…walk up these stairs…and find my mother.  I hate getting older and putting more time and distance between that self and my now-self.  It’s so incredibly sad…but I think if I dwell too long over what has been lost then I, myself, will be lost forever.

I can still go home.  There I am…standing in my old home with my niece and nephew…two more reminders that life and happiness and joy can go on.

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