[GUEST POST]: Call Them While You Can (Grief and The Stuff We Need to Say)

I am not sure why this touched me so deeply. This concept is not new to me. I make every effort to live in this way … and yet … for some reason I have crocodile size tears streaming down my face in unstoppable torrents. Thank you John for your gift of speaking straight to our souls … about things that are richly needed to be acknowledged. With deepest appreciation, Karen

john pavlovitz


Yesterday my daughter did something really funny during dinner—like spit take funny. (This is rather commonplace in our home these days).

Not long after finishing the dishes I grabbed for the phone to tell my dad about it. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that he died two and a half years ago. Suddenly as I started to dial, my brain kind of snapped to its senses and I put the phone down, feeling like I’d just been kicked in the gut.

Grief is a strange animal in this way, as anyone who has lost someone they love can testify. Whether it was ten days or ten years ago, you never quite fully adjust enough that you always remember that they’re dead. Yes, you understand on a cerebral level that they’re gone. Intellectually you know the finality of what’s happened, but somehow your heart’s muscle memory…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Apr 03, 2016 @ 06:40:44

    Thank you so much for the “guest post”, Karen.I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and the wisdom of others. I read it last week and really thought about it. I put it on my list to read again this morning. I just needed to process the contents. Have I made the calls? Not yet. I was thinking that maybe I should formally capture the stories and the history and the voices. And maybe I should videotape the conversations, so I could hold onto them forever. Or perhaps audio tapes would work. Or maybe I should just go and visit. My heart is really saddened for the conversations that have been missed; nonetheless, I still have not learned the lesson. Today I will start with just a call. Nothing huge or earth shattering. No cameras and lights and just the right background. No IPhone with the recorder laying unobtrusively on the table. Just a call. To listen. To say I really love you.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Karen Lanser
      Apr 03, 2016 @ 07:31:07

      I’m so grateful to hear that my posts are taking you to such rich places of introspection. I can also hear that your heart knows who to contact. I’m trusting, too, as you so beautifully alluded … that when we come to another with our full presence that our heart irrevocably etches the love of that moment into our consciousness. Reminds me that our heart is the most profound recording device … capturing the blessings in our most deeply attended exchanges and locking them tightly in our souls so we may revisit them in a heartbeat.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Susan … you’ve inspired me to very consciously reach out with my full love and attention to someone today too. Thank you for that …. 💚



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