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Chapter 46

Responses to Grief

April 30, 2001

Hi. Paul, here.

In Chapter 43, Luther wrote about grieving. He asked you to write to him any thoughts or feelings you might have on the subject, saying that I would compile some of your answers into a chapter. Here they are, without comment, other than to say each of them moved me. And, thanks.


Mon, 19 Mar 2001 21:06:41 -0500

Luther, I don't know if you remember me, but you and my husband left some noxious chemicals in my fridge one night while you were working on making armor.

First, I'd like to say that I really enjoy your Web site. I hate the reason it came into being, but I'm really impressed and moved by your candor and your courage and your writing ability.

The second thing I'd like to say is a bit less...straightforward, I guess. I've been meaning to write to you for a few months now but something made me put it off. But today [March 19], after reading about your latest message from Gary, I felt I just had to contact you. I don't mean to be presumptuous or to question Gary's abilities, but I just have to say that I don't concur with his diagnosis. I guess this is where I should say that while I'm not a classically trained shaman, I have been around the block a few times and have had my share of experiences with the spirit world. I took the liberty of looking in on you after reading the latest installment (your Higher Self said it was all right -- honest!), and while I can see the opening to the other side very near to you, I didn't get the impression that you were absolutely destined to go there in the near future. And I very strenuously disagree with Gary about the time of our leaving being "inviolable." There is always hope, always a chance to change one's mind about walking the rainbow (as they say in Hawaii). The way I saw it, you are attracted to the other side but not so close that you can't decide to turn around and come back.

The impression that I did get is that a very big change in your life is coming. It could be going Home, or it could be staying here but in a vastly changed life. Basically, your people told me that [you] were going to be "a great source of light" -- whichever side you decide on. (When I say "you," I'm referring to all of you: Higher Self, Conscious Mind, and Body Mind.)

You are already experiencing great healing in your life (the ability to so intensely experience love with your son, your wife, etc.). This could continue on the physical plane or you could graduate to the next level.

Much love to you and your family, - TD


Sun, 25 Mar 2001 09:54:47 -0500

Thank you so much for your inspiration. I am the wife of a fairly recently diagnosed ALS patient--Last June. Began in slurred speech and twitching of muscles. Now trouble chewing and swallowing. Still working and very much enjoying life as he always has.

Grief--we have been grieving for almost a year now for a granddaughter that was conceived in Nov 1999, diagnosed in the womb with an inoperable encephalocele, It is where the skull doesn't close properly and the brain grows outwardly. Born in July of 2000 took her home and loved her to pieces. She died December 1st of 2000. 4 months old. The whys, what fors, who cares, are all there. When babies are trashed every day, this one was loved and very much wanted. WHY?? I will never know.

Hang in there, Luther, and keep on keeping on as long as you can.

- A friend.


Mon, 26 Mar 2001 21:07:33 -0500

Dear Luther,

I just read the March 31 installment and was overwhelmed; overwhelmed with grief, with love, with tears, with fear and hope, with awe for grace and the power of forgiveness, the power of love, the power of touch. You have "touched" so many of our lives, and will continue to touch us in so many ways.

I think it would be OK with you if I share some of this particular installment with my youth Sunday School class, an odd collection of young people from 7th through 10th grade (with some awkward sibling pairs) that show up occassionally, particularly if food is offered. We have being looking at the Lord's Prayer, one line a week, during Lent, and are just getting to that really hard line...the one on forgiveness. I am not convinced the concept of forgiveness can be taught...I am inclined to think it must be experienced. But you have, as usual, done a masterful job at giving me through your gift of writing what I hope will be the means to touch yet some more young lives.

What else can I say. My love and support for you and Lynne, and all the family, is very deep, if very far away. - KG


Mon, 02 Apr 2001 15:01:05 -0500

Dearest Luther:

I'm not grieving. Oh yes, I'll miss you desperately I have shed many tears for you. However, they are tears of pity, which I am sure makes you want to scream to the top of your lungs and send me orbiting the moon!

I have an explanation, if you care to continue after hearing the initial "bomb shell" word of "pity". I have been grieving for you from the time I first found your site. It was a total accident that I found "Luther out Loud". I found it, and I quickly exited it because I could not bear to re-live the frustration, the pain, and the fucking pathetic nature in which this damn disease (ALS) sees fit to take one's life away from them. I then became too curious and it got the best of me, so I pulled up the site again. I began to understand things that I never understood before.

If you will remember, ALS took my mother away from me. Although, I feel that situations other than ALS took her from me sooner, ALS was the final blow. I don't have the energy or the guts to explain that to you, but believe me; our relationship was doomed long before the Monster ALS struck. Perhaps, once I am ready, you will visit me as your strong self in whatever form you take in the next plain. I feel confident that you will be able to do that for me. I am sure of that fact.

Enough rambling. I said I had an explanation and so now, I shall get on with that: When I first began to read your story, I felt a little stupid. I thought that perhaps you were right about the Lyme disease and that ALS was not your problem. This gave me hope. It also made me angry. When my mother was diagnosed with ALS, she just sat down and died. She accepted it...not graciously though and she hurt people who loved her - we who tired to get her to fight for her life. Your story made me believe that my mother had a fighting chance and that she was wrong for not exploring those avenues.

I wanted her to fight.... she wanted to die. It is really that simple. I wanted her to fight and to live so that some how, some way, we might find some kind of relationship that we never managed to accomplish during this life. After realizing that she fully intended to die on me, I felt complete doom. I knew there would never be time to become Mother and Daughter for us. Enough of that.

Anyway, I continued to read your story with zeal. I looked forward to it. I applauded you, I said "Atta boy Luther!". Your fighting for your life and to regain what was stolen from you, body and soul, seemed so courageous to me. However, a few months ago, I recognized symptoms that you were experiencing that I had seen before. And like a ton of bricks, my heart fell. I knew that you were not long for this world. And even though I knew that fact. I didn't have the heart or guts to tell you this. So I stopped reading your story. I felt like whatever defense mechanism you chose to use to cope with "The Monster" was your privilege and yours alone. It was not my place to tell you what I knew.

And so, for that reason, I had been shedding tears for you. I know that sounds horrible, and to tell you the truth, it slapped me right in the face too. To realize that my mother accepting "The Monster" and her intention to die, and that she was RIGHT! God, I hate admitting that my mother was RIGHT! It goes against my grain with every thing I've ever known as "The child" to admit. Mom was right - that pisses me off. I feel nonetheless, that her approach was wrong. But who is perfect? Not me, nor her. So, for the above reasons, I shed tears.

I grieved for you long ago. Now I salute you! I don't have to grieve for you any longer. I love you very much. And, I am now celebrating your life. What a grand idea! A celebration of life is the real communication we need to send to all.

Love and Prayers, - J

PS: You have nothing to forgive Brian, nor he you. It's a parent-child thing that has been going on for centuries. The guilt factor will kill the relationship long before ALS. Proven fact ... if you take me "The child" and my mother "The parent" as an example. Just love one another, and tell each other that, lest either of you ever wonder.


.. Write to us: luther@lutheroutloud.com