Loving and Grieving

October 25, 2017

in Waking Up, Growing Up

My sons, Jeff and Scott, Jeff in the foreground

Today, October 25, would have been my son Jeff’s fifty-second birthday. It has now been twenty years since his sudden death. Fifty-two years since I was in labour birthing him, in all his beauty, into this existence. Just over twenty years since living through my devastation by his death.

Given that grieving and loving are twins, and loving is eternal, then grieving is also eternal. Grieving is not a malady to recover from, not to be “gotten over” like an illness. I agree with the masters, Martin Prechtel and Stephen Jenkinson that grieving is indeed a skill. Living with grieving and loving, birthing and dying is a skill that can, and for some of us must, be learned.

There was a time when I wished to never again be brought to my knees the way I was when Jeff died. Although I won’t say I am completely free of that desire, I am coming closer to letting go of my attachment to even that expectation.

Jeff on the left, Scott on the right

I celebrate Jeff, a loving, creative, remarkable being and the brilliance of his existence. I celebrate my capacity and strength for loving and for grieving.  I celebrate Scott, my elder son, who shares the loving and grieving of his brother.  I celebrate Maxie, Jeff’s daughter who is now 19.  I celebrate Maxie’s mother Carrie, I celebrate all five of my grandchildren, including Maxie, Cameron, Samantha, Jeff and Rick and my six great-grandchildren Jaston, Kadia, Isaiah, Elijah, Isabella, Hendrix, I celebrate Cameron’s wife Kandice, Rick’s partner Isabella, Jeff’s partner Wayne, Samantha has a new partner I haven’t met yet and . . . oh so many lives to celebrate, their names are streaming through me but I’ll stop now.  And oh, so much to grieve.

I wonder if grieving is even the easier to bear of the twins — perhaps it is loving that renders the more exquisite agony? Perhaps the comparison is irrelevant, still I wonder.

Jeff on the left, Scott on the right








the three of us a long time ago on Gabriola — Scott on the left, Jeff on the right


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Linda Nicholls

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

rick lewis October 26, 2017 at 8:58 pm

hi Linda,
serendipity that I started to search the Haven courses again. I remember you sharing your story of loss in the many programs I participated in. I was
introduced to the Haven in 1995, and have spent months on gabriola isle. in 2014 we lost our daughter suddenly and I can truly say I would not have gotten to today without my learning to Breathe, accept and to Love that I experienced with you, ben, jock, Ernie, and all the hard working facilitators at the Haven. But my heart aches and I need to come home. I look forward to seeing you in November.
Warmth and Love Rick


Lois Loyer October 30, 2017 at 7:07 am

Hi Linda…….so nice to find your blog, and to remember Jeff. He was so beautifully handsome. It is also 16 years since my youngest son Evan took his own life. He also would be 52 this year. His death changed me as did his birth….The sadness is reinforced so often in Indian country by the many losses of the youth in just about any community. I am doing “Mental Health counselling” on the Maskwacis First Nation in Alberta, and understanding that I am in the last years of my time on the planet. Wishing you comfortable and rapid healing of your breasts….and joy in your life.


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