Crossing a Bridge: The Final Step

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It’s been 2640 days since I lost my son.  Over 7 years has gone by in a blink of an eye, but in the last month there has been some kind of change. It’s hard to explain because I don’t exactly understand it myself. I liken it to crossing over some sort of bridge. How does one get to such a crossroad? It certainly isn’t easy and could not have been done without this blog or you celebrating him. And my goodness how you celebrated him…at your weddings, with the birth of your children, at country music concerts, on the lacrosse field, at the beach, at Will’s Bench and in the mountains….from sea to shining sea you all celebrated him. Thank you for all the messages and photos all these years.

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So, getting here. It feels like a hopeful place. It’s a destination where William is warm and alive and connected to not just my heart, but yours, too. I see it in my dreams. So many hearts . He is safely tucked in. This path over the bridge is one of remembrance of his love, his adventures and loyal spirit. With every step his love of family, friends and country is well preserved. I can see it all now. It’s all right here. The journey certainly doesn’t end, but it does become more quiet and private.

 

 

There is a bridge ahead; it’s been beckoning me to cross over. Filled with multiple conflicts it has been difficult to decide which way to go. The bridge appears sturdy and stable, but you know how those old bridges can be. Looks can be deceiving. It’s made of sticks like that Little Pig’s house and we all know how that one ended. Is it safe to say one will make it over? Maybe the best thing is to just stay put, but his favorite poem says, “take that road” and the promise to follow in his light weighs heavy.

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Some bridges are harder to cross than others especially if you are grieving.  The heights are frightening, the stability is often shaky and with no horizon in sight it’s a panic attack in the making.  Bridges can be deceiving, so take your time (however long). Then one day, much to your surprise, there will be a bridge that beckons with hope and peace on the other side. Not like one of those rope type bridges that wobble when one walks over it, but more like a guarded covered bridge. A stable bridge that feels safe. Take the first step and cross over. There’s someone on your shoulder going, too. Remember you are never alone.

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So this is it. The end of the very public grief of GoodGriefCook. The blog is not going away. The journey will always be here with the recipes inspired by the places I have been and the people I love. This celebration of life, love and the healing power of food will always be best read from the beginning, but this is the end as we know it. I think I will name this bridge “gratitude”. I love you William and am ever proud to be your mom.

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To all those thick in their grief just continue one step at a time. Celebrate your person and you, too, will find peace.

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48 thoughts on “Crossing a Bridge: The Final Step

  1. Thank you, Lisa, for helping to lead the way and for being a frequent companion on our parallel paths. May the life and love and presence of your family and friends who surround you (both those present here and those still present but elsewhere) travel with you in the days and years ahead. I count myself among them, dear friend and guide. In “Gratitude” indeed!

    • Yes, this is our path and I have had much inspiration and support to move forward through you with your most eloquent writing. You really should write the book on doing grief well. No one can do this alone nor should they. I am ever here for you, too.

      • Thank you, Lisa … both for your support and your praise. Your blog gave me the added assurance to share my journey through my Facebook posts, and finding the words to describe where I was along my path, I soon discovered, was an integral part of the healing (in no small way because of the response my posts often met from you and other friends). So, yes, what you first told me during our first one-on-on get-together at Westover a few weeks after Meghan’s death was and remains so true: we do not make this journey alone.

        And if I never told you this before … well, I should have: Will’s courage in taking his own path less traveled was a gift from both you and Bill, given to him by your daily example.

      • Well if I gave you a little push I am sure glad I did because the world needs to hear your story and learn from your strength. It just might be that my children taught me to take the road less travelled…I just encouraged them to go (minus the military thing)….took me a long time to come to grips with that road

  2. Lisa,
    As a father who lost his daughter 13 years ago,and someone who loves to cook, I have found much comfort in your words and recipes. When I first came across Good Grief Cook several years ago after seeing you on one of the cooking shows, I found comfort, solace, and a fellow traveler on a journey that I wish no one would have to take. You are such an example of “grief done well.” I wish you continued peace on this journey, and thank you for helping so many others as they struggled with the loss of their child.

    • First, I must say I am so very sorry that you lost your daughter and that you, too, have had to travel this grief road. Second, I am so very touched that you have followed me all these years and blessed me with such kind words today. Our struggle does not end here, but please know we are in it together. Peace ❤

  3. Lisa,
    Gratitude in knowing you and your family! Sending Love your way❤️!

    • It’s friends like you who brought me to this place in my life. ❤ Thanks for hanging in there all these years of ups and downs.

  4. This is a beautifully written analogy Lisa, I’m deeply sorry that you lost one of the loves of your life. Our country is safe and secure because of him yet so much less in his absence.

  5. Lisa, I’m happy for you that you feel like you’ve crossed the bridge. I, personally, cannot imagine what that must feel like. I’m sure there will be times when you feel like you’re back on the other side. But, your journey has been inspiring and so interesting to read about. You are a strong, encouraging role model. Thanks for your wonderful writing.

    • You, too, are doing grief well celebrating your Harrison. With every felted stone, with every “H” whoosh moment its another step towards the bridge. It’s hard to imagine, but a day will come and it will hit you like a ton of bricks.

  6. The poem gave me goosebumps as I read it. And in my mind, I clearly see William holding your hand while you walk on that bridge together … God Bless you both as you cross it. ❤️

  7. “Take the first step and cross over. There’s someone on your shoulder going, too. Remember you are never alone.” I love this reminder. Thank you for sharing your journey, and for many of us, introducing us for the first time to an incredible young man. Will be thinking of you…

  8. Lisa- You are such a good Mom and Grandma, not to mention cook. I am happy that you have found peace in your long, hard journey here. Hopefully, one day we will meet at a cook off somewhere!

  9. I’m not sure why this pulls sobs from me. The pain but beauty and love and peace it exemplifies is too profound to fully comprehend. It hurts but gives hope. Your gift, William’s gift to this world is genuine and pure and priceless. The number of lives you have both impacted and touched in so many ways will forever be a legacy. Public or private, your loss of William wasn’t fair and was so hard to comprehend. Your bringing your journey public was a true gift. You have given so much to the world via William. A gift of hope, love, and light, and William (and everyone who knows you) will be forever proud and honored. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I love you.

  10. The hardest part of life is losing the ones you love, especially a son or daughter. Dealing with the finality of it is so tough. It sounds like you have had a transcendent moment. So I thank God you have reached that level of peace. Grieving for the world to bear witness the way you have with your blog In some way helped get you there. It has been admirable. I think you need to keep blogging because you will still be helping yourself amd all the other readers who are suffering a loss.

    • There comes a time when one just needs to move forward in a different way and the time is right for me to do that. The blog will always be here. I don’t think I have much more in the way of wisdom to add to it, but I do believe I have left my readers in a hopeful way and that they understand whether they are grieving or not that their actions have made a difference. Their presence (your presence) in a griever’s life makes all the difference. You held me up when I was drowning, but now I can swim pretty well. I know there will still be times when I swallow water, but I am not afraid. William is safe inside so many hearts and that is all the blog was supposed to do. Never forget him. I’m especially grateful if while helping myself I helped others, too. With so many blogs out there I never expected to have such an impact.

  11. Your beautiful writing always touches me and from the comments left by others, I see you have affected many people. This journey that you’ve traveled and shared with us is so inspiring… I am so happy that you’ve crossed this bridge. Will is right there with you and he is so proud of you😘

  12. One of your most powerful blog entries. Time is a wonderful healer but you never know how much time you’ll need to get to a better place. I’m thankful that you have shared this journey and now this destination. His spirit will always be with us.

  13. The most difficult one to write. You and your family carried me much of the way, so thank you for your ever selfless self. ❤

    • I know. It’s the finality of it. The more we love the sadder it is. I love you, too, sweet friend.

  14. A sense of peace for William and your family is what we wish for. We love you all and are grateful to read your beautiful words.
    W & P

    • You checked on me regularly and that never went unnoticed. You carried both Bill and I and that is one heavy load. You are truly treasured people.

  15. Will certainly is safe in my heart and he will never be forgotten. Your beautiful writings affected a lot of people and I admire you for being so brave on this journey. I will be here for you always as you are for me! ❤️

  16. This is so beautiful. The tears won’t stop. I don’t think I have to tell you how much your blog has meant to me over the last four years. Thank you for sharing Will and yourself with me. I am grateful for your wisdom.❤️

    • You are a very special person and we will continue to take this journey together. Your bridge will come. Aiden is safe in my heart and I imagine him and William tossing the lacrosse ball. Be well dear lady.

  17. I read this two days ago as I traveled home from London, but couldn’t comment because I only had my phone. I am so happy to have found your blog, and learned recipes and how to tackle one of life’s toughest losses with grace and hope. Your outlook on life is inspiring, and I am happy that you have found a sense of peace.

  18. Lisa, I have just finished reading a book by Roberta Kagan about WWII. At the end of the terrible ordeal of a young Jewish woman she quotes from a song sung at Yom Kippur about crossing a narrow bridge. “Know that man needs to pass on a very very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to be overwhelmed by fear”. “A narrow bridge, a narrow bridge, but every step across will lead you home”. After reading your post, I remembered this passage and wanted to share it.

    • Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this beautiful and appropriate quote. Not surprised it is part of a Yom Kippur celebration. Through out my journey I have found much comfort from the customs of the Jewish faith attending a friend’s very traditional wedding and a Passover dinner. One of my blog posts features that dinner which is ever etched in my mind.

  19. Lisa, so happy to see you taking the road you are on now in your grief circle. Your post made me tear up with my own feelings of loss that still are too fresh to bear sometimes. But hearing how you have used your blog and the people around you to work through your grief makes me understand the trip you have been on and are finally ready to journey a different route! God bless you and your family and may Will always be your angel who surrounds you on whatever path you choose to travel!

  20. Lisa, I am so glad you have found peace in your incredibly hard journey. In doing that you helped so many others with your beautiful words and wisdom. I have always loved to hear stories about your William and he will live on in the hearts of many. Blessings and much happiness. Although I will miss reading reading this blog, I can’t wait to see what is in store for you next. Whatever it is I’m sure it will be great!

    • So happy we became fast friends through the world of blogging. Our outings together have always been so much fun. Your support and kindness fills me with gratitude. ❤️

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