My Story

Why I Talk So Much About Grief

   I lost my spouse on January 24th, 2014 after a courageous battle with Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma. It was then that I began to really understand what it means to have loved so deeply and to have lost so tragically. The grief journey I began continues to this day, but I have found the key to my survival was to find my way from grief to healing. It was this loss and process that have ultimately changed me as a person. A change I did not want or expect but that brought me to a better understanding of love, empathy, and compassion.  

   It was always my belief that tragedy and heartache happened to other people. They were only images on the nightly news. I watched with interest, felt compassion for the victims, and moved on with my life. I never stopped to think about what the aftermath of such tragedy could consist of and how it would affect those involved. The reality of life is that people die. They die every day. When my spouse died, life stopped and changed. The unfairness in the world hit too close to home. A direct hit to my own soul.

   I have no regrets about any of our years together. In fact, they were some of the best years of my life. I feel fortunate to be so blessed to have loved someone that I now miss so intensely.

    My loss is no more unique than anyone else’s loss. There is no time limit on how or when a grief journey will unfold. Each grief journey is unique and never really ends. It shifts and changes not only year to year but also day to day. I’m sure my journey is like all others in that it includes unimaginable pain, sorrow, hope, and promise. Life after loss has a way of pulling us back into the world of the living. We go on because we have no other option. We are here because our journey isn’t over.

    I have learned through my own grief experience that life still has joy, happiness, and peace. The pain is ever present, but life goes on and is still worth living.

    Working as a bereavement facilitator both facilitating support groups as well as coping with grief workshops, I have learned that the most important thing we can do to survive a major loss is to change our thought process from one of grief to one of healing.

   I don’t have an answer nor a cure for grief. I wish I did. I only have my own experience with loss as a basis for the information I give to those grieving in the groups and workshops I facilitate. I try my best to teach people what I have learned on my own grief journey and explain the tools I used to survive.

   It is truly a gift to be able to help others navigate their way through the maze of grief in a very personal and meaningful way.

   Regardless of where you are on the road of grief, it is never linear. It curves and winds. It is different for all of us. You will suffer tremendous grief and your loss will never leave you, but you eventually heal – that’s what makes you a survivor!

   My wish for you is that you find some hope and peace as you travel your own road of grief to a place of healing. If something I share with you helps lead you in that direction, then I have achieved my goal.

   I hope by visiting my website you will find your own way from grief to healing.

   I wish you deep peace and comfort on your journey.

– Gary Sturgis