Tears are the Proof of Life

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    This is my first time here on the sight. My mother passed away 2 years ago 3 weeks to the day after being diagnosed with CC. While the shock was numbing as we were also dealing with our aunt, the only extended family we had for many many years, who had had been hospitalized for 7 weeks after a heart attack. The 2, sisters also, passed away 12 days apart. Our mother asked that we not tell our aunt of her illness but we knew she could sense what was going on. While the shock of Mom’s illness was numbing, we were blessed that she did not suffer. I might suggest a book that has been tremendous help to my siblings and I – “Hello from Heaven” by Bill and Judy Guggenheim. The book has given us great comfort. Our mother was a kind, gentle, loving woman who we miss dearly but because God keeps his promises, we are comforted by the knowledge that we will see her again. God Bless.


    Since my husband died five months ago I have had very few dreams. I would like to share a dream I had last night.

    I dreamed that I was in a house and in the middle of the house a very large tree was growing. Later I saw that it had been removed and a large crater was left where the tree used to be. I was at the bottom of the hole facing into the crater and holding on for dear life to the vegetation. Many people were leaning over the side of the hole and stretching their hands to pull me out. I was very scared because I thought that the crater was on the edge of a cliff and if I let go of what I was holding on to, I would fall over the cliff.
    In the end, I let go and took the hands of the people who reached out to me and they started to pull me up. As they did so, I looked back over my shoulder and saw there was no cliff but just a gently rolling hill side.


    I have logged into this site many times but have never written . My husband (58 yrs) was diagnosed with this insiduious disease May 1, 2006 and has since passed away September 24,2006. I received ththe following from a cousin which I read everyday i goes as follows:
    Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I amI, you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
    Call me by my old familiar name,
    speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no difference in your tone,
    wear no forced or air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
    Play,smile think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effort,
    without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant..
    It is the same as it ever was;
    there is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you.


    Sorry but I think I deleted my answer to you by mistake. We did set up a Sam A Johnson, III Scholarship fund at the University of Alabama College of Engineering in
    Sam’s memory. When the scholarship reaches $20,000 the University will send me a list of applicants and then I can choose who will get the scholarship. He would have been very proud of this since he had such an influence in so many young people’s lives. He was a mentor to so many young engineers and because of his values, these young engineers grew into becoming very fine young men. If you go to the Johnson blog under the cholangiocarcinoma.org site, you can read some of the comments made about him that the Tuscaloosa News published. I guess I am partial but he was so special. He was a unique individual in a very good way. I miss him unbelievably.
    Take care and God Bless you. I pray that mine and your pain will become less and we will be able to see that glimpse of light.



    I still think of your husband and always think of how you are doing. I feel like I knew him because of following the blog for so long. I lost someone to this cancer and I feel like it is getting harder not easier. I get scared that everyone will forget, but I know that will not happen. Will you do something in your husbands memory? I am trying to think of something to do in my loved one’s memory. I have some bad days and good days. I wish there was a monument for our loved ones as this is such a rare cancer. Please know that you are in my prayers and I am sure we all pray for each other on this website.


    Dear Betty
    I thank you so much for your thoughts and words.
    I have done some councelling work in the past and heard others talk about their grief. It is true though that until it is experienced it is impossible to understand.
    The pain that I felt after Alan (my son, see in remembrance) passed away was something that I have never experienced in my life. It has got slightly easier but the tears are still flowing on a daily basis. I try to talk about some of the things that he did when he was a child and have recognised and been told by his friends what a sensible, kind, energetic hard working young man he became.
    I do hope that in the fulness of time I will be able to smile and be happy for him and the life, that he told me he was enjoying and was so happy to be living. love and light to everyone. teresa


    “How long will the pain last?” a broken hearted mourner asked me.
    “All the rest of your life,” I had to answer truthfully.
    We never quite forget. No matter how many years pass, we remember. Loss of a loved one is like a major operation, part of us is removed, and we have a scar for the rest of our lives.
    This does not mean that the pain continues at the same intensity. There is a short while, at first, when we hardly believe it; it is rather like when we have cut our hand; we see the blood flowing, but the pain has not set in yet. So when we are bereaved, there is a short while before the pain hits us. But when it does, it is massive in its effect. Grief is shattering.
    Then the wound begins to heal. It is like going through a dark tunnel. Occasionally we glimpse a bit of light up ahead, then lose sight of it awhile, then we see it again, and one day we merge into the light. We are able to laugh, to care, to live. The wound is healed so to speak, the stitches are taken out, and we are whole again.
    But not quite. The scar is still there, and the scar tissue too.
    As the years go by, we manage. There are things to do, people to care for, tasks that call for full attention, but the pain is still there, not far below the surface. We see a face that looks familiar, hear a voice that has echoes, see a photograph in someone’s album, see a landscape that once we saw together, and it is as though the knife were in the wound again.
    But not so painfully. And mixed with joy too. Because remembering a happy time is not all sorrow; it brings back happiness with it.
    As a matter of fact, we even seek such moments of bittersweet remembrance. We have our religious memories services and our memorial days, and our visits to the cemetery. And though these bring back the pain, they bring back memories of joy as well.
    How long will the pain last?
    All the rest of your life. But the thing to remember is that not only the pain will last, but the blessed memories as well. Tears are the proof of life. The more love, the more tears. If this be true, then how could we ever ask that the pain cease altogether. For then the memory of love would go with it. The pain of grief is the price we pay for love.

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