"We’ll get through this together, dear, as we always did. Sometimes it is darkest just before dawn."

A retired counselor offers his personal blog entries as a way of sharing his grief and his hopes. After fifty years with his wife Gwen, author Bayerl lost her to lung cancer. Two months later, he began composing a daily blog. He wrote many poems to Gwen, whom he loved unreservedly, such as this one entitled “Easy Chair”:

Sitting in my easy chair,
out the window,
isn't easy anymore.
Your empty chair
is all I see.

His lengthy blog collection reveals a myriad of emotions as he interacts with his children and grandchildren, attends grief workshops and other therapeutic groups, and goes to church and all the other places he regularly went with Gwen. All these detailed activities bring painful memories of her. Still, he knows that she loved him enough to wish him well, and he feels her gentle understanding as he gradually allows himself small moments of happiness.

Bayerl’s blogs, which end in mid-2012, cover all the subtle changes that pure grief can bring to the life of someone who has loved and lost. He reminds us that one partner of almost every loving couple will someday experience what he has been through. He has long been a writer, a talent he shared with Gwen as he records the number of letters they exchanged over the years. Poetry is also revealed as one of his creative gifts; the works included here convey deep, genuine feeling. His sorrow is sometimes staunched by new activities, sometimes by recalling the good times with Gwen. He believes there is no true grief pattern, that every death is “sudden,” and that Gwen’s spirit will always be with him. Bayerl’s memoir of grieving can provide solace to others, and his perception that simple contentment will return as time passes can provide strength.

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