When Grief Comes Without Warning

In May of 2008, I received a message on a Classmates reunion site from an old friend from high school. In it she said,

” Hi Cutie, Nice to see you; desperately happy; hope the same is true for you.”

I was pleased to see her message and happy that in May of 2008, I was desperately happy too. One year later, I was married to my darling husband John and she was suddenly a widow with the love of her life snatched from her without warning. Last year on a Thursday morning in May, when most people were on their way to work or already there, her husband died in a car accident when another driver lost control and came across the medium into the path of her husband’s vehicle. Both drivers died on the scene leaving the people who loved them grieving and forever changed.

Pam and I are friends on Facebook and I have been able to see her journey as she’s returned to teaching and talked openly about the difficulties of making it through her grief. Recently, as the first anniversary of her husband’s death approaches, she sent out a request to her friends asking for a little help in the form of ” beautiful statements” to help her get through the next few days.

May 14 was the day Cullen died. I can’t imagine how it feels to have your best friend and soul mate be there one minute and gone forever in the next, I don’t want to know. I do know what grief feels like from other life experiences, the kind of deep heartache that you think you will never recover from, but I have not been through what she has and as such, I feel at a loss when it comes to an appropriate message of comfort.

The best I can do is to tell her how inspiring I think her love story has been to me. The very idea of still being, “desperately happy ” as she said in her message in May 2008, especially after so many years together, is a lasting legacy to the love they shared and certainly one I would like to emulate.

If any of you have any words of support or comfort that you might offer Pam, please leave them in a comment below and I will make sure she has a chance to read them.

7 thoughts on “When Grief Comes Without Warning

  1. Dear Elizabeth,

    thank you for dedicating this moment in time to Pamela and Cullie. Though I never knew Cullie, I feel as if I know him through the sentiments Pamela has posted over the past year. My heart breaks for them both for him to have tragically been removed from this world so early.

    I had the pleasure of visiting with Pamela shortly last August/September when she joined us for an SHS dinner gathering. At the time of our reconnection, I had no idea what life experiences she had been through the past few months. She shared with me in more detail as to the happenings and her struggles to just make it through another day.

    Pamela has truly been an inspiration to me in many ways. I pray that I can maintain my sanity should this occurrence ever happen in my life.

    I pray for a calming peace to envelope Pamela this week knowing that her Cullie is in heaven singing with the other Angels.

    Again, I am grateful you took the time to share Pamela and Cullie’s story with us.

    Warmest regards,

    Angie Dempsey
    SHS class of 76

  2. Only to thank her for opening her heart and allowing it all to happen, showing the world that a love like that is possible and something to cherish and celebrate.

  3. oh elizabeth, you are so right. this is not something you want to know. i lost my husband soon eleven years ago. the grief never really goes away it just finds a place to live in your heart, hopefully beside the love your friend will eventually find again. be well.

  4. No words…just compassion and well wishes. Sadly – there’s no other way..other than thru it. Beautiful post and perfect accompanying image!!!

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