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Drops of Mercy September 14, 2014

Posted by ijwoods in Blog+.
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Photo courtesy of OneWorld MemorialsIt’s has been quite a while since I’ve written something for Conscious Departures. It’s not that I ran out of steam or inspiration, but rather this hiatus was brought on by a poor assessment of my own personal grief.

As many of you who write know, a blog piece of 500 – 1000 words can take anywhere from several hours to several days. I’m a bit on the slow side, so for me it’s usually a 2 day process. What that meant for me was reliving Kris’ passing with great depth for that period of time, every week, in addition to the countless other times that grief would pay an unannounced visit. I was still in too tender a state to take on the constant intensity and it became emotionally impossible for me to handle. It was clear I needed to take a break. But now, after a lot of reflection and time well used, I am finally able to write again.

It also helped that I initiated some dramatic changes. I completely scrapped the life I was living before and decided to start anew. As one friend who visited my home while I was still living in Las Vegas observed, “you are living in a mausoleum”. And I have to admit, that summed it up perfectly. Something needed to be done.   But it’s not that easy because grief is an unusual thing, it becomes like a friend. Although it’s so painful, it connects you strongly to the departed and I actually found myself looking forward to it. I didn’t, and still don’t, want to abandon it for that very reason. But grief also connects you to the frustration that your loved one is no longer around except in your memories and in your feelings. It’s like slamming into a brick wall. As I have commented so many times – no email response from the departed is forthcoming.

So now I am happily situated in Minneapolis where I’ve started a business that is more aligned to my current emotional and experiential makeup. My work naturally allows me to continue writing and providing content that would help people prepare for what is inevitable and certain; involvement in an end-of-life situation. One thing that hasn’t changed is my passion about the importance of people understanding what’s involved in an end-of-life occurrence so they will not be caught off guard like I was. I am not thinking we can ever be protected from it all, but we must at least come to grips with what we’re about to embark on.

I am still inspired to share my experience and do what I can to help others consider the implications of this touchy subject. I continue to have the pleasure of meeting many wonderful and inspiring people involved in caregiving during EOL periods who are dedicated to caring for a relative, parent, sibling or friend. These are people who find that a deep compassion and caring surfaces to transform them in unexpected but beautiful ways. It’s a community of people that I appreciate knowing and being a part of.  What so many of us have to share about this subject will inevitably make it a smoother, more gratifying and natural part of our existence, as well it should.

As for me, the change has been a good move. Instead of spiraling downwards I am once again thriving and gaining strength. To go on and live life to the fullest was what Kris had hoped I would do, and I don’t find it merely coincidental that I’m now living in her home town. Thankfully I have many wonderful friends who care and have been instrumental in making my transition possible. I am grateful for these little drops of mercy that continue to appear in my life in so many unexpected ways.


1. Richard Wagner - September 14, 2014

It’s marvelous to hear from you again after what seems like ages. I’m so glad to read that you’ve made some big changes in your life that have refreshed you. Good for you! You continue to be an inspiration.

ijwoods - September 14, 2014

Thanks Richard, I am really happy to hear from you. How is your book being received? How is your work going? I’d love to catch up.

2. Joy Winnel - September 14, 2014

Ira I’ve been hoping more would be coming from you. Thank you so much!!

ijwoods - September 14, 2014

Hi Joy, I would imagine your name is taking on it’s true meaning these days being down under. Thanks for keeping in touch. I am going to be writing regularly once again.

3. bethhavey - September 14, 2014

I saw your Linked In and wondered about the title of your new enterprise. I see the connection and moving back to Kris’s hometown was a brilliant idea. You now abide with her memory in a place where she would have stored many memories. It’s like finding a spiritual home. Yes, please continue to write when you can, though we all understand. Many good wishes coming your way, Beth

ijwoods - September 15, 2014

I’ve become a mid-westerner now – just like you Beth. Thanks for your encouragement.

4. Christopher MacLellan - September 15, 2014

So good to read your words of comfort again and it comes at a perfect time for me as I transition to a new city to find myself after the loss of my partner in March. Thank you for being an inspiration, thank you for writing again!

ijwoods - September 15, 2014

Hi Chris, I didn’t realize your comment was sitting waiting for approvals. I am so sorry to hear about your partner passing. I hope you are doing okay. I look forward to reconnecting and reading your posts. Are you still doing the radio show?

5. Christopher MacLellan - September 15, 2014

Reblogged this on The Purple Jacket and commented:
If you have ever been a Caregiver and lost a loved one, you will take comfort from Ira’s post.

6. Namita Chittoria - December 13, 2014

Namita Chittoria

Drops of Mercy | Conscious Departures

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