Some of you are far enough along the grief journey to believe that there is life with grief.  Please notice I did not say “life AFTER grief.”  There is no “after”; there is only understanding and healing. 

You don’t stop missing a loved one who is no longer with you.  You don’t wake up one day with selective amnesia and live as if someone never existed.   It doesn’t work that way.  What happens is you move from living one breath at a time to one hour at a time to one day at a time.  You learn there is strength in the good memories, even if they come with tears, and you learn that you are not alone. 

Then, my friends, you learn to believe that there is still a life to live, still joy to find, and still love to share.   

If you’re not that far down the path, then please believe me: If you’re willing to accept a little help, you will make it there.  If you let those who love you carry a little of the load, if you consider what worked for others who have lived through the devastation of a life-separation before you, then you’ll begin to believe you’re going to make it.   

For me, I discovered that prayer and faith provided the comfort I needed to risk opening my eyes to the future.  I freely admit that there were days, and weeks, and months when I would inexplicably forget this. But every time I returned to some sort of communion with my Higher Power, I was helped and healed in new and needed ways.  

I know that many of you do not believe in a God as I do.  I know that some of you who do are still angry with him for your loss.  I also know that in great sorrow, many things change.  So I write this for those of you who do believe,  or who may now be  thinking about  embracing a new reality and are willing to reach out.   

I want to share how it felt each time I asked for and received spiritual comfort.  I want to share how it feels when you suddenly realize that when your focus changes from inward to outward, you may just look up and see the sunrise or a rainbow, an eagle in flight,  or a shooting star.  You might just say to yourself,  “Things are looking up…and so am I.”

Things are Looking Up 

So many burdens have weighed upon my shoulders.

So many times I’ve missed the finish line.

So many miles on this road made me weary

Looking down I knew I wasted so much time.

But things are looking up now that I remember

the One who passed the cup, broke the bread and poured the wine.

Yes things are looking up ’cause He is always with me.

Things are looking up and so am I

There was a time when I thought I could be trusted

to choose my destination  and make my own way.

But I was lost and made such foolish choices

and looking down I found I’d gone astray.

But things are looking up Now that I am trying

to let the Master Potter go ahead and have His way.

Yes things are looking up  ’cause I know that He loves me.

Things are looking up and so am I.

You can hear a portion of this song at my website:

Michael Nunley 2012

Michael Nunley

Michael Nunley's love for music began in his youth. He was singing in churches and sharing the stage with well known performers in shows and television appearances all across the Ohio Valley. Growing up in a military family, Michael traveled extensively. He considers himself blessed to have experienced the beauty and diversity of so much of our world and it's people. Michael was a music scholarship recipient at Walters State College and at The University of Tennessee. As a member of the U.T. Singers, he toured and performed as a soloist with "Tennessee's Musical Ambassadors." He continued his involvement in the performing arts, playing guitar, bass, synthesizer and percussion as well as expanding his vocal abilities. He began to write and record his own music while serving as Interim Worship Leader at his church. It was during this time he produced his first CD of original songs as a music department fund raiser. In 2010, the Governor of Kentucky awarded Michael membership in The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the state's highest title of honor, for writing and performing the theme song, "Because We Care", for the Kentucky Employee Charitable Contribution campaign. In 2000, tragedy struck twice, causing Michael to have a deeply personal change in his attitude and understanding of loss and grief. His sister, Cyndy, took her own life shortly before his father, Col. Billy F. Nunley (U.S.A.F.) lost his fight with a cancerous brain tumor. Michael is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have written a song for The Compassionate Friends in 2011, and he found the experience brought him a new level of healing. He hopes to pass along some comfort with his poetry and music. He encourages others to use the creative process of writing, as he has done, to take care of "spiritual housekeeping" and help "Define, Confine, and then Refine " the sorrow into a more constructive energy. Michael says, "Grief is natural. What's UN-natural is dying from it in solitude. Accepting help, learning from it and passing along the healing is far better. That seems to me to be a cycle of life that will expand our compassion without killing the possibility of joy."

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