Grief doesn’t wait for an invitation. It doesn’t go away because you want it to. It always overstays its welcome. It isn’t logical or easily explained. It doesn’t respond to threats or bribes. It will not be avoided indefinitely. It will find a way to be noticed.

Grief is not linear, horizontal, or vertical. It is not predictable. It is not confined by time or space. It doesn’t play favorites. It isn’t just for women and sissies. Grief doesn’t forget. It has an excellent memory. It cannot be gone around; only through.

Grief is never really “finished” or “over.” Rather it takes breaks. It is not a single lesson to be learned, but rather a series of lessons. The outbursts and outpourings of grief seldom happen at convenient times.

Grief does not apologize. It knocks on everyone’s door eventually.

It is not the plague and it is not contagious, though it may seem that way when others repeatedly avoid you. It can find you even when you are asleep or dreaming.

Grief will not leave you alone because you swear at it, although you might feel better for awhile if you do. You can no more reason your way out of grief than you can a paper bag. It will not be toyed with. It insists on being taken seriously.

Grief wants to completely take over your life. You can’t allow that or you will become its victim. Grief respects those who honestly acknowledge its existence and who work with it rather than against it. For them grief allows itself to be reshaped into creative energy and makes room for hope to co-exist along side of it.

Deb Kosmer 2011




Deb Kosmer

Deb Kosmer

Deb has worked at Affinity Visiting Nurses Hospice for ten years, the first two as a hospice social worker and the last eight as Bereavement Support Coordinator supporting families before and after the death of their loved ones. She provides supportive counseling, developed and facilitates a variety of grief support groups, including a well-attended group for men only as well as other educational events. Deb received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UW-Oshkosh and her Master’s degree in Social Work from UW Milwaukee. She received her certification in Thanatology through ADEC. Her writing has appeared in New Leaf Magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone, Living with Loss, Grief Digest, numerous hospice publications and EAP publications. Some of her poetry on death and dying will be included in a college textbook for social workers in end of life soon. New Leaf has also used some of her poetry for a line of sympathy and anniversary of death cards. On a personal level, Deb's 14-year-old son died after being struck by a car. Her 31-year-old sister had died in a car accident eight months earlier, and her 56-year-old father died from a heart attack exactly three years before. These three unexpected deaths within three years started Deb on a journey she never wanted to be on and she learned first-hand the importance of having the help and support of others. In the years since, she has experienced other losses, the most recent being the unexpected death of her 44-year-old step-daughter who died from complications three months after routine surgery. Deb's passions are writing, reading, education, nature, and family. She is currently working on a book of her grief poetry. She recently moved with her husband to Waypost Camp, Hatley WI. Her husband accepted a job there as Property Manager and his position allows them to live on-site with acres of woods and a lake. She anticipates the quiet beauty to be a strong catalyst for writing.

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