A Memoir of Gratitude & Acceptance

Winner of the 2021 Best Book Award in Health: Death & Dying, Best First Book Award New Mexico, International Book Award Finalist in Health: Death & Dying, Inspirational and Nonfiction.

We are meant to enjoy life as much as we can. But after losing someone so precious, how can we? How do we dig out of that sad place of deepest grief? You are not alone. Your feelings are valid. It is possible to be happy again.

Praise for
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance

Beth Kean

Bereavement

Coordinator Hospice 

"Terre's beautiful art and words offer the raw truth about death and about her courage to continue when it seemed most impossible."

"This beautiful book opens a window to one person's experience of the mystery and pain of death, then gently ushers us to an awakening of new life."

Dr. Harry Eberts

Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, New Mexico 

Ralph Steele 

Author: Tending the Fire 

Guiding Teacher of Life Transition Meditation Center 

"Terre's artistic ability shines a soft and embracing light into the process of grief."

 "I cried, laughed and revisited my own grief.  I came away with a better under-standing and a greater sense of closure around my own personal loss. 

Leland Shaeffer

Widower 

Bette Betts

Clinical Social Worker

 "Terre shows us how learning and experiencing the power of the present moment can serve as an anchor to touch the losses and wounds of the past." 

 "Terre's ability to put into words the feeling of aloneness with the desire to hide from the outside world described my innermost feelings upon my wife's death—I was instantly a widower. A very insightful work." 

Tony Alarid

Widower

Kathleen Gilbert

Poet, Four-time winner of the  

Browning Society Gita Specker Award

 

"Terre has compiled a tough, tender and touching journey from the loss of her beloved husband to the nourishment and intensity of self-discovery. "

 "The prize of Terre’s journey is learning to live beautifully with it. Her book is a “must read” for the widow to be, the widow of reality, and the widow of rebirth. "

Dona Cook

Widow

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Excerpt

Chapter 25, Adrift

“No matter what, you have to find a way for the grief

of your loss to turn into life again.”

The Smell of Rain on Dust by Martin Prechtel

 

Strangers on the news cry, “I’ve lost everything . . .” in hurricane, fire, catastrophe. “I have to start over.” 

     What they mean is that they have to start rebuilding the things they have lost.

     I’ve lost something which cannot be rebuilt: something intangible, something inside of me. I’ve lost myself. My life as I knew it is so shattered, there is no way Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again.

     Start over? I can’t start over. This is death. My life as it was when Charles was alive is so completely gone that it, too, is dead.

     I knew myself. I knew who I was. I stood on firm ground. I had edges. Definition. And I liked my life. But now, more than losing Charles, MY life is gone. The comfort of routine, plans, familiarity, structure, and continuity—all gone. As I sit and rock back and forth, feeling my pain, the pain of separation, trying to sort things out, the magnitude of this very personal loss in addition to losing Charles continues to hit me.

     Loss is emptiness, a void. Space is created. Frightening space. And loneliness. And lack. Without the cloak of definition, I am weak and vulnerable.

     I look around and see others who have lost their spouses, their lives. Some move to be closer to their children. Some move in with them. Some throw themselves into their work or immerse themselves in volunteering. Some start dating immediately and remarry quickly. Some say they are still married, but their spouse is in heaven, waiting. Some visit psychics or mediums in an attempt to keep the relationship going.

     I thrash around for solutions. “Don’t move too fast, Terre,” Charlie had said. “Take a year to let things settle.” I promised I would, and now I am.

     So, the first thing is—I do nothing. Every day my emotional loss appears to grow as I assess how every single aspect of my life has been affected. There are only my clothes in the laundry basket. I can’t help but think, Sure is quiet around here. I withdraw. I shut down.

     I go deeper into myself. I am wounded. I want to hide. Life feels negative. Like a clean countertop that invites clutter, I silently beg for the emptiness to be filled—this emptiness that feels like so much weight.

     Lacking confidence, I experience the utmost sadness. These feelings only propel me lower. When I see friends, I make no effort to conceal my pain. One day, it dawns on me that in their compassion they are reflecting my misery back to me. “Oh, you poor thing,” one person mirrors perfectly. “You poor, poor, thing. I don’t know how you do it. It’s just so sad.”

     That’s what I am, a poor thing? It’s come to this? If that is who I am, then I am a big disappointment to myself. Whether it’s a reaction or a response, I stack my bones and stand up tall. From now on, I am fine. I am trying. I am working through grief. I am healing. I smile when greeted, and people respond in kind. Change comes from within.

 
 

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