5 years.

“When you lose someone, it stays with you
always reminding you how it is to get hurt…”

Today marks 5 years (1,825 days) without Lee Weisbrod. How unfortunate that statement is for the world as a whole. As I grow older alongside my best friends (that I am blessed to have since I was in the fifth grade), I can’t help but notice the transformations we have made in our lives. I often find myself wondering where Lee would be – how his personality may have changed, where he’d be living (Miami, still?), where he’d be working, if he’d be happy…the list goes on and on.

Every year on the anniversary of Lee’s death, I write him a letter and leave it at the cemetery. The letter never addresses what is going on in my life at this very moment and it’s never a recap of the last year – there’s no need for that because while he may not be here physically…he’s still here. Oddly enough it’s usually whatever flows out of my mind and onto paper. I won’t share with you the letter; however, I will share with you the poem I accompanied with it because it is powerful.

For Grief
by John O’Donohue

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence depends.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.

There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.

It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From the gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.



Filed under Personal, Uncategorized

5 responses to “5 years.

  1. Jill Weisbrod

    Hi Jess,

    This is Lee’s sister, Jill. I wanted to let you know how much your efforts and words mean to me and my family. Today, the anniversary of this inexplicable loss, your words carry even more meaning when I find myself at a loss to explain how I feel you have stated it so eloquently. I often wonder the same things about Lee – where would he be, how would his irrepressible personality have developed and grown, and what he would be doing with his life. I know he was fortunate to have you in his life. Thanks for keeping his memory alive and for supporting Nancy and my father all these years.

    Love and support to you,


  2. jleh0628

    Hi Jill,
    Thanks for stopping by. No thanks are necessary. Nancy and your father have helped each and every one of Lee’s friends in ways that are indescribable and keeping this blog has been more helpful in my grieving process than I’d rather admit. Your kind words, on today of all days, mean a lot.

    You and yours are in my thoughts.

    Take care,

  3. Kayla Jane

    I just lost my brother 2 months ago, he was struck by lightning and did not survive. This is the most devasting thing that happened in my whole life. I just need someone to talk to who knows what it’s like to lose someone in this way. My email address is kayla,jane@live.ca if you want to talk.

  4. jleh0628

    Hi Kayla,

    I thank you for your comment and am extremely sorry to hear about your loss. Saying I understand what you are going through is a complete understatement. I’ll shoot you an e-mail momentarily.

    – Jess

  5. Pingback: In Memory of Ryan Snutch | A Flash of Light

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