Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mindful Monday: Mourning the Loss of a Relationship

posted by Beyond Blue

Anya Getter Love 2.jpegAs I read through the comments posted throughout Beyond Blue and on the discussion threads at Group Beyond Blue, I realize that a lot of readers are mourning the loss of special relationships. This prayer, by Henri Nouwen, articulates this process so beautifully, and calls us to stay with our pain, because, believe it or not, it will deliver us to a better place. Thanks, Henri!

While you may feel physically and mentally strong, you still experience a forceful undercurrent of anguish. You sleep well, you work well, but there are few waking moments when you do not feel that throbbing pain in your heart that makes everything seem up in the air. You know that you are progressing, but you can’t understand why this anguish keeps pervading everything you think, say, or do. There is still a deep, unresolved pain, but you cannot take it away yourself. It exists far deeper than you can reach.

Be patient and trust.

You have to move gradually deeper into your heart. There is a place far down that is like a turbulent river, and that place frightens you. But do not fear. One day it will be quiet and peaceful.

You have to keep moving, as you are doing. Live a faithful, disciplined life, a life that gives you a sense of inner strength, a life in which you can receive more and more of the love that comes to you. Wherever there is real love for you, take it and be strengthened by it. As your body, heart, and mind come to know that you are loved, your weakest part will be attracted to that love. What has remained separated and unreachable will let itself be drawn into the love you have been able to receive. One day you will discover that your anguish is gone. It will leave you because your weakest self let itself be embraced by your love.

You are not there yet, but you are moving fast.

There will be a bit more pain and struggle. You have to dare and live through it. Keep walking straight. Acknowledge your anguish, but do not let it pull you out of yourself. Hold on to your chosen direction, your discipline, your prayer, your work, your guides, and trust that one day love will have conquered enough of you that even the most fearful part will allow love to cast out all fear.

Artwork by Anya Getter.

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posted June 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thank you so very much for your special words.

I am mourning my great German Shepard, Jonah.

He is a joy to my life.

I was blessed when I found him at a rescue. Many times I have

thought about him.

I actually looked for another rescue Shepard because my

first great shepard, Jake, had just passed on.

I have been so very fortunate to have known and loved these

dogs. They were there for me and I was there for them.

I know that they will always remain in my heart. That gives

me comfort too. Remember, whoever or whatever you mourn,

will stay in your heart too.

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posted June 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

My condolences for your loss, Pepper. Aren’t dogs the most divine creatures on the planet? I recently lost a beloved dog too and I realised after reading your comment that I haven’t really let myself grieve properly yet. My life has been hectic lately with lots of big changes and I have been feeling down anyway, so I think I figured I didn’t need any more sadness to dwell on.

Thanks Therese, for featuring another of Henri Nouwen’s wonderful writings. He really speaks to me in a way that not many religious writers do. Perhaps because he knows what it’s like to suffer the desperation of deep depression and loneliness.

My thoughts and love to all who are experiencing loss and sadness right now.

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posted June 14, 2011 at 3:17 am

Boy,did this story come in handy! I have been figuratively, “grieving”, over the end of a friendship that I held dear for a long time. He moved away, got married, and it’s been about five years since I’ve heard from him. I miss him terribly, we talked all of the time, we had a lot in common, and we really enjoyed each other’s company…so I thought. He never gave me any indication that anything was wrong with our relationship. I have tried to get in contact with him, periodically over the years, with no success. He lives in WV, (or at least he did the last time we were together. It’s been very hard for me these last five years, and I know that time goes on…it’s just hard. We had so much more to say, or at least, I did.

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posted June 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

I remember both the loss of my baby(dog) and a relationship that was so dear to me. Both came rather suddenly. My Baby(dog) was really sick, God gave me 2 exra yrs. with her but when I look at pics, the pain is still there. I miss her so much, I did get another and I believe with my whole heart it was her reincarnated. As for my relationship there was no closure the last time I saw him he said he wanted to remain in touch but from that point on I have not heard from him, he told me to move on he only wanted to be friends so I did and when I met someone else he totally changed and leaving me to not understand “why”. I have moved on but I have dreams where he comes back into my life and wants me to leave the man I am with, he says I know you want to be with me and I keep saying “no” but he insists that I still “love” him. I guess I always will till there is closure I feel as though he will be back one day because we never really said “goodbye”. Thank you for your imput it has helped alot but I guess when you love someone and they have a piece of your heart you never get that piece as of yet he still has it. My total outlook is “yes” I still love this man and always will.

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posted June 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Lovely post—my dad passed away one year ago today. I miss him every day. Grieving the loss of a parent is different than anything I’ve experienced before.

Saw your lovely face on St. Anthony magazine—terrific article about YOU and your good work!

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posted June 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Anguish? I know something about it, but in relation to a person no one else knows about. Sometimes it seems a person becomes so imbedded in our love that we can never relinquish it. It has been twenty years and 10 months since the man I never told “I love you” died. He was not my husband or a paramour, but a highly respected man who told me frequently how he felt about me. In great fear of what a step could mean to us or even eye contact at the right (wrong) moment or a word from my mouth, we lived through 3 years of his dying and I never was able to say what I felt. But he knew. He knew.

Even now, not one day goes by that I do not think of him. I’ve been divorced 26 years, have loved two other men, but there has been nothing in my life like the deep love I’ve held and still hold for this man.

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posted June 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I put my mourning (a whole life), except for 3 years in the army….in my book, Sanctuary of the Soul (poems of angish, healing, hope, comfort and celebration)..see above website.

I still mourn the loss of a 36 year marriage……abusive….the only fear I ever had was being alone, and I took the step to put me there, followed by a church who voted me out of membership, with my name up on a big screen, followed by the words, “Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God.”

However, I persevere: I won a scholarship because of what I wrote about my life and am in school at age 64. I am the moderator of an abused survivors’ group.

I believe we are here to make a difference. I will never stop.

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posted June 16, 2011 at 4:47 am

For Darlene & her relationship – many years ago I worshipped a man. We never got together. I left the town where we attended school, to have a life if I couldnt have him. Unfortunately this led to years of doubting my decision, flying back and forth, asking was he sure we were not meant to be, and could I bear his child at least?

He got married and had children of his own.

Just saw him after 23 years. We are both much older. What I continue to love about him remains clear. What also became clear are the valid reasons we did not get together, the wisdom of this. Though we still have an eerie connection in which he claims I read his mind, we have grown & changed. This meeting brought enough closure to years of being haunted by memories and regrets.

What you saw in your beloved was probably in you all along. Take it back – it is yours!

How you are treated in this life is of the utmost importance. My prayer for you is that your love no longer goes into a void, but that it gets returned. My past love indirectly taught me that one’s love is precious and should be returned. It is your birthright!

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posted June 16, 2011 at 7:37 am

I am also mourning the loss of my dog. He was the best “buddy” I could ever have!!! He was always by my side!! I miss him so much!!
I still cry every day!! When I see pictures of him I always smile!! I know he wouldn’t want me to cry, he would want me to be happy. I am never going to own another dog! Nothing can replace him!! I am so happy for the time I had with him!! The mourning never goes away!!

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posted June 16, 2011 at 7:41 am

Thank you for this I grieve occassionally have been moving through this pain for many years.. both my parents and my brother have choosen not to be apart of my life because of one ridiculous reason or another I have tryed to make the relationships work but with my spirituality and openness is scares them and call me names and other things Ther narrow mindedness has lead us all to never speak to wach other again…and for my health this is the best option…I even moved back closer for doctors and family lived here 3 years and they have never once picked up the phone til they found out a week to late i was in the hospital…i am now moving again out of state and starting a new life with new people and i have to say it has been the most freening thing I have done towards all of this and I know I am almost to the other side :) Thank you again!

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posted June 16, 2011 at 7:41 am

My heart is breaking for the loss of my marriage, One I thought would be a “Forever Monument”.
Along with the nightmares,I still visualize us growing old and sitting in the swing, hair white from greyness,and clumsy me must be held so I wouldn’t fall.
Simon,saw it best to end it and I cannot leave the surface of the pain and hurt,it only gets deeper and deeper…

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Bonnioe Lowler

posted June 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

This was a lovly post, i just lost my mom on april
19th, and my heart breaks everyday…I know my mom
would not want me to grieve like this, i know my life
will never be the same,i feel so lost, we were best
friends and i was the only girl and the baby, it is’
like a knife stabbing me in the heart everday, it has
only been 8 weeks, but i will never ever get over losing

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Bonnioe Lowler

posted June 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

I never thought losing a parent would be so hard
this is the toughtest thing i ever went through
in my life, i miss my mom terribly…life really
does stink right now, and i dont know if it will
ever be any different….

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Linda Mills

posted June 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

It has been over 3 years that my 30 year relationship with a man I loved and father of my only child walked out. Not only have I grieved the loss of our relationship, but the loss of our family and all that history together. My “wasband” left and 2 weeks later my mother died from a 6 month roller coaster ride in the hospital. It was pure anguish to let go of both of these relationships simultaneously…With lots of personal work and the help of friends and nature and GOD…I have grown stronger and grown up emotionally.I have a new love for my resilience and hardiness. I’m very content in my life without him and happily have found love again at age 60. Yesterday another pocket of grief arose when I knew my wasband was about to move out of the country. It was another metaphor and trigger for the wound (much smaller and continuing to heal) that is still there. I’m patient with it as I continue to move forward in this present moment in gratitude and appreiation for all that is good. Linda from TN

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posted June 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

Dear Bonnioe,
This july 21st is 15 years since I lost my Mom. See if you can locate an adult bereavement group for children who lost a parent. Although I still miss my Mom that group literally saved my life. What I can tell you is that with the passage of time, the unbearable void becomes less and the sad thoughts gradually become replaced with warm and fond memories.
Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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posted June 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

It has been seven years since my dad took his life. My seven brothers and I (more profoundly,our mother) have all been scared by this horrible event. My trust in God is the only thing that has helped me to put things into perspective. We have choices in life that no one else can make for us. I do believe that we must show love to ourselves before we can show love to others. No, the sadness and pain doesn’t really go aeay–we just learn from it.
Keep the Faith!!!

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posted June 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

My wife of seventeen years left me on May 27th of this year. It was something that she had planned for some time but wasn’t quite ready to implement until I put some some tell-tale signs together and then approached her. When she told me of her intentions, the Irish in me flew into a rage and I said things that I now deeply regret.

I obtained the services of a lawyer because I thought she had one. Perhaps if I had not done that – maybe sometime apart would have allowed us to work on our problems. Now she will not talk to me – only through her newly acquired lawyer – or she states that she will get a restraining order against me.

I still love her so much and offered her to attend counseling with me through mutual friends. She declined.

We had a good relationship with some problems that were not unsurmountable. But she choose to leave instead of working with me to resolve our issues. This was so unlike her.

For the past several weeks I have felt totally devastated. I have never felt such emotional and physical pain in my life before. I miss her dearly…

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posted June 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

This is a wonderful post!

My husband of 27yrs died while out of the country 3 yrs ago.

His death was totally unexpected.
He was 48yrs old.

My husband was my everything.
We were engaged when I was only 16 yrs old.

I finished high school and then college 2yrs after we were married.

My husband was my best friend, emotional support, lover, and many other roles.

Everday I seem to not be going anywhere.

I no longer speak with my daughters for many reasons.
They have not been there for me since their father died.
Many friends and family simply donot know what to say or do any more.

My father whom I now live with and take care of is the one person who has always been there for me, and I worry about him and donot even want to think about his passing.
But he reminds me often that he is 81yrs old.

My question is does the deep, deep, soul wrenching, heart shattering pain ever get better?

Is there ever real meaning to your life again?

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posted June 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

except for a marriage and kids, i have lived through every grief posted above –friends who left with no reasons why, pets, my mother, father and older brother. when my dog passes on i will get another dog, because as often as people say it is too painful to have another dog and lose him, i see it as more painful without a dog in my life to keep me company and add to my happiness. i miss my loved ones all the time, but i will see them — and i believe all my pets — in heaven, so i am walking the straight and narrow in order to see Jesus and all my family – canine, feline and equine then in heaven.

thank you therese, as always.

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posted June 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I am going through that kind of time right now, and the writer has described it perfectly. I find solace in church and prayer meetings – the motto of our church is “where love welcomes you” – this is a bunch of warm people who embrace each other and express their hearts very freely in worship and prayer. I think I am on the right path as far as the guidelines of this article and I thank you for it because it reaffirms what I am doing and the direction I am going in – I still have a ways to go but this writing was an encouragement.

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posted June 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I know exactly how everyone feels. My wife of 30 years divorced me a little over two years ago, and I still remember the initial pain I felt when she told me she wanted the divorce at a meeting with a counselor. Man, i went into shock. As Linda Mills said above, all that family history just evaporates. How do you start over again. I am 67, kept the house cause she didn’t want it, and our two children live with me. She moved in with her “boyfriend” who she has recently dumped. My son dragged me to a church, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t thank him enough. I have met some wonderful people both men and women who have gone through this painful event in their lives. I learn from them and from God every time we get together on how to deal with the deep pain. I don’t know if there is light at the end of this tunnel. I think i see it, but it still seems so far away. All I can do is just keep walking toward it.

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posted June 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm

My “partner” of nearly 5 years appears to now be disappearing from me in terms of emotional support. We bought a home and started a business, but tensions caused by these major life changes have resulted in a distancing between us. She prefers to immerse herself in the business and now treats me exactly as she does her high-maintenance mentally ill mother–irritably and boderline abusedly. I fronted the funds for both the business and house and can’t help but nurse a gnawing feeling that I may have been suckered. I have no disinclination to leave and start over again. Still, maybe it is a sign of immaturity, but I just can’t seem to find the means to sort all of this out. The grief I feel now is due to emotional separation, though we are still physically together.

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posted June 23, 2011 at 5:41 am

My partner of 2yrs. Broke up with me 3days ago.I am trying to be strong but the truth is it hurts so much.I was doing ok 2 days ago but tonight I can”t sleep at all.The funny things is I often told myself that although love is a great thing matters of love can affect ones heart.I was diagnosed with a heart condition 5 days before we broke up.I really loved her now I”m doing the best I can to deal with the hurt and continue to love and be with me again.This article was really helpful it came at a time when needed it most.

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posted June 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Love this. Thank You.
I just ran into this prayer the other day – I had saved it from before. I guess God wanted me to hear it again. I love Henri Nouwen. He really understood. As do you.

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Alexander Risten

posted October 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

This is a beautiful peace. I wish I read this before I completed my book. Thanks

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posted December 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Hello am Jeniffer from UK i wanna thank Dr okadibo for what he has done for me at first i taught he was scam but until i just decided to follow my mind.i told him that my ex lover which i loved with all my heart left me for another all Dr okadibo did was to laugh and said he will be back to me in 3days time i taught he was lying on the 3rd day my ex called me and said he wanna see me,i was shocked then he came over to my place and started begging that he was bewitched,immediately i forgives him and now we are back and he his really madly in love with me.All thanks to Dr okadibo he indeed wonderful incise you wanna contact him here his is private mail

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posted February 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

‘My mouth is full of testimonies, Am miss PRECIOUS E my husband left the home for two years to south Africa for a tourist, where he meant this prostitute and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr okogbo i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 3 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my husband.. Dr or his phone number

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posted March 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

I never believed in spell casters, not until last two weeks i saw with my very eyes what DR orissa, did for me. for the pass two months I and my girlfriend haven’t being in good terms and during that period she was seeing someone else, because of the love i had for her i went in search of solution to have her back no matter the sacrifice. just exactly eight days, i came in contact with this Dr Orissa, my girlfriend came back to me with some of her friends with apologies that she has really hurt me and right now we are living happily.i am very grateful for what you did for me by bringing back my lost precious jewellery.from the dept of my heart, i say thank you.And for any one out there having similar problem like mine, can get in touch with this great man through this email address:

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posted March 10, 2013 at 5:13 am

You may think spell casting is not real and it just an art of scam you’ve got to think again cos Dr momodo a great spell caster is a life and relationship builder.He does all kind of relationship i know these cos he help me.My name is Selina and i am homosexual.My entire life i have had problem with my school mate because i am different, yes i am a lesbian and even the lesbian girl Michelle i was secretly in love with didn’t if even pay any attention to me.It was okay that is was different cos she so cool and hot and sexy so no one really cared that she was a lesbian but me i was a laughing stuck.I tried all i could to make her notice me but she keep blowing me off i mean am not that bad i have got good body at least i know that before any one knew that i was a lesbian a lot guys tried to hit on me.So i made up my mind that i will make her love me back even if i die trying.i had the INTERNET as my personal guard i tried all the ideal i could find which include making a video of myself confessing my love but it only made it bad the entire school saw the video which was so humiliating.the only thing that actually worked was Dr momodo spell.I contacted him with his email i saw in a comment on Internet.I never thought i will ever get myself involved in spell casting stuff but there i was contact the one man who helped me.He asked for some material which he was going to use to cast the spell but i could not get it any where i literally begged him to accept the 1000 dollars i was to use to get the thing i could not find of course with the help of my mom she had my back all though.two week after he completed and made the spell effective Michelle was my we started dating and it has been just like that ever since then.Michelle is madly in love with me and we had the most romantic 9 month anniversary yesterday Dr momodo just as he promised kept a smile on my face.You can contact him with his email

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Carl Richard

posted June 25, 2013 at 1:11 am

How i got my girlfriend back through the real spell caster.
My name is Carl Richard,i live in Australia,its been six months now,since i broke up with my girlfriend,we had a very big problem that was beyond our control,i came to find out that she was having an affair with another guy,so she stayed away from me,after much begging and apologies,she refuse to come back to me.i tried all i could to make her believe that i still love her,but she said it was over between i discussed it with a very good friend of mine,who advice me on what to do,He told me that the only way that i can get her back is to visit a spell caster.and the name of the spell caster is Dr. Odemin So i have always heard about that,but never have the i was forced to really visit the same spell caster who assured me that i will get my girlfriend back after two days of his spell casting.and he told me to believed that every thing will definitely be fine once he is through with his work.
So that was how he cast the spell and two days after,i was so surprise to see the girl that i haven’t seen for good six months coming back to my house,and begging for forgiveness. So that was how we both lived a happy life,and till today,our relationship is now stronger than how it were before.
Thanks to the Dr. odemin for helping me,in bringing back my girl friend.

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posted June 25, 2013 at 1:14 am

Thank you for making my wish true! I was totally devastated when Frank left me. It was like all my world vanishing into sorrow and pain. But i met a love spell caster and the words when I first emailed him gave me hope. I felt how sincere, honest and authentic you were from your first email. I know it sounds weird but out of all the casters I contacted, you were the only one to give me that impression of being so true and caring. More than your words, it’s the fantastic work you accomplished for me that I will keep in mind. You brought my lover back and you made all my wishes come true. He’s now loyal, pays attention to me, he offers me flowers every Sunday, and we often go out at the cinema or at the restaurant. I will be forever thankful for turning my life from hell to heaven!” Patricia, USA.

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