It’s been more than 50 years, but I can still picture the scene: my family sitting at the dinner table when the phone rings. My dad answers, not saying much. And then the pronouncement: our sweet little dog, Ginger, was gone. I was very young, so I didn’t understand everything, but I understood that I would never see her again.

And the worst part, what sticks with me even today, was that I was blamed for her death. If only you hadn’t let her escape the leash and chase after the mailman. She was too old to handle the trauma of being sprayed by his pepper spray. 

Understand, I was probably 5 years old. So not only was I dealing with grief, I was dealing with guilt.

Most people aren’t blamed for the losses they endure, but everyone has probably heard innocuous words from those trying to help—or in my case, trying to deal with their own loss in hurtful ways. Be assured, the words in all the articles this month won’t do that.

In this issue, Redbud writers tackle their own instances of loss and what they have learned and are still learning in the process of grief. From one who lost a sister whose body has never been found, to one facing a potential move from a dearly loved and long-lived-in state, to those who suffered miscarriages, death, or divorce, to another cleaning up the debris in her life left by a pandemic, these women have all been touched by excruciating loss.

Hold their stories respectfully and let their words be those of friends sitting by your side and holding your hand through your own journey of grief. Let them know what their words have meant to you.

With prayers for all you have and will continue to go through,

The Redbud Post

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