Losing a loved one is something that most of us will face, but it is something that we are rarely ever ready for.
My guest Pamela Burrus sat down to share her amazing yet tragic love story with me. Pamela and her husband David were together for twenty years before he was struck and killed by a car in a pedestrian walkway. One of the things that I loved about meeting Pamela was hearing her tell her incredible bond that she and David experienced. She first told me about their seventeenth wedding anniversary in New York and how the maître d’ at the restaurant came up to them and said he could tell that they were newlyweds. They laughed together and said “Yes we are, seventeen years of newlyweds.”
Pamela recalls the last time she saw her husband alive and their last goodbye. She said that he walked away the same way he had walked into her life twenty years earlier, “with that same grace and smile and just that over the shoulder I love you look.” The night he was killed, David called Pamela eleven times, which she said he would never usually do, but he said “I just wanted to tell you I love you one more time before I get on the plane.” That was the last conversation that they would ever share. Hours later Pamela received another phone call from David but when she answered the phone it went to a white-out sound. “I knew nothing and I knew everything in that moment.”
She describes that, for her, “The grief cycle almost stands side-by-side with the birth cycle.” Also, while dealing with her own grief cycle she explained the difficulty of making sure the needs of David’s other loved ones were met as well. “They’re all there hoping to be there for you but also dependent on you somehow because you’re the embodiment of the “we” that was.” Pamela did not feel prepared or capable of handling life without David but in that moment of the journey she said you have to think about your options.
“I’m a big believer in, ‘Nothing is but thinking makes it so,‘ and the tape that was playing continually in my mind was, “No, no, no. I can’t do this.” Pamela talks about the feeling of hopelessness she experienced until she had a profound spiritual turning point.
She realized she had to stop thinking she couldn’t go on and she needed to give thanks instead. “Whether it’s absolute loss or absolute blessing, we have to find a moment of gratitude because in that we learn that we can and we learn what’s in the experience and then we can go forward.”
A key piece of Pamela’s healing was acceptance. Often people want their life the way it was, but she had to come to terms with the fact that her future would never be like her past. “We stay with what was and then we suffer even more.” She advises, “It starts with acceptance and then it moves into really honoring your own grief cycle.”
Pamela shares what would have helped her heal after the accident happened. She says, “People are afraid to talk to you about it and at that time you need more than ever to get to talk about it. They’re afraid that this is so big and so awful that if they speak their name to you, you are going to fall apart and they won’t know what to do. So they cover and placate and avoid.”
For anyone out there who is going through the loss of a loved one or maybe it’s been some time, I believe that we can all learn a lesson in healing from Pamela’s story. I think it’s important for us all to remember that there is a grief cycle and it does take time to rebuild. I hope that listening to Pamela’s journey will help you get to a place of accepting and understanding your own grief cycle. My philosophy at KirstyTV is that sharing our stories heals ourselves and heals others so please comment below and share ways that have helped you cope with grief and move forward.
Kirsty attacks life like it’s a chocolate cake. She is the Executive Producer and Host of KirstyTV and an international speaker, author, and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. You can also follow Kirsty on Facebook and Twitter.