Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GRIEF...How Do You Deal With It?

In the early part of 2000 I lost my husband to liver disease. A horrible but preventable death if he had chosen to live differently. However I was devastated because at age 56 I was too young to be a widow. He was not even 47 yet; so young and with a young son of 25 he left.

I had been unable to work for the previous couple of years due to caring for him and now had to re-enter the work force. I went to work at the nearby Louisiana State Park as the District Office Coordinator and shared an office with two men who were rarely in.

My job demanded learning spread sheets and different computer programs and skills and I had up until that time barely mustered maneuvering the mouse from place to place, but with lots of patience the men guided me in the basics and I practiced.

Of course his death would not completely leave my mind and there was no one to talk to so I began writing on the computer and realize I had never used a word processor and had not typed since high school, but I typed and I typed and before I knew it I was caught up in a story. I began tearing pictures from magazines, pictures of people; people we all know from People Magazine and such. In my mind they became my family. They represented my deceased husband, and all my children. My parents, my extended family and my friends that I didn't have.

I couldn't stay too true to my story or I would have been writing about my life and my life at that time felt too painful. I didn't want to let anyone in so I had to re-invent my life. I became the matriarch of a family of simple, poor, practically illerate hill family from the Tennessee mountains. I had to learn a new way to talk, and spell, and think. Of course I drew my strength from this very strong woman from the hills. She faced hard work, death, disappointments, fear and all the things we in life are faced with and she endured through her faith in God, determination of spirit, and a caring family. Through this hillbilly woman, I learned to do the same. I interwove parts of my own life within these colorful characters and made up the rest. Again, I typed and I typed.

I went to bed thinking of the folks on James Mountain and got up in the night to pen what I had dreamed or had thought of before my storyline was forgotten and when I got to work and got my office work out of the way, I wrote some more. In no time, I had filled huge binders of pages both pictures and the written word and it was more than a story. It became a saga. I fine tuned it and wrote some more. Within the year my story could be finished. But how could I finish it when I now had living to do?

I met a man in 2002 that I fell completely in love with and to my surprise, I remarried. The book still hearkened. The family wanted to keep on living, so I bought another binder and began writing where I left off. My name changed so I had to change my story name, thus changing the title but the people were the same. Minus a few who had gone on before me or no longer a part of my life.

I got well. I healed. My grief subsided without me being aware of trying to move on. I had crossed over to the living. I found the second book much harder to write and still do. I'm happy in my life today. It is full and it is complete. I have a loving,healthy, happy and active family. I love Jesus, adore my husband who is absolutely the true love of my life. My health is fairly good especially in my mind and I have friends in the bloggy world I never could have dreamed up.

I know for certain that Rest High On The Mountain was a gift from God; the ability to weave this tale to heal my aching heart. There is no great pull to write about my hill family now as they are far too busy living to contend with. I am too busy.

But as in my post yesterday, I will print little exerpts from time to time for you to get a glimpse at what life in the Tennessee Hills was like for the Reuben James Family.

As only in my mind.


  1. Wow what an amazing post Mollye. When I read the story yesterday, I admit I was a little confused. But it was so endearing and believable. I think you should have it published. You chose a very unique way to deal with your grief, one which you should be proud of. I am excited to read more about your story in the James mountain.

  2. Life weaves a cloth that is unique to each of us. Very few of us live our lives without some life altering event somewhere. How to deal with grief.....We all deal with it differently. Some accept it & make peace with it & others rail against it. Me???? I try to make peace with it because no matter how you fight it it doesn't go away......
    Lovely post.....You are a remarkable lady!!
    Have a Great Day!!

  3. Words are powerful Miz Mollye!

  4. Mollye, I love how God pulled those stories and people from your heart - to heal your heart. He gave you a wonderful imagination and a special way of spinning a tale. Then he brought you a wonderful man to share your life with. Such a love story - God's love and care for you.


  5. Well, it was so good you fooled me! I enjoyed the story. See, I got swept up in it.

    I'm so sorry you went through that awful time, but I'm happy for you that you found love again and have a very full life. God is definitely GOOD. And He is the rock of rocks.

    So, tell me, did you EVER live in Tennessee???


    Sheila :-)

  6. I have to admit I was a bit confused as well. I didn't know how to comment.

    This explains it all.

    Glad you have the love of your life there with you. Sorry you had to go through so much pain to arrive there.



  7. dear lady, i think it is amazing that you found an outlet ... a healing source ... for your grief.

    as you know, grief is hard work. very hard. and to have been able to write yourself through it is truly a blessing and a gift.

    i love to write as well. after my mother passed away, i wrote and wrote. it was painful but cathartic. and it helped me heal.

    thanks for sharing this amazing experience with us, mizmollye girl.

    love and hugs,
    terry lee

  8. Hello Mollye! I love your writting, it is rich with the life you bring to it and so it is very special warm and wise too! Grief is a law onto itself and it is different to many people. Over the years I have had grief, as most of us had, losing both parents, and family , grieving for the baby I could never conceive, grieving for my body and the changes that my illness brought. I did write some morning papers at that time... complete ramblings, just pouring out my soul onto the page. I have thrown them away, as some of things I wrote were too painful for even me to read again! But I think it was a way of coping with overwhelming emotions and feelings, without bursting! When I lost my Mum, I couldn't cry properly and kept it all inside and I still believe that and years of stress caused my illness. So I think your way of coping is wonderful! What a beautiful way of releasing your love, pain and sorrow, by making such wonders! I am sooo happy that you have found such happiness now! You deserve every bit of it! suzie xxxxxx

  9. Well, well, well, sugar, what a story! I don't think I've read a post quite like this one. You've survived and that's what counts. Our daughter was widowed last may at the age of 47 and has taken a completely different path and we're devastated but we pray each day that she'll get through this.


  10. I am sorry to hear you suffered such grief. God always brings us through it , if we lean on him and are patient. But I know we never stop loving or missing the ones we loose. I am happy you found happiness again.
    Hugs and blessings

  11. I really love your altered story from yesterday and the back story is even better. Learning all those skills has made you a stronger and better person. You should get this published, along with the lovely photos that accompany it.

  12. Hello Molly...First of all, I want to say THANKS SO MUCH for becoming one of my beloved Followers! Welcome, welcome, welcome. Hope you visit often.

    Secondly, I have to say your post today made me sit at my computer with tears spilling out of my eyes. And Vince Gill's singing made me cry even more! So now, go and have a wonderful day. I definitely will, too, Molly. You are an inspiration. Sincerely, Susan

  13. p.s. Whoops. Sorry Mollye. Left the "e" off your name in my previous message. Also want to tell you that I love your philosophy of life. Sincerely, Susan

  14. My mother always used to tell us that "each person is a universe of emotions and feelings"..something we never fully see or hear from the outside.Well,thank you for sharing some of the inside with us.Warmest Regards Sweet Mollye,Cat

  15. Thank you so much sweet Mollye for opening up to us today and telling us the amazing story of your life.
    What a brave and wonderful woman you are to be able to pen your thoughts and to heal yourself through words. My Mother used to always tell me to write down my feelings, read them later, and that I would feel better. I still do this but not as often as I used to. I often write letters to my Mother who has been gone for three years now. There is something about writing that sets us free.

    Thank you Sweetie for sharing such a wonderful part of you.


  16. Thanks for sharing this story with us Miz M. I like to write to but am no good at making up stories. I tend to write from experience. Still I enjoyed the excerpt about Mizmollyelou that you shared below. It does help to have the pictures to build your story line on. I am still wondering what they were doing with the snakes in church though ...

  17. Thank you so, so much ... for sharing your soul. There's no doubt ... I've not yet discovered a way in which to handle my own grief --still kept secret; buried too deep for tears. My life is immeasurably better for having crossed paths with your site! :)

  18. It is so wonderful that you found love again. You and your husband are so cute together in your picture. I can tell you have a blessed life!


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