Sometimes I grieve for the person I have become without her.

Mika, 33, from Heraklion, Greece

I am part of his lasting mark on this earth. This keeps me going.

Maria, 39, from Connecticut, USA

Photographic memories are comforting. Remember
the good times.

Kate, 60, from Heraklion, Greece

I have learned not to fear death because I watched the grace and dignity with which she faced hers.

Fred, 67, from Maryland, USA

There are moments when I turn to tell her something funny and I find her place on the sofa empty.

Ελένη, 33, from Athens, Greece

I spend time in the house she tried so hard to save.

Veronica, 46, from USA

Moments of tenderness from memories of loving and being loved help me treasure what was.

Nancy, 74, from Reno, USA

Grief is perhaps the most universal yet most isolating of emotions, and we hope sharing our experiences with one another might offer reassurance—or at least help others feel less alone. This is an ongoing archive of reflections of loss and the rituals that have provided solace, and we invite you to share your own experiences on this site.

I have learned not to fear death because I watched the grace and dignity with which she faced hers.

My wife died in the summer of 2011. Her last words to me were help me die. Not in an assisted suicide way, but rather to help her on her way. Her body was full of cancer and she was trying so hard to die that the adrenaline was keeping her body going. I spoke to her, encouraging her to relax and let go, to not fight it. After about twenty minutes she gently drew her last breath. I don’t remember most of the next two and a half years. Grief is still my constant companion. I don’t cry much anymore. I walk around with what I can only describe as an emptiness. I enjoy many things today and the emptiness is still there lurking in the background. I was never angry about her death. The emptiness swallows the sadness, anger, and all the other feelings that could have resulted from her death. There is nothing to strike back at and alone at night is still difficult.

‘Comfort’ is a funny word. There is nothing that comforts me. Friends help. I used to say that I hoped I would die first. After living through her death, I am glad I didn’t die first because she didn’t have to go through what I did. I’m old enough now to know that more of life is behind me than ahead of me, and I hold fast in the belief that there is an afterlife and we will be reunited. In some way still unknown to me, we will be together again. I have learned not to fear death because I watched the grace and dignity with which she faced hers. This is my solace.

Fred from Maryland, USA