Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Guilt of Living

Did you ever feel guilty for being alive? Today I have gone through each moment noticing all that I am here to see, hear, touch, enjoy and love - all that my friends Jeanne and Jacquie are not here for anymore. (see today's earlier post) Maybe that is only one of the gifts that those who go ahead of us leave behind. New eyes to see what they cannot any longer. From the moment I awoke this morning - in a healthy body, in a soft bed that I share with someone I love, to buying a new plant for the house, to getting books to read from the library, to precious time with both of my parents, (still here, still nearby) - I have thought of Jeanne. I walked out on my side deck just now overwhelmed by the sight of the sky and the blooming flowers all around me. I heard my daughter's voice today, I feel the coolness of the rain that is about to fall outside, my little dog is at my feet, keeping me company. I did not spend the day getting chemotherapy or in pain. I did not worry about how to pay my bills - yep, feeling mighty guilty, and yet, aren't all of these things good gifts from God above? Don't we spend our lives striving to attain some kind of peace and contentment?

Both Jeanne and Jacquie touched many people while they were here on Earth. We waited an hour last night at the funeral home just to express our condolences to Jeanne's family. My friends were both loving, wonderful people who loved and knew God personally. This earthly life is all we know right now. We think it is the best of everything and we do all we can to hang on to it, but my friends are now experiencing what we have not. They are in the loving arms of Jesus - where we should all pray to be someday. Any peace or contentment that we experience here on Earth is nothing to what we will know someday. Can I prove that? No, but I believe it with all my heart - no matter how blessed your life is - there is something much better. This can't be it.

So, I've had my moments of guilt today. I'm sad that Jeanne's children have lost her so soon. I am sad that Jeanne will not see them grow to adults. But I also am happy for her. She's already there.


Kelly Jene said...

You've had a lot of loss around you lately. I'm so sorry. I know you can get peace from the knowledge that your friends are free of pain now.

You're in my prayers.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Diane, the guilt you're feeling is normal. Grieving is a tough process. Sending you a hug.

happyone said...

I agree with all you said and you say it so well.
You have such a way with words. :-)

SandyCarlson said...

My heart goes out to you. I wish you peace.

bonnie said...

We are at the age now where our friends succumb to cancer, our parents succumb to old age and the young to rare tragedies. It's difficult for me to be with the loss of people who have touched me, while their deaths teach me to live.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Good morning, Diane. You have a blog award over at my place.

Jan said...

Thank you for sharing. What a good friend who lives on in your heart and the hearts of many. Be gentle with yourself during the grieving process, which lasts longer than one would expect.

Ms Hen said...

I'm sorry for your of last July 2008. (hugs).

My take on Death is a bit different. I know we are all going to die..... I have no idea why people cling so hard to staying young or not dying... it is inevitable.

I feel it is the people that are left behind that are the sad ones for losing someone we love.