Surviving sadness from losing my brother Steven

Wendy A. Carroll

I lost my brother, Steven, then 32, at the end of April, 1995. He and two friends/climbing partners (Philip Kaufman, and Patrick Simmons), were descending Mt. Orville in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park, after being the 1st of record to summit that peak, when unseasonably warm weather caused an avalanche, carrying them down 2,000 or so feet. All three were killed, leaving several families and friends from West Coast to East Coast (as well as locations around the globe, such as Paris and Tokyo) mourning this great loss. They were very experienced climbers, and had made no mistakes. Nature took them from us, that's all I know. I can ask why, but there's no answers. None at all. My brother was as good a person as they come. He cared about everyone, and everything. He loved nature, and that is why he took the risks to see the things he saw, up there, where few dare to go. He is a hero to me, yet it has been very painful to live with the realization that I will not see nor speak to him again in this life. Grief is work, hard work we're forced into. I found, you cannot surpress it, because it'll happen despite one's efforts to keep it at bay. The trick is to take it slow, be good to yourself and those around you, and don't let anyone tell you, that you should be over it already, or get on with it, those are the people who've not been through exactly what you are going through, so ignore them. I am surviving this sadness, though, I doubt I will ever completely recover. I can, will, do laugh again, without feeling guilty, because I know Steven would want me to. Good luck and best wishes to all going through the pain of losing someone you love.


by Wendy A. Carroll

I will remember you,
    how you laughed 
    with your deep
    dimpled smile, and
    bluest true eyes
    the color of skies,
the strength of your jaw 
    as the strength of 
    your character,
the crook of your nose,
    the slope of your brow,
it's all gone now.

But wait-- there,
I see you once more
in my mind's eye,
but not clearly enough,
as time goes by.
Thank goodness for photos!

Lost in "The Woods"

by Wendy A. Carroll

In the "dark woods" am I,
    looking for a way out
 feeling like a good hard cry,
    is not the entire route,
The sun is what I seek
    it's warmth and kind light,
if it returns, will it last
    for years or just a week?
I've been here once or twice before,
Shouldn't I know what's in store?
I guess for now I'll take it slow
Until I know which way to go.


by Wendy A. Carroll

    shreds of tears,
    pouring, wrenching--
takes my heart out of me
and puts it back again
    pain, aching, longing
    will soon be ended
with love, shall it be replaced
with family, friends and laughter
    the misery of sorrow be erased
death be not dying to the living,
for in living we are reborn.

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW