The Ball | of Grief

The Ball of Grief

Everyone grieves. We experience loss in many forms and we each grieve differently for the loss. No value is attached to the severity of it; there is no code of conduct to follow; nor is there is a schedule to adhere to. Grieving is personal.

Here’s my view of the process …

One thing is certain … death is capital F-Final. I also know that grief has now both permanently and securely affixed itself to me. I know it will never leave. It will change, but it will forever be a part of me.

Since I entered the realm of grieving for the loss of my husband I have thought about the process daily. One image has continually presented itself in my pictorially-wired brain. My grief is a ball. A big bouncy yellow ball. And I know it is now attached to me. Everyone can see it. I cannot. But I feel it.

Mostly I trudge along according to my new directive “Sempre Avanti” (always forward). As I move I don’t realize I’m more stooped than I’ve ever been. The weight is heavy and I feel it and can only hope it doesn’t wear me down. But I do get used to it. Sometimes I forget about it and wonder why I feel the way I do. Others sense it though. They see it in my eyes, hear it in my tone and feel it with the hugs that last just a little bit longer. They see the yellow ball I drag behind me. I know they wish they can help me with it.

Sometimes when I think about my loss I’m angry. It shows in my venting, uttering my favourite string of curse-atives or in the private yet audible altercations with Joe himself (I always have the last word and it can be satisfying). Although it temporarily feels good to let it out, I’m really just fooling myself. When I try to kick the hell out of that ball, it’s so firmly attached to me that the force of its return is even stronger.

And at times there’s sadness and sadness is too heavy to drag and too massive to kick. Then I pick it up and carry it. But when I do, it’s so enormous, it’s all I see. It obscures my vision and narrows my perspective. I’m inundated with thoughts of sorrow (for myself and my family) and I woefully wonder “why me?” I feel the void in every way. Thankfully when I dwell too long in this position, my little voice whispers with love “Honey, please put the ball down. This is not helping you.” And when I do, I do see more clearly.

Fortunately I have always listened to that loving voice and because of it, I have been encouraged to to find comfort with that ball. So I’m doing my best to learn how to manage it and lessen the times I lose my balance and fall off. It provides a cushion for the difficult waves that appear out of nowhere. It offers a new sense of comfort and I’m confident it will keep me buoyant as I move forward in the grieving process.



It is now a part of me and as I continue to embrace life, I too will embrace the yellow ball of grief.



  1. I am speechless. What a powerful explanation of grieving. Thank you for opening your heart to us. You are n inspiration.

  2. Carole, thank you. You so often are in my thoughts and prayers, and your thoughts and reflections are a gift for me today.
    We were just out west in March. Our priority was to visit my Dad’s brother, my favourite Uncle Dick who lived with many family members in Abbotsford. In the fullness of God’s timing, we were there and I was with him when he died. Holy time with his family followed and as we continue to stay in contact, grief is tangible and dynamic…losing Uncle Dick brought back powerful memories
    of my Dad and being with him at his death. Your imagery with your
    big yellow ball is such a visual
    confirmation for me of my grief…
    I don’t always appreciate all the emotions grief brings on but I do appreciate that grief knows no boundaries and that I feel very close to all who grieve…and my friend, you are held closely in my heart as one of these…blessings to you and your children. Love, Nancy

  3. Dear Carol,
    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel. And as you also mentioned there are different grieving processes we experience depending on the life challenges that have come our way. Sending a big hug your way.

  4. MY Dear Friend Carole…
    As I read your insightful heartfelt words, the tears are streaming down my cheeks..
    I wish I could take your pain away… Joe will always be in our hearts…
    Carole.. try to surround yourself with comforting memories and let the love in your heart be a healing force to help you through the sadness. Hoping your yellow ball will one day become a yellow ball of sunshine.
    Sending love to you, Dante, Vince and Alana.
    Your friend forever……..
    Reta xx

  5. Oh dearest Carol. Your heart remains open and your ability to put into words and pictures “grief” … something just so shocking that it knocks us over. And here you are finding your deeply personal and creative way to tell us what you are experiencing. I love you dearly and deeply respect the light you are in this world. And yes, the hugs that last just a little bit longer are here in my arms for you, always.

  6. Dear Carole, I believe that you will always believe in the moto [NEVER GIVE IN, NEVER GIVE UP] when I was paddling that’s what kept us giving our all,especially at the end of the race…..our coach was a driving force..You know your ”driving force” better than anyone so go with that Carole ..A moto that got a responce from me when I was dragon boat racing was [NEVER GIVE IN NEVER GIVE UP] ..that’s you! I can hear your resolve to keep on going….YOU have a lot of ”love” coming your way..We want to be there with you, Lois a Russ

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