During my work with thousands of people I discovered a hiding place.

Yes I did.

This hiding place is situated right outside of the life we must leave behind after loss.

We go there thinking it’s the new life.

We go there to wait, wait to feel better.

After all… you have been told that time is the only healer.

And you listened.

You did as you were told.

You went there to wait. To wait so time can heal you.

And you waited.

But time did not heal.

Time did not come to your rescue.

In that waiting time, you started to hide.

Hide from the world.

Until a better day.

Until time says you are ready.

But that day never came.

The waiting became, hiding.

The hiding became your new life.

Your new life became your destiny. And you accepted it.

You accepted it as the only life you could have.

But what if I told you that this is not your new life.

It is not your destiny.

It is just a waiting place you mistaken for your future, for your life after loss.

You see you are in a place between two lives.

The life you left behind, and the life that is ahead.

Open your eyes.

Look around you.

And ask yourself.

Does this resemble YOUR LIFE or just a hiding place?

Are you anchored on the edge of beauty…alive but not living?

Watching but not experiencing.

Sleeping but not dreaming.

How long have you been in the place

where most stay because

they don’t know they can leave?

With lots of hiding experience,


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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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  • Barbara says:

    I have been in hiding since… April 7th 2010

  • Nomi says:

    It was so weird to see this today because on Wednesday I just discovered that I was not in the present and it was really scary as to where I had “been” since November 11th 2003. I had gone to Florida to get away. Left my mother ONLY knowind my contact number and address. I was trying to decide where my life was going…Could I face a divorce or stay in a miserable marriage. I was visiting a friends mom and had not charged my phone and it had died. Setting the scene for my guilt I guess I am doing right now!!!! My Mama kept asking me for days before if she could give my husband my phone number. I kept saying NO! Somewhere around 9:30am Nov 11 2003 I was told I had a phone call on their home phone. My answer to what I heard when I said “Hello?” was “You’re kidding right?” What I had heard was “Mama died this morning” Where did my response come from…seriously would anyone call and say that to someone as a joke???
    I went thru the motions of getting home. Then there were all the family squabbles…. NO THEY WERE HUGE FIGHTS! I withdrew from the world becsuse this is not what my Mama would have wanted to see. Siblings not speaking, her treasures being denied given to who she had made a list out designating them for because my dad said they were his now…throwing them away saying”They mean nothing to me! Why do you need them…its just junk!” Every chance I got I would raid the house, fill my car and then my home with garbage bags of her stuff. Paintings, jewerlry, a nightgown that I slept in until it ripped evertime I moved in bed at night…and more and more stuff…Saddest was the memory of my Mamas words. I hope you girls go thru this stuff and laugh and say… What did she buy this for! I did that alone…
    I was hoarding her world…and mad as hell that people were telling me I had grieved too long at 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years and then they stopped talking and even my eldest son was no longer speaking to me. A long story that doesnt bear writing but can be recapped in that my mama said if she went first would I make sure my father wass cared for… I kept that promise when the others walked away and drove myself into a deeper hole of denial and anger because I was doing it alone but being told I wasn’t doing enough nor doing it right when he ended up sick. Yet no one stepped up to help and though it nearly killed me I kept caring for him becuse that was what Mama asked.

    Then on Jan 26th 2007 another call came and my 45 yo baby brother was gone of what only could be called a broken heart. We talked every Sunday and just a week before I had bought him a plane ticket to come “HOME” from New Mexico… My last words to him as I was hanging up after givimg him the ticket info was “You be sure and come home!” He did but not to me…
    As a family the denial and anger got worse and soon I was not friends with any of my family on FB except my 2 granddaughters and youngest son. We were a family of 5 children and many nieces nephews etc…I finally divorced and started to feel like I was going someplace 2 years ago…

    And now the important part that I discovered Wednesday.

    I grew up in a small town in Maine. It went from 3 family markets of sorts, 2 drugstores, a hotel, a magazine stand,3 banks, a post office, 2 gas stations and a small coffee shop type place that reminds me now as can only be described as Al’s on Happy Days but no band ever played there..LOL to a town of antique shops a yoga studio and 4 places to eat on a street that is smaller than a city block.

    I discovered Wednesday…not that I hadn’t known it all along but more that I pretended all was the same…that nothing was the same.

    I was meeting my peer support friend and they suggested a new coffee house. I walked into the building and it was the bank where we had our drug store accounts.(We were one of the two drugstores and by the way they BOTH had soda fountains and now both are GONE) The only thing that was “REAL” in the bank was the vault and a sign hung on the vault door “Ask us about renting this for meetings or parties.” I started to laugh… and then….

    All of a sudden I saw EVERYTHING was gone! My world that had been safe as long as my Mama was alive was gone….Of all the stores only one original remains a small grocery store with the same name even.

    I just sat there waiting for my friend and absorbed that since Nov 11 2003 I had been “SOMEPLACE ELSE”! It was scary and a relief at the same time but more sad than anything because of all I had missed. I am not able to be in that SAFE WORLD OF DENIAL anymore

    Most of me feels free but there are still those scary, sad and lonely places in my mind. But I have decided that although my head has been saying for years now “You are too old to do anything new and different with your life!” Perhaps I can…and I am going to try!

    My strongest suggestion is to make a point of taking pictures and be sure YOU ARE IN THEM with your loved ones who HAVE NOT LEFT THIS EARTH YET!

    Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve but I hope and prayer you do not miss as much life as I have because I know that is not what our loved ones would have wanted…

    Hugs to all who are healing and grieving…Prayers too…

  • Kathy says:

    March 11,1994 my sister passed away

  • - karen says:

    I love that you have brought to light that time does.not heal. What time does is it puts distance between the experience of our pain and today. In order to heal, we must look at the pain. We have to face it, accept it, grieve our loss and come to peace with it. It’s like a dirty pan in the kitchen. We can’t just leave it on the counter. We have to pick it up, add some soap and scrub it clean. Some pans were used to cook something messy that requires a little more elbow grease, some were just used to steam vegetables. Every situation is different …. but time does not “clean up” or heal our past. It takes a some effort. The hard part is that some of us were never taught how to do it … because those that raised us didn’t know either. Thanks for your wonderful, encouraging posts. Your work helps others learn how to “clean the pan.”

  • marloYour Name (required) says:

    The turtle sticks it’s neck out once more…I’ve begun applying for mft internships again…fingers crossed that I find the perfect one that will fit my work schedule…
    bored with hiding,

  • Sarah says:

    Since Sept 30 1992. My father died when I was in my senior year of high school. I had plans to take a year off and travel before going to university. But I was too scared to take on a soul searching year so soon after my father died. I went straight to University, buried myself in school work for 4 years, then in my job for 15 yrs. I did live during that time, got married, had two beautiful children. But I was moving through life numb with the belief I could never be truly happy. I had also lost a sister when I was just 10 yrs old, 7 yrs before my father died.

    I’ve spent the last few years dealing with emotions I’ve buried deep inside. They came out and I now truly believe that I can be happy again. My husband and I have separated, I’m starting a new chapter in my life and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

    • Dear Sarah,
      I am so very sorry for all your losses. Losing a sister and a father so young is so difficult I now that you are on your way to a brand new beginning. Make sure you cleanse your feelings and journal every day!!
      All my love

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