Ginormous Is A Word

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Our youngest son, Arlo, has a long history of mashing words together to create new ones. So when he started to use “ginormous” to describe things, my husband and I exchanged bemused looks and let him carry on. One day in the car, as Arlo used “ginormous” to describe an incident at school, we turned to him and said that ginormous is not a real word. “Yes it is!” he asserted. Sure enough, a quick search on the internet when we got home revealed that ginormous is indeed a word.

Ginormous is the word that comes to my mind now as I try to understand the recent death of my nephew. He was starting his second year of college at a school that he dearly loved. He has a seizure disorder for which he took medication and took steps to get adequate rest to curtail them. On a simple walk by himself on the second day of college, he had a seizure, rolled down an embankment and fell face first into the lake. He drowned. He died. At age 19. We had hugged and kissed him the morning he left to move into his new dorm and told him that we loved him. Ginormous is the only word I can find to describe the hole of grief we have fallen into.

Having lost my father two years ago, I know full well that grief and mourning is a long, arduous journey and unique for each person. I can barely imagine how my sister, brother-in-law and niece will move on with their days. For myself, I have cut my outside commitments to bare bones so I can use what energy I do have to care for my family and myself. Distractions are helpful to a point but I am intentionally making time to feel the pain of this loss. I want to remember him and somehow search for meaning in all this.

What has helped the most so far was the ginormous outpouring of love and support from family and friends when we traveled back to my hometown for the funeral. Not a dry eye in the room but hugs and stories and so much love. Ginormous amounts of love. This death will transform every member of my family. Though too short, my nephew lived a full, adventurous, wonderful life. Those memories and the love and support of family and friends will help us as we walk the ginormous road that is in front of us now.


  1. Linda Caamaño on September 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm said:

    Oh, Linda, I am so SO sorry to hear this terrible news. I cannot imagine the grief you all must be feeling. I think we all struggle at various times in our lives to find the meaning of things that make no sense; that appear so wrong, so sad, so cruel. All we can do is move forward the best that we can, finding moments of peace and solace in sweet memories, support from loved ones, and knowing that you are thought about and cared for. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family.

  2. Kimberly on September 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm said:

    My thoughts and prayers continue with you daily. Your example in intentional living is the most inspiring force in the world. I’m grateful you’re taking time for your healing. I’m so sorry that although the timing of the death of my father coincided yours and I was callous and to self absorbed at the time to recognize your coincidental pain. Please forgive my unintentional slight back then. It is somehow easier to accept the loss of one who has experienced many years on earth as inevitable and yet so much more difficult to absorb the traffic loss of one so young whom we expect to have more time with here. May the fact that the universe is vast and connected offer comfort in that he remains perhaps in less tangible yet clearly still present and shall remain such an important part of your lives.

    I wish you all solace.

    Peace, Love and Light, my dear friend.

  3. Heather Sullivan-Catlin on September 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm said:

    Oh, Linda. I am so so sorry. I had heard about this incident and had no idea the connection until I received your newsletter. I appreciate you sharing this. I lost my dad earlier this year and appreciated your words about mourning. My thoughts are with you and yours. Peace, Heather

  4. Linda Casserly on September 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm said:

    Linda, The loss of a child is one that canthat cannot be found in words. It is not natural and the hole it leaves in your heart is the most deepest you can ever imagine. When Justin died, 17 yrs. ago at 27 in a kayaking accident, my life changed forever…The only words of comfort I can offer your sister is the “old” adage, “Time will help.” Never stop talking and saying her son’s name. Leave all the photos you can around and in time you will be able to smile when you think of him. Now I live every day to the fullest, and still talk to Justin on a run, walk or bike. Luckily for me I have four others and now 5 grandchildren. When Chuck & Sue Bolesh lost their son this year, he said, “This is a club I had not ask to be a part of!” There are a lot of us out there that have lost children and it is the hardest life experience I could have every imagined. I still just want Justin back. He would have been 44 this year..
    So for you and your sister, you are right in taking the time. I spent a full year in a space that has no words. I will think of you and let your sister know there are others that ache for her… Linda

  5. Ginger Sweeney on September 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm said:

    Dear Linda, our thoughts are with you. I’m so sorry to hear of your nephew’s death. He must have lived a full life, to be brought back to our Creator so soon. Love to you. Love to your family.

  6. Linda, So tragic and terrible. I am thinking and praying fo ryou and your family my friend.
    Love you, Janet

  7. Amy Jo Weil on September 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm said:

    Dear Linda,

    My heart goes out to you and your family at the loss of your beloved nephew. I am so very sorry and you are in my prayers. My your heart find peace in knowing what a beautiful person he was and sharing loving memories with family members.


  8. Linda, no matter how much philosophy/psychology you

    teach and have been taught….nothing prepares you for this type of upset. Many prayers to you and your family.

  9. Diane Taillon on September 12, 2014 at 5:29 am said:

    Your grief has touched my heart as

    one who has also lost loved ones who have lived on earth for too short of a time. Your taking the time and energy to feel the gamut of emotions that are stirred by grief is such an important healing tool–not easy but so necessary. You honor your nephew by talking about him as though he were your son, as I am sure he was. Healing energy being sent your way. Hang in there.

    • Linda Potter on September 15, 2014 at 9:33 am said:

      Thanks to everyone for their very kind comments about my nephew. You have truly touched my heart and have lightened my burden.

  10. Linda Fay on September 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm said:

    Linda….please know that we are thinking of you and your family.