Thursday, December 19, 2013

Loss and Life

Loss is a part of life.  There is no way around it at the moment, although there are times I insist I'm going to live forever!

When I was in third grade, age 8, my only surviving Grandmother died.  I never knew the rest of my other grandparents.  I remember not understanding what was going on.  And being sad.  Really sad.  I loved my grandmother.  I don't have a lot of memories, but I remember watching the ball come down on TV on New Year's Eve with her.  I remember the day after the dryer fire that burnt her house.  I remember how she looked in the casket when I was allowed to see her on the funeral herself, but not.  It was scary.

That was my first experience with death, though far from the last.  My father died when I was 18.  The past three years has been especially hard, loosing one person or another about every six months.  One is never the same afterwards.

My brother's widow just lost her sister today.  I'm not sure what was wrong with her, I wasn't told that part.  I just knew that she was in the hospital and she wasn't expected to make it.  And it's just so sad.  Especially since I just got a Christmas card from my sister-in-law.  This isn't the time for funerals, this is supposed to be the time of joy and happiness.  My heart grieves for her.

If you are missing a loved one this holiday season, know that you're not alone.  It's okay to hurt and not be happy.  It's okay to cry.  It won't last forever.  Hold onto that.  You will never forget that person and you will always miss them, but one day it won't hurt so much.  Don't force yourself to quit grieving before you're ready, don't let anyone rush you.  It's a process that it unique to each person, and yes to each death.  I grieved differently for my brother than I did my father, differently for my friend Audrey who died from cancer and to whom my first book is dedicated.  Each person leaves a hole in your life, and that hole is as unique as they were.

Someday there will be joy again, and happiness.  Laughter and contentment.  Something will remind you of them...a song on the radio, a TV episode, a penny on the pavement...and it won't bring more sorrow.  Instead it will bring you a bittersweet happiness.  You will even smile.  Your step will be lighter for that moment.

May you find peace.  

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