Sunday, September 15, 2013

Handling loss

Eight months ago today our world crashed and the unthinkable happened. We lost my grandson in an instant. I'm still having a hard time adjusting.

I've been thinking about loss and how people fill the void that is left when someone dies. Although I've lost people that I love very much, I wasn't actually living with anyone who died. I cannot imagine the pain that must be felt when suddenly someone is gone. The emptiness is probably almost too much to bear.

I still wish I could have conversations with my Mom, and she's been gone since 1985! My Dad lived in another town for 9 years, but I could always talk to him when I wanted. But not any more. I couldn't wait for him to move back to town so I could write down some of the stories he told us. But that didn't happen. This cannot in any way be compared to losing someone that you live with, see every day, hug and talk to every day.

It must be so hard.

After Mom died, Daddy invited one of his sisters over to go through Mom's clothes. I felt like it was a bit soon, but my aunt needed the clothes, and they were a painful reminder. I actually picked out 2 blouses that day that ended up being my favorite blouses. I am wearing one in a photo that I run across occasionally, and I still feel guilty about having it. About a year later, Daddy told my sister and I that we could split up my mom's jewelry. Neither of us wanted to do that. It was too soon. We weren't ready to say good-bye.

I know of so many people who have lost a spouse of many years - not just my Dad. My grandparents were married forever when my grandmother moved to a rest home. She was there a while when she died. My grandfather never got over losing her. He wouldn't eat. He died 3 years later of a broken heart.

When I was little, one of my Dad's aunts in Ballinger died, and we went there for the funeral. Two weeks later, we went back for her husband's funeral. He died of a broken heart. That was the first time I ever really thought about something like that. My mother-in-law just lost her 52-year-old daughter to cancer. She's having to pick up the pieces. It just doesn't seem right to lose a child. That's not the way things are supposed to be.

Everyone copes in their own way. For some, the silence is deafening; the emptiness is painful. Some people pour themselves into their work, some into a bottle. We all wonder how God could cause someone to die before their time. But who says it wasn't their time?

According to the Bible, God knows our future while we are in the womb. I guess, all we can do is follow the rules, take care of ourselves and each other, love with our whole heart, let your loved ones know how you feel, and be glad for every moment you have with them.

Right now, all I can think of are the times I could have been nicer and lost opportunities to enjoy another smile or conversation. I worshiped my Dad, and I adored my grandson, and I miss them terribly.

Would you please tell me how you cope with your loss?

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