Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By now

By now, I don't really hear from anyone, outside of  my very closest friends and one or two family members, about Matt and the whole grief thing unless I bring it up first. Everyone else has gone with their lives. Or at least that's how it seems. I often wonder if anyone else remembers Matt or if we are the only ones who think about him every day. I don't know because people don't say. I still think it's one of the biggest misconceptions about grief, that bringing up our loved one's name or memory will cause us more pain or remind us of our loss. Trust me, we haven't forgotten and, though it may be painful, it is, in fact, very comforting when we hear someone speak of them because it tells us that others are thinking of them too. There is no greater comfort than to know our loved one hasn't been forgotten by others.

Lately, each day has been a series of ups and downs on this roller coaster of grief. (Although they aren't as often, or as high or low as they were in the beginning.) The morning may actually find me doing well, but then a memory or some other sort of trigger will send me floating out to sea in a matter of seconds. It's hard to get my footing, but I do know that clinging to the buoy of eternity is what brings me back to shore the quickest. Dwelling on the day of the accident or trying to imagine its details are what keep me adrift, sending me further out. Focusing on what will never be or on what I have lost is also not productive and is a wickedly ensnaring seaweed, a constant companion to grief's waves.

Swimming to shore is exhausting. I was actually hoping to take a nap this afternoon, but as is typical, naps are only in theory and rarely a reality. Today was Artsy girl's and Army boy's birthday. It's been a busy day and, on the downswing of emotions, I was only too happy to sit down and finally go through the mail.

I opened a letter from an unrecognized return address and inside was a card with the following poem. It was a sweet comfort knowing that someone was thinking of us today and that they let us know it.

HOMECOMING PARTY
by Jean Formo (©1982)

Death is God carrying us
in one arm while the other
flings aside heaven’s door

to welcome us
back to the blazing hearth
of our first home.

while those inside,
having arrived before us,
rush to the door

like glad children shouting,
“They’re here!” “They’re here!”

Death has a bad name
on earth, but in heaven,
it’s a homecoming party
everytime the door opens.

God does not forget
those earthbound children,
sad and left behind.

God leaves the party early
to enter into their despair and
to get them ready for their
own parties someday.

 

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