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It's a Long Road

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Have I mentioned how hard this is?  I mean really hard.  Every minute of every day is hard.  Every breath I take is hard.  My breathing patterns have not been this same since Michael died.  It is always shallow, and at the same time I feel like there is something heavy weighing on my chest.  All day long, I tell myself, "Take a deep breath."  Throughout the day, another reminder, "Just breathe.  Inhale deeply.  Now exhale."  I am now convinced that, unless someone has lost a loved one so very dear to them, as Michael was to me, they have no idea how grief manifests itself in our physical bodies, how long it takes, the agony that is experienced, and how all consuming it is. I had no idea, until now, how it feels to lose someone you love with all of your heart.  (Lord, forgive me if I was ever not compassionate enough, or even long enough, to someone in my walk of life who was grieving.)  I cry daily.  Sometimes a little here and a little there, and sometimes I will cry hard.  I already mentioned how last week was a tough week but Friday was the hardest of all of the days.  I am not sure why.  Maybe because the whole week had been tough and I was exhausted, maybe it was because I had a sweet friend sit down with me and listened, asked questions, and allowed me to cry.  Maybe it was because Michael always took off from work on Good Friday.  It was an important day for him. Maybe it was just because grieving is a very long, painful road.  There are no shortcuts on this journey.  People have tried shortcuts but then the wound shows up later in life because it did not heal properly.  It is a journey that we must take slowly, experience the pain, meditate on the loss, sit down occasionally when we are weak, slowly stand and move when we are able, and see and feel everything along the way.  I seem to begin to fall apart when life begins to get to busy and I start to feel rushed along the road.... errands, sports, lessons, appointments, etc.  I still need time daily just to be quiet.  I feel robbed at the end of the day if I don't get a time set apart for me to be still.

Sometimes my quiet moments come at unexpected times and in unexpected places. Like today, in the closet.  I was picking out a tie for Michael Anthony to wear to church. It was the Easter morning rush.  I decided to pull out one of Michael's because he had such beautiful ties.  To him, the right tie made an outfit, like the perfect pair of shoes does for a woman.  I went into the closet with my mind focused on the task at hand and began to look through all of his choices.  I felt my movements begin slow down.  I took my time touching them, looking at them, remembering what he wore with each one, how handsome he looked in suits, how he beamed when I told him so, how important the right tie was to him, and how strong he looked in a tie.  It was perfectly quiet in my closet.  All I could hear was the light bulb above me.  I lingered in that moment.  I longed to see him dressing for church and tying the knot in his tie.  I emerged with two fabulous ties and felt like I had just had a little rest stop on the road of grief.  I let Michael Anthony pick which one he liked best.  Thankfully, I know how to tie a tie because I  was in high school in the eighties, when it was stylish for girls to wear thin ties.  It was not as good as his father would have done, but it did the job.

It is a long road.  To my friends and family, please hang in there with me.  Allow me to take my time, handle me with care, hug me, listen - not too much advice, love, pray often,  join me when I stop to rest, and remember this great man with me and what a great loss it is to not have him with us in this life.  Yes, it is heaven's gain, but we are still on this earthly journey towards heaven, and it hurts.


Anonymous Says:
April 24, 2011 at 4:51 PM

You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!! My heart is heavy for you!!! We miss him deeply at work!!!

Anonymous Says:
April 24, 2011 at 5:54 PM

On this powerful day of Christ's rising, I thought of Michael and how he reigns in the heavenlies with our Lord. Indeed, yours is a journey, and your steps take you closer to that eternal day of the spirit, as with us all. I pray your spirit will soar and that you will have some experience of the other side - an even greater knowing of all that lies beyond this life. On the way, may comfort come more often and a sense of progress on a daily basis.

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