Grief is the love that waters the flowers of our soul. Sometimes they curl up in the darkness to rest. Sometimes they bloom. karen draper
Last year when we marked our ten year milestone, I said I wouldn’t write any more memorial posts about Preston. When I think back to that statement I realize how silly it was to foretell what I didn’t know. I am still, and always will be, learning. Sitting at my desk as I write this post, I have NO idea what I’ll do next year. I won’t know until I get there, and when I do, I’ll do whatever feels right for me.
Every year on our son’s heavenly birthday, I look at the first two photographs to remind myself that anything is possible. They don’t match the bottom two – they’re not supposed to. How we begin doesn’t determine a life. And whenever we want. We can begin again. And so it goes…
What I really want to do though is talk about grief – a subject that is rarely discussed. As if talking about it prohibits the continuum of life. Or. Gives a misguided perception that if you do, you must still be stuck in it. Whether you’re grieving the loss of a child, spouse, parent, friend, or even a relationship; I hope I can offer a perspective that helps you in the healing process.
Grief doesn’t ask permission. Not ever. Though it does teach us the enormity of love. And the capacity within our muscles and bones to expand into another place. Grief is amazing in its ability to heal and hold love.
Now, almost eleven years after Preston’s death, Sam and I live with grief as a silent partner. He doesn’t visit often, but when he does he’s an all consuming, sometimes, rude house guest. He arrives unexpectedly. He’s messy, opening doors that were closed and leaving windows ajar to let in what may. And when he leaves we clean up after the mess, and begin again.
Living with grief as a silent partner doesn’t mean we’re not joyful. Most mornings we awake happy and well fed by life. It also doesn’t mean that we don’t think of our son everyday at some point, or at many points. Often people have said, “Sorry I didn’t mean to bring him up and make you sad.” Please know that we can’t be made sad by the mention of our son’s name. However, it does mean that when we smile a memory up, we stop and pause at the sheer beauty of it. And for the most part we’re happier than I ever imagined we would be.
Of course there are the days when his presence is felt here on earth as though he never left. When we feel him so tightly around us, our hearts can’t help but be squeezed by our rib cage due to its enormity. That particular pain is the one felt way down deep in the marrow of our bones. Giving us pause at how the pain is so close to what we once felt; realizing yet again that we will always be in recovery. (More on recovery in the book).
Over the past eleven years, we’ve learned that recovery is most forgiving, allowing an abundant space for growth. Reflection. And for love. Each successive year we grow a little more, reflect a little more. And for sure, we love a little more.
So, today, go love someone a little more than you did yesterday. And please, GO HAVE A FROSTY FOR A SPECIAL REDHEADED ANGEL!!!