Friday, September 2, 2016

Hello old friend. Thanks for the pie, now go away.

I don't sleep the way I used to. When Kevin was sick I remained alert most of the time so I could help him if he needed it; since his death I've not regained the ability to sleep through the night. It's rarely that bad, so now I just think of it as the way it is, the way I am. Every so often though I find myself unable to sleep and awake at the wee hours. Last night was like that. All night long I lay in the dark, thinking about Kevin and how much I miss him. I had no choice in the matter, the grief was there and nothing I could do would change it.

I'm pretty sure I know why; my father's death has opened up more intense grief for me again. What's more, in this past week two friends have died (both from cancer), the son of another friend died, and yesterday I had a long talk with yet another friend about how we never stop missing those who have passed on.

I lay there in the dark and thought about Kevin. I thought about my father. I thought about my friends. I cried. And I thought about how very familiar this feeling was. Lying there in the dark I realized that, for all that I didn't want to be awake, for all that I was in emotional pain, it was kind of comforting. It reminded me that while people I love have died, the love doesn't die. It reminded me that everything I do from this point out, whether done in joy or in mourning, it is a reflection my past and it's a way to keep them in the world. By remembering them they are not gone. It reminded me that I am still here to feel these things and those who have died would want nothing less.

Shortly after Kevin died a dear friend talked with me about her experience with grief. She said something to the effect of You never know when she's going to visit. She'll kick down the door and won't leave until she's good and ready. You can't do anything about that no matter how hard you try. She's kind of a bitch. But sometimes she brings pie. My friend is right. Grief is its own creature and it arrives when you least expect it. But every once in awhile she brings pie. She did last night, helping me remember that the pain is only a shadow of the love. And although she is not the visitor I would have wanted, I am grateful for the reminders of all the sweetness.

There are still, there will always be, crumbs of grief in my sheets to remind me of the love, the sweetness, and the pain.

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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