Friday, December 23, 2016

Charting territory

Whee! Splat. That's how I'm feeling these days. Elated then flattened. This isn't surprising, Kevin loved Christmas, so this time of year holds many wonderful memories. He was quite sick by Christmas and was diagnosed shortly into the new year, so this time of year holds many painful memories as well. I never know what to expect. I am driving without a map or GPS.

This is my third Christmas without Kevin. Even now, almost three years on, I can't really predict how I'll feel at any given time. Certainly there are times when it's pretty likely I'll feel okay or feel cruddy, but even then I surprise myself.

That's part of what grief is, what it becomes as you walk further out from the loss and further into the strange new land of life-after-death. Even as you begin to map it, to recognize the familiar landmarks, you will be surprised. I don't know if it ever becomes truly familiar territory. Maybe that's what life is all along, the unknown map, loss or not, but I am more aware of it now.

Here there be monsters, the unexpected hydra of grief rises up at the sight of a loved, familiar face or an overheard song. I cut off its head only to have more grow.

X marks the spot, the unexpected treasures that are revealed by a shared story, a shimmering memory I thought I'd forgotten.

I've written before about life as cartography. The older I grow and the more I consider the New World, this post-loss life, the more I realize there is no one map, there are many and they change all the time. All we really have is each other, reaching out from our isolation and guiding one another along the routes we know, holding up a light so that we all may see. We reach out to help each other across the unfathomable crevasses and hold on tight, hand-to-hard.

I miss you, Kevin. Thank you for being my guide for all of these years. And thanks to all of you who are walking the wilds with me.

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

No comments:

Post a Comment

True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
Related Posts with Thumbnails