Friday, February 24, 2017

Truth in dark and light

I've written about this before, how January through March has become a challenging season, since it charts the days between Kevin's diagnosis and his death. I'm in the thick of it now and I find myself on the usual roller coaster.

I was talking with a friend just a few days ago and I commented that at least it's becoming familiar. I know I will be sad and I know what being sad feels like. This may sound like a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I assure you I'm not looking for reasons to clutch my breast and mourn him. I have just come to recognize that this time of year is likely to bring up some challenging memories.

When I'm in the midst of it I don't always remember this, I don't always recall that I have been here before, but sooner or later the memories surface and I give in. Each time it is simultaneously a shock and expected. I remember how my body feels to be this sad. I remember that I have felt this before. I let myself weep. I let myself watch numbing television. I let myself do what it takes to travel through the sorrow, back to holding onto the love more than the pain.

It's like walking a familiar path blindfolded. I know there are bumps and curves, I know they are somewhere around here, but each time they take me by surprise.

Not only is it familiar, to some degree it is welcome. I am not someone who believes that the only way I can express my love for Kevin is by being sad. I know there are people who hold onto the pain as their most tangible reminder of the one they have lost. I will not tell someone else how to grieve; if that's what works for them, then that's what works for them. I do know that living my life, saying his name, honoring his light in the world, these are all effective ways for me to remember Kevin and to celebrate him. Yet there is sometimes comfort in the pain. There is comfort in letting myself feel so sad I can barely breathe. There is comfort in letting myself feel my ongoing shock that he is no longer in this world. There is comfort in saying yes, I love him so much that I have broken apart, healing into a new shape that encompasses his loss.

This is not to say there isn't comfort in many, many other things as well, but to deny the familiarity, to deny the comfort of loving him enough to still mourn, that would be the same as denying other truths in my life, like love and laughter and the way I honor Kevin and myself by living as fully as I can. He would want no less. I want no less. I want it all, the love and the laughter and the pain and the sorrow. I would rather live fully than deny the truth of the dark as well as the light.

(c)2017 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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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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