Wednesday, August 5, 2015

For Those Who Grieve: The Memories Will Once Again Return


Eventually, the seamless concrete wall gives way to rocks, and a path to the sea which will allow you to go anywhere within your memories.

         The sudden death of a family member is a terrible shock.  The loss of a child is always a life changing devastating experience.  This Autumn, it will have been seven years since the day when Daniel had to depart his body, and leave us, presumably we are told, due to a sudden heart rhythm disturbance (an electrical disruption) in an otherwise "structurally and microscopically perfect heart. ", at least according to autopsy.  The immediate time after was profoundly bewildering, perplexing and very strange.  One thing I remember best is that in those first weeks, the grief which came down like a long and tall seamless concrete wall prevented me from accessing some of the happiest memories I had with Daniel. All I knew in those early days was that my young son who was so bright and had so much promise ahead of him was gone, and no one could tell us exactly why.  In the short term,  I survived by doing several things. First, I focused on my remaining children and my husband and their immediate needs in relation to the loss of Daniel.  I also functioned by staying as busy as was humanly possible. Continuing to be busy allowed me to process a little of the grief at a time, and this was workable at least for me.   I also spent a lot of time giving the best care to Daniel's animals, something I knew would be important to him.   In those early weeks, I did not have conscious recollection of his last Christmas with us, his last birthday, or many other events. There was such a raw injury in my soul that I could not access large parts of my life with Daniel in it.  I suppose, my own mind limited my recollections so that I would not have full access to the full scope and breadth of the loss, until more time had passed.

               If you are reading this, then you likely know something about loss and grief. You may well be experiencing some of the temporary blocking of happy memories of which I have spoken. I wanted to let you know that as time passes, those happy memories, often in detail, come back one by one. This is an important post because part of the condition of being human is that all of us ultimately lose a loved one. It's simply part of the journey here on Earth.    Some losses of people are dramatic and traumatic, but all losses of those we love are losses and we carry them until we too leave this place.   In time,of course, as you remember sunny days driving over the mountains with the one you love and have lost, there will be tears shed, but there will be a recollection of how much that person means to you. In time, the memories return to you, and so does some of the joy    I think it has taken every bit of those seven years for me to have a somewhat unencumbered access to the great many memories I shared with Daniel. I remember his wry sense of humor. I remember his words on why we have to do good things while we are here on Earth.  I remember his telling me how short the trip will be, and I thought he meant that it just goes quickly. There was so much wisdom and so much humor in Daniel.

Eventually, there will be peace.

            If you are grieving the loss of someone dear, please know that in time, more and more of those golden memories will be available to you. Eventually, the seamless concrete wall will give way to a path you will choose to periodically walk when seeking to recall those positive times.   Eventually, the horrible memories of loss stand more quietly, and rather than examining hundreds or thousands of things you or your child will never do together, you are given clear access to the things you did do, and some of them were worth our journey here, and even worth the pain of our eventual loss here.    Those good memories will eventually come flooding back on sunny days, days when the rain leaves the outdoors smelling like the ocean, and while making foods that you will recall were favorites of your loved one.  There will again be moments of joy before we ultimately see them again. I promise you...

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