Friday, January 27, 2012

half a decade, this spring

I am getting my spring plans ready. Two birthdays to plan, Easter, vacation, spring break, etc, etc. In doing so, I wanted to make sure my husband put in the dates he'd like to be off to spend some extra time together as a family.

One of those days is, of course, Keely's birthday. We always do a celebration of her life at the cemetery, sending balloons with messages to Heaven. This year, she would've been 5 years old. Getting ready to start kindergarten, just after her big brother, so grown up. It's been nearly 5 years since we saw her sweet blue eyes. Would they have even stayed blue? Here we are, half a decade later...those same unanswered questions hang in the air, the same pangs of heartache still sting. 5 years just seems so long.

But every moment that takes us farther from having held her takes us closer to holding her again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a few lines, left unfinished

I'm a list-maker. Maybe that's an understatement. I'm an obsessive list-maker. I have a list every morning for that day, a list for the week, a list for the month. I make lists for every event I plan (birthday parties, Christmas, etc). That's how I stay organized and in control.

Sometimes, I find it interesting to keep my lists if they've been for something important in life. I find it interesting later to see what I found most important to remember. Or more important not to forget.

But this isn't about list-making. In looking back over the lists I made for our move late last year, I found a little snippet of a poem I wrote. Just four little lines, left unfinished. I remember writing them. I remember being "stuck". No other words could help those four little lines. Nothing else could help me explain myself or made sense to go along. I was too busy with our move to express myself more thoroughly.

"so for now I'll look within me
and exhale a heavy sigh,
and accept a bitter silence
from loved ones who didn't die."

That's it. I could come up with nothing before and nothing after. I don't quite remember what prompted those words but I do know there are lonely moments in grief. At least they feel lonely. The unfortunate truth is that there is always someone on that sad journey with you but it doesn't always feel that way. Often, it's the person in the same room as you but it's too big a burden to bring it up. Sometimes the silence is out of their own tiresome grief or out of fear of hurting you deeper. Sometimes the silence isn't about forgetting but about remembering too clearly. Often, when I have those thoughts that loved ones important to me here on earth have moved on and I feel sad about it, I feel compelled to make sure it's known that my blessings are counted. I know how very lucky I am, even in moments of sadness. I often feel I have to make sure everybody knows that. But moments of sadness don't make one weak or ungrateful. Moments of sadness make one human. And heartbroken. And a full heart can still be broken.

A heart so full of love and gratitude can still feel loss and hurt. It can still long for and miss those whose physical presence has moved on. Is that another step in this process? Understanding that?

Regardless, I wanted to record those lines somewhere because they deserve remembrance too. Even the grateful, even the blessed have moments of utter loneliness. Even the fullest hearts feel broken. Love is unique to each loved one and so is grief.

Monday, January 9, 2012

a prayer of a 6 year old

In the midst of my oldest son's prayers two nights ago, I hear...

"and, Dear God, I pray that my whole family can be together someday in Heaven. It's really too bad Keely can't come to Disney World with us; I really think she'd like it."

My heart simultaneously burst with pride and heartbreak.