Sunday, January 25, 2009

Grief Woven

We spent a couple days with friends this weekend. I had a bit of anxiety when we left home, as I always do, but it took less time for it to subside. It's always easier if my DH is going with me, but even when we leave, I would feel this sense that I was leaving Caitlin. It's not irrational, it's grief. But continually I see that my grief is woven into the fabric of my life. It's happening. I'm stronger.

Our friend recently lost his father and I knew not to shy away from asking about the memorial service, how he passed, and "how are you doing?" I knew not to worry our invitation to talk would bring up something painful that he didn't want to talk about, but rather, it would bring up something painful that he did want to talk about. We could see in his face that he was relieved to talk about his father and this pain of his death in his life.

We shared how important it is that we collect and hold and view and honor the objects that connect us to our loved ones. When talking about a painting that had a significance to the death, he sighed, "I just don't know where to put it yet." My response was quick, "It's OK to leave it there as long as you need it to be there. And some day, you'll think, 'hey, I know exactly where it should go.'" I know this because when we returned from France, I unpacked our suitcase, and moved Caitlin's memory box and stuffed animals that lay in her crib to her white free standing closet in what would have been her room. This was the right time to move them out of our living space. This action was another sign that grief will continually be woven into my life and sharing these thoughts with our friends was a way to be part of the grief work they must do.

1 comment:

  1. I never look at a family picture or participate in an event that I don't think, "she's missing". You are exactly right, the grief is continually woven into our lives after such loss.
    I remember times when it seemed all that was woven into the fabric was the grief. But, there must have been hope and courage there too because I survived.
    You are a tremendous example of strngth and courage as you share hope with others during their times of grief. Thank you.