It is Spring and with it comes color, and sunshine, gardens and allergies, and for many of us,memories of the times spent with our children: delight over their first steps, Little League games, track meets, soccer tournaments, first trips to the beach, plans for the summer, pressure of finals and papers, graduations and promotions, the promise of barbeques, day camp, sleep away camp and lots of other sweet photos locked away in our heads.
For too many of us, there are also accidents and hospitals, illness and worried nights, overdoses and near death, clergy and coroners, to keep us company as well. Heartaches, tears, fears, fights, loneliness are also kept in our memories. They are all there, often not in any order. Sweet ones hidden behind nightmares, tears trickling over our giggles. Memories of who we loved and lost are shuffled in between heartache for what they have missed.
This is complicated, this living with loss. This uninvited life has moved in permanently. At every anniversary I still think, really….he is still gone? As if this is a bad ending to a movie and I will walk out to a better reality. But if we are lucky, we make room for joy, laughter and friendship, the delight of reading a good book, the pleasure of loving, the endlessness of chores. The whole package. If we are lucky, we push grief aside a bit, enough, to make room for life.
Recognize this season of promise and find a way to make room for it in your life. Plant something, plan something, visit someone, invite someone, walk on the beach or in the shade of a park, go to a museum, even for only an hour, talk to someone in your family, reach out to someone who needs you. There are so many ways to survive grief but all require us to remember life.