As I come to the end of this year, I must take stock of what the year brought me and what it took away. On March 17th I lost my 57 year old son Happy in a car horrific accident and then on Nov. 11th I lost my beloved 49 year old son-in-law Danne. Dying at such a young age just does not compute and if you suffer a loss like this, it is reconciliation that helps you to work through your grief and I am trying to do that this the best way I can.
Growing up I was always taught that “Life is for the living, and we all take a turn at dying, that we are all terminal, we just don’t know our expiration date”. Understanding these things has helped me to accept these losses the best way I can.
Such kind and loving men who loved all the people they had befriended all of their lives, who were “There” when needed. Both of them gave tirelessly to others with endless energy to friends who needed help. My son Happy did not have children, but Danne has twin boys 26 year old who are dealing with the loss of a father by supporting each other and their mother Petty the best way they can.
Grief is like your own personal storm and something like a kaleidoscope. Some days it’s a hurricane and other days the sun seems to appear if only for a brief moment. It’s almost like grief has a life of its own. It ebbs and flows, in and out, up and down, and all the while you are trying to navigate those choppy waters and keep your balance at the same time.
For me, choosing to celebrate the life of a loved one and remembering all the wonderful memories you shared together is how I cope. When my husband died eight years ago on a Sunday, I went to work on Monday. One of my friends asked me how I could go to work the day after he died. I said, “How can you ask me to defend how I’m coping, being at work is my normal”. I cried the whole day long but no one came in the showroom that day. You have to do what is “Normal” to you. And, if that’s square dancing, then that’s what you should be doing! Unless and until you suffer a similar loss, you won’t understand what someone goes through in the grief process.
Just because you’re not crying, doesn’t mean you’re not grieving. Unless the words come out your mouth, no one knows what you’re going through. That’s why talking and writing about your loss is so important. I still write my husband and dream of him frequently. I end each letter I write by saying, “I’ll see you in my dreams”. And… I do.