I read recently that life is a series of losses. The losses we experience over our lifetime are not only the result of physical death; they include less tangible disappointments as well (missed promotions, loved ones moving away, lost opportunities).
Each successive loss can complicate things. A new loss, whatever its nature, will often dredge up old feelings or intensify fresher hurts. And when they seem to happen in rapid succession, they can be completely overwhelming.
Last week was a week full of hard things. I'm still a little emotionally tuckered out.
My husband's uncle was killed in a car accident a week and a half ago. The shock of that brought back some feelings. I remember that wonder of how I had come face to face with tragedy. And I thought of the aunt and cousins who were now faced with the same wonder. And I hurt for them. I hurt for me.
Kristen's gravestone was finally installed this past week. I had a picture in my mind of what it would look like...her beautiful face etched on a piece of black granite. But I have to say that I was not prepared for actually seeing it at her spot. Her eyes seemed to look right through me (that artist did an AMAZING job on the etching), and that made me miss her even more. As I sprinkled flower petals around her spot, I felt the feelings of that hot, windy August afternoon last year wash over me. Then, as I focused on that stone there in the cemetery, it somehow all seemed more final.
In the midst of all this, I received word that my grandmother is nearing the end of a long battle with her failing heart. I spent some beautiful moments with her on Sunday, holding her hand, listening to her talk. For a time, I was 12 years old again, snuggled up next to her, staring at the ceiling and just talking. We talked about my granddad (her husband who died when I was in high school), we talked about Kristen, we talked about my mom (her ex-daughter-in-law). She's ready to go, whenever the Lord takes her. And as hard as it was to leave, I'm grateful for the beautiful moments I had with her that day. I love you, Grandma.♥
- A sweet aunt told me as she clasped her hands over her heart, "I keep Kristen in here."
- Another aunt lovingly made a beautiful shadow box of photos to remember Kristen. I never knew.
- Despite the tears that I couldn't keep from falling, I got to hold my cousin's sweet little baby girl.
- The continued support of my husband's parents reminded me that I have the best in-laws ever.