Friday, January 23, 2015

Tender Heart

Definition:  Heart

1) A hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation.  

2)  The center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling or emotion. 

3) The center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect.  

4)  Capacity for sympathy or generosity; compassion, Love, affection

Grief's veil is falling over me once again.  I remember this feeling as it visited me not too long ago, not long enough to vanish or to forget as I would wish.  I feel it falling like the lightest of snow flakes on a darkened day, up to my ankles, up to my shins, up to my knees....I want to walk away but I can't.  I stand in the darkened daylight and look up as the flakes keep falling, softly and silently.

My father by marriage passed away just after Christmas.  He fell in November, broke the femur bone and required surgery.  I knew that at his age, 91, this was not good.  He was a tough old bird having already in his golden years had knee replacement surgery, and two heart valve replacements.  This fall was the undoing.  Rehab care seemed like he might get better but the decline came sudden and quick.

Grieving hurts.  My whole body hurts.  My heart hurts, more so for his grown children, his wife and my sister by marriage's children who spent so much time with their grandparents when they were young while their mom worked.  It must have felt like it was their second home.

Grief has no guidebook to help your journey along.  It takes you to places unexpected emotionally where as a comparison to survival you grasp your way out or where you think out is.  Grief can be selfish without intending to be.  Words said burn both to the one who strikes out and to the one the words are given.  Lack of words may do the same.  Some of us walk along without much dwelling of sad lingering thoughts and some of us slog through with uncertainty or questioning.  There is no right or wrong really as long as there is love.

It's the hurting that takes too much time, and I am still wondering where one grieving life became another grieving life as with regards to my mom and now my father by marriage.  My mother by marriage will not be going back home as she has been in assisted care for several years.  The home that was built by him and my husband and brother by marriage, shall be sold.   Saying goodbye to a home that many happy memories as well as sad memories happened in is a death in it's own way.  I know this all to well when the emptying of my parents home was done and that was a year ago.  A mere year ago.  A blip in a lifetime but a mark on my journey in life forever tattooed in remembrance on my heart.

While we heal from the loss of parents the rippling effect transpires to every member of the family. How was our individual relationship with our parents, our brother(s), our sister(s) and so forth?  This fully envelops our healing and grieving.  When my mom passed away and when my brother's family came for the memorial, we had time to be together, to share old times, and to walk through closets, drawers, and rooms.  Each of us felt awkward going through the personal spaces we had never gone.  Doing so was a bonding experience for me.  I hope it was for the rest of the family.  It certainly made it easier to decide what we each would bring back to our homes.

*Photography by Megan

It is never easy to say goodbye.  I know it gets better but really all we do is put our mother and father in a place we can reach out to from time to time, and hopefully the ache goes.  I don't really know if it does.  I'm still on that journey.  Losing my father by marriage, observing and being present for my Love, wondering how the rest of the family was doing, understanding and excepting that peace came for this ailing frail man, moving forward, is a daily wake up call of living.  How do I wish to live my days?

*Photography by Megan

What I do know is the bond between my Love and I is strong.  With each other we can journey through this unknown place.

My deepest wish is that my Love's family's journey stay strong, stay loving and forgiving, deepen, and to be patient with each other.  To be understanding of each ones grief, just as every snow flake that falls is unique and different.

Our hearts are tender...

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