Friday, October 8, 2010

By Request: A Grief Observed

First of all I need to say thank you for all the thoughtful comments and personal emails I received after yesterday's post.  Once again I was blown away by the love and caring of people I've never even met in real life.

Because some of you requested more, with her permission, what follows is the full text of my sister's Facebook note, as she posted it with photo.  You will see as you read it that she is the one who should be blogging, not I.

Comments are off for this post.

My Anniversary

by Hannah on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 4:56pm.

So today Gary and I would have been married for 8 years.

There are so many emotions that come out of this day. First of all, I am always the first one to say, "A day only has as much power as you give it." So I give this day gratitude. I am so thankful to have met this man, we met more than 15 years ago. I remember sitting across from him for the first time at the Bess Eaton Donut shop at 11pm after we'd both gotten off work. We talked for 4 hours that night and I remember saying over and over in my mind, "I will marry this man." Well, good thing I was up for a challenge because it took him 7 years to propose! After we were married he'd often say, "I should have married you sooner." I would respond, "Yes, but you were worth the wait." And he was. If I had to do it all again, even knowing the horror of how our earthly love story was to end I would do it again in a second!

For me, this is the hardest day of the year, I think it's because most people don't really recognize a wedding anniversary. It's kind of a private day between you and your spouse. So, I feel the void of this day. Yet, this year has been a little easier than last year, a little less painful.

I was pulling out my Fall decorations today and found the CS Lewis book titled, "A Grief Observed". I read this book very early on in my grief journey and stumbled across it today buried in with the fall decorations. This book is composed of Lewis's journal entries just after his wife died. There was one page ear marked so I began to read the following:

Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he's had his leg off it is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he'll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has "got over it". But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will hardly be any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.

I too, sometimes feel as if I have a prothesis. Perhaps I'll be one of those amazing people that climbs mountains or runs marathons with this prothesis but surely I will never be the same.

Until heaven. That'll be a good day.

For today though, I give this day the power of my gratitude and I will continue to climb.

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