Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass …it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
It’s been a rough journey lately. Within the span of one month, we’ve lost both my husband’s mother and father. Both such amazing people. Such beautiful people. Their loss leaves such a deep emptiness. Over time we know, from too much experience, that this emptiness and sadness, the pain of letting them go, will begin to be filled with the remembrances of special times. The tears will flow less frequently and the happy memories will replace the aching sorrow. For now, it’s about learning to dance in the rain again.
We were lucky with Joyce. We spent days reliving special memories, telling stories, sometimes sitting in silence together, holding hands, crying, laughing, celebrating our lives together. With Brian, it was not so easy. Since Christmas, his dementia had progressed rapidly. And, although we spent our moments together reliving special times, telling stories, sometimes sitting in silence, holding his hand and stroking his forehead, laughing and crying and celebrating our lives together, we honestly don’t know how much of those moments he was able to process. Dementia. I will never understand how this disease can rob some people of their kindness … their gentleness … their inner beauty.
I will never be able to remove the memory of my beautiful, gentle husband fiercely hugging his mother, days before she was to pass, sobbing in her arms. He begged her to tell dad to not be mad at him anymore. While we all understand that it was the dementia that made him so volatile and angry, somehow it just doesn’t soften the pain and confusion. I hope, with all my heart, that he left this world knowing just how incredibly loved he was. I hope that my incredible husband knows how deeply he was loved by BOTH his parents … even THROUGH the confusion and the debilitating dementia.
I am so thankful that we got the CRAZY idea to “break them out” of the hospitals they were both in this past Christmas in order to be together as a family. Somehow we just knew in our hearts that this would be our last with them:
I will NEVER forget the two of them sitting together on our couch. Holding hands. Staring into one another’s eyes. It still brings tears to my eyes.
So now, as we learn to cope with their losses FAR too close together, we find peace in nature, the family that surrounds us and in the world beyond.
I am so thankful for so very much. I am thankful for the life I share with the amazing man they brought into this world. So thankful for the beautiful boys we have raised together who are growing into such beautiful men. They have learned the importance of giving comfort, even when they FEEL discomfort. Saying goodbye is such a painful lesson to learn. I’m SO thankful for the way these two incredible people embraced me and welcomed me into their family like a daughter. So thankful for the laughs we’ve shared and the memories we’ve made together as a family. So unbelievably thankful that we were able to spend their last moments together as they moved beyond this world. So sad but so grateful. They blessed our lives. It is for them that we learn to dance again … even in the rain.
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.