Remember this one? – How long does grieving last?

I was driving to work this morning, praying.

I will be honest in saying that prayer no longer comes naturally to me. I used to pray a lot. Not so much, anymore. I miss the conversations I used to have with God. It felt good to chat with Him (chosen because it is the most natural for me. For you, it may be Her or Them or a misty fog on the lake in September. I make no judgements).

Point is, I’m not sharing this for you to say, “Wow, how spiritual of Sheryl” or anything like that. I struggle with my spirituality. Nothing like going through some things to get me back on the spiritual path.

Anyway, I was praying about everyone I love. My dad is still recovering from his harrowing (truly!) fall. I also talked to God about some other painful, stressful things going on in our lives. As I finished my prayer, I felt better.

I thought of a dream I had the other night, about my first husband’s father. I loved him very much and when we divorced, he was collateral, along with other family members who were suddenly stripped away. Divorce is like that. Awful like that. I remembered his blue eyes… which reminded me of another set of blue eyes that I loved and missed. You know how your thoughts meander around and sometimes settle where you least expect them to. This was one of those journeys of the mind.

I thought of my grandfather, who died three months to the day after my first husband and I married, on July 26, 1980. He had heart problems and had had surgery a decade before. He seemed to be doing well. My featured photo is a year before he died, on a cruise with the family. It was my first and only cruise on a luxury liner. His, too. Well, actually, maybe not for him, since I seem to remember he played with a band that travelled by ship in the 1930’s… or was it the 1940’s? Heck, I don’t remember and it’s not the point.

The point. Well, I was driving along, thinking of him, and all at once, I started crying. It’s been 38 years since I last saw him, heard his laugh or got a hug… and yet…

I’d like to believe that he’s been watching over me. I thanked him for that, there in my car. I told him I loved him and that his legacy was one of love and healing. He was a doctor… oh, it’s a long story about a man who was so far ahead of his time with vitamins, herbs and a healing touch. He built things, like braces for legs, in his garage. He worked with people with disabilities, especially children with developmental disabilities. The neighborhood kids called him, “Doc”… and he was … almost… magical. He was a fantastic grandfather and made me feel utterly adored.

God, I miss him!

I have lost many people I love(d) over the years. It never gets easier. And if my grandfather’s death is any indication, I’ll never “get over” any of them.

There is no timetable. No magic amount of days or years.

I am not an expert. Although, as I typed that, I realized that we are all experts on our own experience… and my experience has taught me that love never dies. Cliche… but true.

So, tell me about those you’ve loved and lost… and I will tell you about mine. We can laugh and cry together… for as long as we wish.

Originally posted by me on Jan 9, 2018

4 comments

  1. You knew one of those people that I still want to reach out by telephone and share an experience with. Even though she’s been gone almost as long as she was here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just before my beloved Grandma lost the last of herself to her advancing Alzheimer’s, she came to stay with me for a few weeks. We were sitting by our pool, watching my kids swim and play. She took a ring off her finger and put it on mine, and said that i was to wear it to remember that my grandma loves me when she can’t tell me any more. So wise and generous. She knew. But her thoughts were of me.

    She died about two years later. Her full body laugh, her sunny disposition, her chattiness stilled. She was always so vibrantly alive. Hilariously she had told me that if she looked good, it was ok to deck her out in her jewels and leave the casket open, but if she didn’t, to close that lid. She looked so pretty. We left it open. I felt compelled to stand beside her with one hand on hers throughout the visitation. I spent hours speaking to hundreds of people who loved her connected to her that way. No one who knew her ever forgot her. She had the most hideous childhood but emerged with an unrivaled zest for life and believe in the good in everyone. It was the honour of my life to look after her for the last year of her life.

    Grandma saved all the broken winged birds. She knitted special mittens for all the paper boys (with the forefinger out to make their lives easier). She made quilts and afghans for every baby she heard about. If someone was cold she gave them a scarf, hungry she fed them, lost she was their friend. She could grow anything and her garden was a great joy to her. She adopted a limpy stray cat and gave her a royal life. She had a budgie that could say over 200 words and lived to be 20. She laughed her head off every day. She was the best grandma imaginable, and my mother’s best friend all her life.

    She was a tiny, lively, full spirited hero. I have never stopped missing her. I know how blessed i was to have her so long, to have her at all. She loved me so much she gritted her teeth over it. I always felt completely me in her presence.

    I hope I can be half the woman she was.

    Liked by 2 people

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