So this will be the first time in this place that I talk about my brother.
August and September are hard months now… they have been for the past four years.
Four years ago at 6am August 7, 2007 my parents called me to say that I had to come home to Minnesota, that Mitch had been in an accident and he wouldn’t be coming home. On September 15, 2007 his daughter Annabelle was born.
Every year is different with grief, each year it is something different that hits you. For me the first year was pure shock, the first year was devoted to the all-consuming grief, as Joan Didion so aptly puts it “The Year of Magical Thinking”. Then the second year it sinks in and life finds it’s way in the cracks and for brief moments I found myself smiling again, making plans for the future again, enjoying bits and pieces of my life, then it feels like from the third year on it is a random hit or miss thing. Things that used to bother me don’t, and the things I never thought would do… it makes it difficult to predict, and if you can’t predict you can’t control, which for someone who is learning to make peace with the fact that I liked to completely control my life makes me feel out of control and easily overwhelmed.
This translates into exhaustion and desperately wanting off the roller coaster ride of grief. And quite simply to be done, after all it has been four years, the tears have been cried, the milestones have been lived through, isn’t that enough. There are moments that it is too tiring and I am desperate to be completely healed, or just simply break… but instead I find myself in this middle place, in my own In-Between (and not the irony isn’t lost on me)… realizing how far I have come, but also being reminded how tender my heart still is. Sometimes surprised by how quickly the tears can come, and sometimes even more surprised by how they didn’t or won’t.
And this time I fought less, and listened more to the grief, I surrendered more quickly and remembered that sometimes I just have to stop.
Grief has reminded me:
To pay attention.
To hold myself more gently.
To know that four years later, it will still hurt, and there will be moments.
To know that sometimes I won’t have words, but to trust that the words will always come.
To know that I am surrounded by people who find their way to my side at just the right times.
From my old blog on Feb. 16th of 2011, and it applies today.
So interesting how often when the loss washes over me in the very next breath I am held in love, and all of the blessings, all of the healing, all the love and the light that has been shared with me envelops me… such a sacred place.
Bittersweet and sacred.