Today Heather‘s dad posted on her blog. He talked about, among other things, mourning. He is obviously mourning the passing of his granddaughter, Maddie. But he also mentioned friends who had died years ago, and how he still mourns them now.
Somehow, in a weird way, this is comforting to me. (Wait…hear me out before you make ugly comments.) I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t “get over it”, even “over” people I never met or didn’t know very well.
I remember a kid that I grew up with who died of cancer at a young age. I think of him every so often, and can always see his eyes. His eyes were, are haunting. His death was my first taste of mortality. Someone my age, younger than me actually, could die. Wow.
I remember when my grandfather died. How angry I got when people were talking and laughing just like everything was normal. I remember my nine-year-old self wanting to yell, “He’s dead, and he’s never coming back. How can you be having fun right now?” And now there are times when I still get angry. Not because of people laughing and living like they should, but because I can’t hear his voice anymore. Because no matter how hard I try, I can’t recall his smell.
In high school the sister of a friend was killed in a car accident.
Another girl I knew from high school was killed in a wreck not long after she finished her first year of college.
A friend of a friend died of a freak heart problem he didn’t even know he had.
My grandmother, Mama Jo, who had a plethera of medical issues ultimately died of sepsis after a nasty go round with surgery-requiring diverticulitis. It blows my mind that she never saw any of my children.
The father of a childhood friend died. Another friend lost her mom.
Breast cancer stole away another friend’s mom. I never even met her, but I met her daughter.
(Side note: This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Please go here to see what you can do.)
I’ve heard Marshall and other physicians talk about patients they’ve lost.
Death is devastating.
Death is overwhelming.
Death is not the end.
I’m sure of that.
And I’m also sure that I think of all these people for a reason.
Whenever I think of Maddie, I send up a prayer for Mike & Heather.
Whenever I pass the Larry Bearden Crosswalk sign, I think of my friend Chan, even though I haven’t talked to him in years.
Whenever I look up at the photograph I have of my grandparents on their wedding day, I thank God for the love they had and the impact they had on my life.
And I wonder…will I ever not miss them? Will there ever be a day I don’t hear someone say “Mama Jo” and not get a lump in my throat? Will there ever come a time I see purple and not think of Maddie? Will I ever see a teenage girl in a softball uniform and not wonder how Jessica’s parents are doing?
Mourning doesn’t ever end. Grief may dissapate some.
The memories may go from technicolor to black and white.
But they aren’t gone.