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Saturday, August 4, 2012

In Memory Of...
by Lydia Nolan

© August 4, 2012

The loss of family members, or friends, or lovers, hit us like arrows to our heart: arrows that strike violently, the impact, which signifies a momentary loss of time and space: disorientation, slowed motion, despair for that one...no matter what the relationship, no matter what the distance was between us, or the last issue, or any unresolved, or perhaps the sweetest of memory to the contrary... It is nonetheless. We are hit with a sensation of emotion that catches us off guard...strangely surreal.

It is so hard to lose someone--anyone. It's not easy to say inside ourselves, "good-bye....forever, my..." A last instant of possession, knowing full well- they have slipped through your virtual fingers, out of the gilded cage of life, and they are no more yours....An in-depth realization perhaps in levels of significance: a mother, father, a brother, a sister, a cousin, a friend; a spouse, a child... They've let go the hand of time, and fly to somewhere you cannot even fathom; not until you go there yourself. So--you are left at the door of the living, watching them in your mind's eye, disappear into the unknown realm of afterlife...wherever that may be to your mind...

It is NEVER easy, NEVER...though it may be in levels the pain is either greater or lesser, or longer or shorter, nonetheless: there is pain in the heart. Sometimes, we stand there and say to ourselves: I don't feel anything, and we think we've dodged the pain. Then, suddenly we're hard at labor on a project, or sleeping soundly, or even talking with friends, and the wave of pain, the torrent of tears, the aspiration, the choking tightness in the throat...comes all at once, and you think for a moment...I can't handle this, it hurts too much, I can't go on with this.....loss.

Initially, the pain is like a a fiery dart that seers through the chest and causes the heart to buckle...being bit by the news, and finding difficulty to catch a consistency in one's breath....or sometimes, it sneaks up on you, like poison. You think you're okay, once the news has passed your ears, and you whisper to yourself: "everything will be alright; this is the way of things; life comes and life goes for all of us..." and suddenly a torrent of rain befalls you like a storm, which grows gradually than heightens to a climactic hurricane of reality. And then, you cry non-stop for a while. And then, you get angry for some things that see almost ridiculous to admit. And then, you cry again. And then, you go through memory lane, or you keep seeing their face in your mind: when you were children, or when you had your last holiday together, or when you laughed with them, and they were full of life. And now you know, they won't be there anymore, ever.

All this. You wonder about the stages of grieving, why is that? Because the pain is real, it is evident by the tears that flow through your eyes suddenly, and you wonder: "how could I have so many tears, where do they come from?" The onslaught of memories that suddenly surprise you: memories you thought you'd forgotten, but no...they return from some lost destination that you thought you'd hidden or lost; they have been stored somewhere--long ago, in your brain, waiting for such an occasion.

And you tell yourself: I should've gone and visited more, or I shouldn't have yelled the last time we had our family discussion, or I should've taken that book I wanted them to read... So many regrets, so many anxious thoughts of unintended missteps or fallacies or gestures...all gone now, forever.

They cannot be your mother, your father, your brother, sister, cousin, friend, anymore...They will never sleep beside you again, or you will never be able to stroke his or her hair when she or he cried at night. They will not come back for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Hanukkah, or any more holidays...They no longer play that part in your reality. There was one shot at that role, and it's done now. We move on without them.

I'm not trying to be morbid. I'm trying to get over those I've lost as well. And you want to know something funny? You probably know this already, if you've lost more than one person...

When someone dies, you remember them all. You remember all those you've lost: all the parties, the holidays, the times when everyone suffered a tragedy...you remember all of those faces that are no more... and all those you loved, and longed to tell....
what was really going on inside you that last time. And you long for one moment to bring them all back, and say or do all the things you wanted to say or do, to or for them.

And the storm rises, and the clouds darken, and life seems to stand still again, for a very deep, bleeding moment. And then the heart whimpers and a seeping despair--just for a moment--and then you're okay again--for a while....

They say: Time heals all wounds. That isn't true--not completely--but time does at least give you moments of reprieve, in between the memories of loss, seeing your own reality, the flowers, the sunny days, the smiles, the music you hear, and all the functions and the exciting moments going on before your eyes in real time...And you are with and for those who are still here with you, those who you can still laugh with, call or text on the phone, watch a movie with, and smile and hug, and say "I love you," still.

Do that.

                               Don't miss the opportunity to say...

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