Even though I had lost people in my life prior, it took losing my husband for the real understanding to sink in.
I loved my grandparents deeply. Our maternal grandparents played a large part in our life growing up. They were our second parents. We were given extra lessons in love, family and growth. Respect was expected and given. From us to them and to us in return. With mom and dad both working our grandmother really stepped in until grandpa retired and joined the fun. I was still in my teens when grandma passed away. I was at work and just knew. It was as if she had somehow came to see me on her way home and said good-bye. I was almost thirty when grandpa passed. We had learned so much from him, he had been a strength that came only from his generation. Even though I missed them, and there was a void, there was an understanding and little pain.
Along life’s way, I had friends who passed away. Some effected me worse than others. Some were closer, more like family than friend. Hearing of their passing was more like losing a family member and there was that void.
Then I lost my husband. Everything changed. My world tilted and has yet to set right, what ever right may now be.
After my husband took that truck driving job he became a person who called at every opportunity he had or could make. I could not ever get him to understand that I could not answer the phone when I was working, even though his calls weren’t frivolous, I was not supposed to answer the phone. If I were at home, it was difficult to get things done for the calls. Then the calls stopped. Before he died, when he would be in for home time, we would go to the store to get his supplies. He usually purchased many of the same items. There are chips that I still cannot look at on the shelf for remembering how many different bags he would have me look at before he found one that he thought had the fewer broken ones. When he was home, our queen size bed seemed very small for the room he would take up by the way he slept. I couldn’t blame him, the bunk in those trucks really isn’t all that big if you think about it. The list goes on and on of the things that he did, we did, that suddenly were no more. With one phone call, life was forever changed.
Then, my brother died suddenly. I was at work and my son came to tell me. He almost had to carry me from the building. Yet another shift, another change a bigger, different void. This was my big-little brother. Younger than me but bigger in size. A pest and a pain and yet a protector. He was my brother, he was my friend. He would call me if he saw something he thought I would want to photograph and tease me mercilessly when I walked asking if I had scared his deer. He could walk through the woods silently and accuse me of sounding like a herd of stampeding elephants. If he was needed, he came. Clink Eastwood would have been proud. Now gone.
Time doesn’t heal wounds. Time teaches you how to deal with the pain. The pain doesn’t end, it changes and alters and becomes less intense. Less jagged. Thoughts and memories more often bring smiles than tears. Even as the missing eases, it doesn’t end. Nothing will fill in the void left. At some point in time I may find another love, I doubt it, but I may. It will be different, it is supposed to be different. There will always be the missing my brother, every time I walk the woods I hear him telling me not to scare his deer. Every time I walk up the road, I miss hearing him call out ‘Hey sis”.
Those we lose, have completed their season. Their time was finished and they went home. We never know, when our time will be. Along the way we will lose those we love, those important to us. We will mourn. We will miss them. Remembering the times together, the lessons learned, the adventures enjoyed. I think, that the best thing we can do, is live as best we are able, honoring them and their memory. Making sure that they aren’t forgotten, even as they are missed.