April showers are rapidly approaching… despite my growth and healing they still begin in March and spill into May. No, I’m not talking about the April showers that are supposed to bring May flowers, I’m not about my personal April showers. The ones I started dealing with since 2000. You see our family had some special dates in April.. the birth of my mother and the birth of my oldest son. Part of me had always been secretly please that I had a child born in the same month as my mother. Kind of a look Mom, here’s a grandchild to remind you how much I love you. But in 2000 my mother past away from pancreatic cancer, it was very quick. It was as though one moment we heard she was sick and the next she was gone. We had only been at our new duty station in Hawaii a few months when we heard, I had planned on visiting her after the new year. But that would be too late. I don’t think that the death of a parent is totally unexpected in this life and since I was still dealing with young children and life I thought part of me just accepted the loss and moved on.
I was wrong about the acceptance, but I didn’t find out for seven more years when my April birthday boy took his own life. Then in that moment and in countless moments since, I miss my mom. There is a big part of me that thinks she could have said the right thing at the right moment that would help me somehow deal with this big hole in my heart left by the loss of my child. Somehow, she would have helped me quiet the pointless “what-ifs” and help stop the stream of endless pain in quiet moments.
But there is nothing.. just a month or so, when I struggle through trying to remember that everyone had their own time frame on grief and that I have so many blessings right in front of me to see. But it doesn’t help, those April showers just come anyway.. some years I’m so busy I don’t even notice it’s almost April. I keep trying to figure out why the depression cycle is back, why I start avoiding everyone and just want to crawl in a hole somewhere and about the time I’m thinking I’m going crazy, I look at a calendar and realize it’s almost April. Almost the day that would be celebrated as another year of life for two people gone from this life way to soon and I weep.
For those who haven’t experienced deep grief, I’ll let you in on and secret. It’s painful, physically. Sometimes it feels as though you are going to have a heart attack, because that’s where it hurts. Sometimes the pain is so much you can’t even breathe. And sometimes you look around at the world and think why can’t others see this huge wound that is always bleeding on my body. Do I really hide it that well or do they just not want to get into it?
I recently found a quote from Charles Dickens that he said after he lost a child, a daughter I think.
“And can it be,
That in a world so full and busy,
The loss of one creature makes a void so wide and deep
That nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up. “
I can answer that question now, to the depths of my despair. Yes, Mr. Dickens, a thousand times YES!
To those of you who have lost someone dear, you have my sympathies and understanding. To those of you who haven’t.. take heed of the lesson I so painfully learned. Don’t get wrapped in the small stuff.. and believe me it’s all small stuff.. take a moment every day to show love to those you care about. Make sure you do that every day, you never know when they will be gone and grief will be hard enough without I should have, I would have, if only I have a moment..
Today is that moment… even in my April showers..