Two years ago, in July 2014, we lost my father-in-law to liver cancer. This year, in June 2016, we lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer. When Jimmy passed away, we also lost our home. My husband had lived there for his entire life, as it was built in part for him by his father, aunt, and uncle. When Jimmy passed, my husband’s aunt and uncle basically kicked us out and we had to find a new home. The house was then sold to a family and we haven’t been back there since.
Last night I had a dream that we went over to that house, and Susan and Jimmy were inside sitting in their chairs, like they had always done. I was so happy to see them, we sat and talked to her and Jimmy. Looking around, there had been changes to the house, of course, but it was all Jimmy and Susan’s belongings, like they had never left. It was so comforting and I soaked in the sights and went outside and soaked in the air around me. It was home. Susan sat inside watching her shows (soap operas) because it was that time of day and Jimmy went outside and tinkered around his shed doing this and that, like he usually did. I began thinking about the family that had bought the house and asked Susan about it, and asked where they were. She stated that they had ripped up the papers and decided not to move in. I realized that we could move back in, if it was okay with Jimmy and Susan, and we could all be a family again. It would be like it used to be.
Then later on, I remembered both Susan and Jimmy’s passing in the hospitals, and the heartbreak of loss struck me again. As humans, I don’t think we ever stop dreaming of that day when we can see those we have lost and talk to them. I don’t think we ever stop dreaming of going back to the way life used to be, a better life with smiles and laughter. A sense of freedom and the sense that anything can be fixed. As humans we are full of hope, but at the same time full of heartbreak.
Breathless from crying, she uttered “I’m happy for him, but I’m sad for me…”
My mother recently lost a very close friend of hers. It was an eye-opener to me, her, and many others, as are all unexpected deaths. Life can be taken in an instant. Most people try to live each day without mishap, for one wrong move could be the last. Since this event occurred, I have pondered what I would write and couldn’t wrap my head around the words I wanted to say. I know that my mom poured emotion, and I sat helpless because I didn’t know what to say. She spoke about how often he had stated that he wasn’t meant for this world and that he couldn’t wait to go home (to Heaven). She said that she is happy for him that he is home now with his mother, who he loved dearly, but that she is sad for herself because now she has to live without him. Growing up there are life lessons on how to be responsible, how to tie shoe laces, how to stand up for ourselves. However, there are no lessons on how to deal with loss and all the emotions that come along with it.
This year has been a struggle for my family. Everyday I face feelings of uncertainty and fears of loss. I was doodling trying to take my mind off of worries, but they always come right back. I drew a simple dream catcher, but at the end of it I wrote, “catch my reality… leave my dreams…”
Now I have typed several sentences and deleted them, over and over. There is no words to describe how stuck I feel. I guess I just feel trapped, helpless, and like the walls are closing in.
Grief is what they call it,
Like hell is how she feels.
Most of the day she hides away,
Wrapped up in a cover-made coccoon.
Tears flow as steady as rain
For the one she can’t get back.
It’s a feeling that many cannot understand,
But grief is what they call it.
I dreamed of him again last night,
Face to face we stood.
Realization sinking in,
I hurried to embrace.
I kept him in my arms so long,
Intent on never letting loose.
For when I would,
Away he’d go,
Leaving me without.
Leaving me to wait for him,
To wander back to life.