To have loved and lost

“The tears I feel today
I’ll wait to shed tomorrow.
Though I’ll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.
My eyes must keep their sight:
I dare not be tear-blinded.
I must be free to talk
Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
My mouth cannot betray
The anguish that I know.
Yes, I’ll keep my tears til later:
But my grief will never go.”
– Anne McCaffrey Dragonsinger

Grief is!

It is real.

It is present.

Grief brings upon you grace; grace to accept the frailty of life. I lost my grandmother last week and for the first time in my life figured what it means to lose a loved one. I saw her slipping away into the sunset, past the clouds and into a horizon of peace. I know she is in a good place because she always made sure that her entire fold (children, grandchildren and great grand children) stayed in one. I cannot remember a time when she wasn’t there for us when we were growing up. She lived her life always for us first.

I’ve had her around from the day I was born and then to suddenly not know her presence is weakening. I cannot write because it is too painful, but I do know that there is comfort in it for me. We were all there besides her, holding her, loving her and letting her know that we will be there for her through her journey. Most of all, through her speechless days, she was telling us that she was finally ready to go.

Most days, when I think I’ve got a hold over myself, something from my childhood comes knocking and knocks me over. The first day felt like grief had put its hands into my chest and wrenched my heart out. It felt so terribly real that I did not know how to deal with it. I still don’t. I will have to let it wash over me. Death is painful, but it is also deeply cleansing and purifying.

“Grief reunites you with what you’ve lost. It’s a merging; you go with the loved thing or person that’s going away. You follow it a far as you can go. But finally, the grief goes away and you phase back into the world without him. And you can accept that. What the hell choice is there? You cry, you continue to cry, because you don’t ever completely come back from where you went with him — a fragment broken off your pulsing, pumping heart is there still. A cut that never heals.”

I will miss you terribly all the days of my life, Amachi.