Tag Archives: grief

In Pieces

As I sit holding his hand, my heart is shattering into small pieces. The anguish and worry etched into his face cut me so deeply, I’m sure I’ll perish.

But I must remain strong for him.

I tear my gaze from my love’s face to look at the man lying in the bed before us. Even in sleep, his face is grimaced in pain. There are wires and tubes criss-crossing over his body and the machine above his bed is spitting out numbers that mean little to me- they don’t tell me what is wrong with him.

The room is chilly but there is a trickle of sweat down my back. Anxiety pays no mind to the temperature around me.

It seems like ages before they come to tell us what our hearts already knew. He is really sick and they will be admitting him. My love and I follow closely behind as they wheel this man upstairs to the ICU.

This man is my future father-in-law, my fiance’s sole remaining parent. While I come from a large family with multiple tangents, Scotty’s family is small and few. In fact, it’s just him and this man who looks far too fragile right now.

So my heart is in pieces for him, for them, as I watch Scotty try to hold it together and not show his fear.

His father’s health has not been great for a number of years, but he’s always fought back. In fact, this is not the first time we’ve sat at his bedside like this, with our hearts in our throats. But each new time is a reminder that he cannot fight this fight forever, and we mourn the gradual loss of a great man, as his body continues to fail him.

This time we are lucky, his father will heal.

But my heart is still in pieces, already broken for the day when we won’t be so lucky.

Only The Good Die Young

My sister just lost a dear friend.

Her friend was young, really in the prime of her life. Or she should have been. Instead, she’d been battling cancer. This week, she lost the fight.

My sister called me in tears. As I tried to comfort her, she asked me, “Why is it so unfair? Why do the good ones die and the assholes get to live?”

Why, indeed.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself often in the year and a half since we lost Misty. Why must the good ones lose the fight? Why must the great hearts be snuffed out early, while the bad seeds continue on to cause so much heartbreak and pain? Why can’t life be more fair?

The truth is, I don’t have a good answer.

I don’t know why Misty didn’t get another forty years to share her smile and her love with the world. I don’t know why my sister’s friend had to lose her fight before she was able to marry and have babies. I don’t know why the good ones don’t get to live the longest lives.

All I could say to my sister, and all I can tell myself is this:

Maybe we lose the good ones so that we can be enraged by the injustice. Maybe we’re supposed to use that rage to become inspired. Maybe we’re supposed to use these losses to look at our own lives and evaluate where we are and where we want to be. Maybe we’re supposed to become inspired to live better lives, to become the good ones.

Maybe, just maybe, we have to lose someone great in order to understand just how precious and valuable our own lives are.

Six Years

Today is your birthday.

Six years ago today, you were at a BBQ, celebrating, acting as though you’d made the turn and were finally seeing the light in life again. Six years ago today, you looked happy in all the photos that were taken.

Those pictures are the last we have of you. Whatever joy you may have found in that day was later sapped away and the grip of depression retained its wicked hold on you. In a matter of weeks, DAYS, we found ourselves staring at those photos with tears streaming down our faces.

Many times over these last years, I’ve asked myself why? How could you? What was the final straw that broke your back? I’ve alternated between anger that you would leave me to find you like that and hurt that you didn’t reach out to me. I WAS IN THE VERY NEXT ROOM.

Through my own battles with depression, I know you couldn’t see far enough out of the pit to see how much we all loved you, how much we would miss you. I know if you had thought of me finding you that morning, you would never have made that fatal decision. You would never have intentionally hurt me like that.

But even knowing that, I’m still hurt. I’m still angry. And I harbor a deep, cutting hatred for HER. Depression’s lies and taunts hurt badly enough without having them repeated back to you by the one person who is supposed to love you the most. I can never forgive her for pushing you further that night.

You’ve missed a lot in these last six years. More babies have been born, we have more nieces and nephews for you to love on. My own son has grown so much! He may one day rival you for height. We’ve all moved, had relationships come together and fall apart. Our parents have bought a new home and gotten new dogs. Your dad is going to pin Chief this year. And I’m going to be married next year.

You’ve left a void, Ty, that can’t be filled. There’s a darkness in your dad’s eyes, an emptiness in my mother’s soul. Our sisters miss your camaraderie, my son misses his favorite uncle. I miss my brother, my friend.

You’d be 30 today. We’d probably have another BBQ, they were your favorite. There would be water fights maybe, definitely more photos. We’d have tons of great food, maybe you and I would swap a few new recipes. You and my fiance could talk music, Kim would make you one of her famous cakes, you and Stepf would maybe plan some kind of special thing for your dad’s pinning ceremony.

Most of all, you’d be here. And you’d be smiling.

**If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please know that help is available. 1-800-273-TALK is a 24 hour hotline. Please call. Please reach out. Suicide is NEVER the answer.