Warning: this is a no-edit zone...
Happy New Year!
2005 ended on a sad note with Alex's death. I won't lie and say it was a wonderful holiday; it wasn't. All the kids were here and they were hurting, too. It's difficult to comfort when your heart is broken.
New Year's Day I did a little of all I hope to do well in 2006. It's one of my (and many others') traditions. I spent a good deal of the day talking to myself about seasons and times and everything having its own. When you lose someone you love, it dredges up all your other loved losses. You can't avoid it. Oh, how I tried, but it's inevitable that you remember every single one, and relive it. The pain in doing so makes your heart hurt so much you can barely breathe.
And so rather than fight the pain, yesterday, I spent time remembering all those I've loved and lost--my parents, my two brothers, my beloved aunt, two dearly loved cousins, all my grandparents, a sweetheart of an uncle, my great-aunt who had more spunk than anyone I've known, my father-in-law and more dear friends than I dare to list here. The number was many, the list lengthy, the pain of each loss again made raw. I started to wonder if this had been a good idea after all. Instead of it getting easier to breathe, I felt the full weight of the heartache of losing them again. But I held the faith that this was the path to acceptance and peace, and remembered on.
Something strange happened. Tears, of course, but also bittersweet smiles, and then laughter. In remembering them, I remembered all I loved about them, and I'm not sure how it happened, but the more I thought, the less I felt as if I were wearing my nerves on the outside of my body and my skin within. And the impact of what I logically knew settled into my heart.
Love lives on.
That's the heart of the other side of grief, the healing part. Oh, it doesn't come all at once, but it does come. The hope in that dulls the pain that has made breathing too hurtful. And that, dear friends, is Grace.
The day after Alex died, all the other deaths ravaged me. There's no polite way to say it, or positive way to frame it. It was horrific. One of my best friends, who knows me at times better than I know myself, stopped by to check on me. I told her I was so tired of losing those I love. I just can't stand losing another one. I just can't stand it. Her eyes filled; she too knows loss, and grief. She didn't offer platitudes. She didn't tell me things would get better, though we both knew they would. She just cried with me.
I said I didn't expect to get hit this hard over Alex. I knew it would hurt. I didn't expect to grieve so deeply. She looked me right in the eye and said, you loved her. To other people, she was just a dog. But not to you. Wisdom shone in her eyes. She'd lost her puppy, Lindsay, four years earlier. Two days after Alex died. She remembered and again felt the losses of her loved ones who've passed on.
Grief recognizes grief. Acknowledges it. Endures it. Survives it. But time isn't what heals; this I know for fact. Not when years later triggers makes it new again, makes you raw again. Only Grace heals wounds. Only Grace.
Love lives on.
12/2005 WAR GAMES #5, DOUBLE DARE
1/2006: ONE WAY TO WRITE A NOVEL
2/2006: IT GIRLS #6, BULLETPROOF PRINCESS
3/2006: THE PROPHET'S LADY
4/2006: HER PERFECT LIFE
6/2006: COMMON SENSE GUIDE FOR WRITERS
RT Reviewer's Choice Best Romantic Suspense Novel of the Year
RT Reviewer's Choice Best Romantic Intrigue Novel of the Year