Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I spent the day attempting to get my life organized. Over the past month my home, my work, and my mind has been scattered, messed up, and chaotic. And, none of those things denote calmness or equanimity. I've been feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. Then today I heard my mother's voice inside my head telling me that I'd feel better if there were some order to my space.

Another little voice screamed, "It's too much! You can't do it!"

My mother's voice won out though by reminding me to start small and only do a few tasks--her gentle voice reminding me to not try and tackle everything at once.

So, I started small. I sorted the laundry. Then, I washed a load of towels. Then, I put the load of towels in the dryer and placed a load of permanent press in the washer. I even remembered to put in the laundry soap.

Now I know this sounds mundane, but when you've suffered a great loss, it's very difficult to do anything "normal", or to watch other people doing "normal" things. You wonder how life can go on the way it does when your life is altered for all time.

I found there was something soothing about doing mundane everyday things, so I decided to keep on with my tasks. When evening fell I discovered a folding table full of clean clothes, dishes done, and even a trip to the post office accomplished. I also found it easier to breathe.

I know the grief will be sticking around for a long time, and there's nothing I can do about that. But, I know Shawn would be upset with me if I allowed sorrow to get the upper hand. So, tomorrow I plan to go grocery shopping and, the day after that, I might cook dinner. I know it will make me feel better, hubby will be amazed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

Yesterday, George and I spent the entire morning at the cemetery where our son is buried. We went, not to be maudlin, but to feel the peace of shared grief, to pay tribute to the military heroes commemorated by this day, and to express feelings of love for our son.

We were touched by the thousands of flower arrangements placed lovingly on the graves, and knew they represented a family member or friend taking the time to share love and memories. In fact, there were several large family groups circled around grave sites and talking--some folks were even sitting in lawn chairs or on blankets sharing stories and passing on the legacy to the little ones of the family.

We listened to the music of several bands, and shed a few tears when the Scottish bag-pipers played their selection of tunes. It was a good day and a difficult day. We know it will be difficult for a long time. We know the pain is the price we pay for having loved our son so much.

Memorial Day has taken on a deeper significance.