Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dead Of Winter

Freezing temperatures have settled over my small world once again.  Winter's little gift, I suppose.  This Winter and this month bring with it a mournful remembrance as well.  Yet another time of reflection and recognition of that which was lost last year at this time.

I woke up this morning in my own time warp, knowing it was today yet feeling the pull of last year early January.  Last year at this time, we were still in the fog of Logan's suicide even though it had been over 365 days since we got that horrible phone call.  For those of you reading, if you have never had to deal with the trauma of losing someone you love in such a horrible manner, consider yourself most fortunate.  It takes such a long long time to find your way back to your own life when someone you love takes theirs.  The fog of grief is thick and seems endless.  Even as it lifts, its memory is far too easy to recall.

Today, now two years since Logan's death, I reflect on last year's January and what that month took from me.

Last year in early January, a Thursday, having spent the day with my Logan's father,my brother, I returned home from a day of shopping and lunch and just spending time together.  I do that as much as I can because it is simply all I can do to help. I can not heal the wound made in his heart and soul made by his son's death but I tend to it daily.   I remember it was a very cold rainy day and a day that was filled with shopping and browsing and enjoying time talking over a wonderful lunch.  I returned home to my herd of felines only to find my beloved Bella had died.  I wont bother with the details of that discovery.  It is simply enough to know she was gone.  She was a little princess in every way and never a bother.  That nice day turned dark and the shopping and lunch was erased by the task of standing in the cold rain, digging a grave and burying my little sweetheart.

Four days later, I woke up that Sunday morning to a call that would once again change my world.  It had been a Sunday when Logan's call had come to me and here again, Sunday would bring life changing, heart wrenching news that somehow I was suppose to deal with, to cope with, to manage.

Word came that my friend Maria had died in the early morning hours of that day.  It was sudden and unimaginable.  Once again Fate came to steal someone important to me.  Once again, Fate had made a mess of everything and expected me to figure out how to keep going.

I suppose it is only proper to explain that Maria had been placed in my company by Fate, just as she had been taken.  Through a series of events at work, Maria was placed in my office to help me.  And that she did.  Maria and I were hired on the same day and walked into the building together on that first day.  I remember her introducing herself to me and we briefly talked.  After that we parted to various destinations within the campus but never had the chance to work together.   Two weeks after Logan's death, Maria took up residence in my office and in my heart.  Numb and disconnected, trying to work and grieve, I was struggling.  I was struggling to breathe each day.  I couldn't sleep at night and I was exhausted.  Every cell within my body struggled to grasp on to something, something to cling to as I weathered the crashing waves of an emotional storm.  Maria proved to be the rock and with her help every single day, I was able to cling and to hold on to my sanity.

It would be impossible to tell you the remarkable person I found in Maria.  Those that knew her understood.  When you were in her company,  you were in the company of someone special.  Her laughter and compassion was a great as her strength and determination.  We talked most of the day, every day for six month.  Her ability to nurture through strength and intuition was without measure.

Her friendship, her willingness to take my hand and guide me through the fog, helped to heal me.  Our moments talking during those months are prized possessions within my memory box.  Her smile and long black hair, the sound of her laugh and the sparkle in her eyes will never leave my mind.  I feel privileged that I was chosen to spend those months with this exceptional woman.  I always said, if everyone had a chance to spend time with Maria, the world would be a much better place.

Maria's death brought back the fog of grief, but the memory of the words she told me, the conversations we had, would not allow it to stay too long.  Even in death, she was thoughtful.  She left me memories that shine brighter than the darkness of grief.  The life lessons she taught me have become my guide stones and I am a better person for having been in her company.

This January marks loss and conjures up the confusion of all that has been lost throughout my life.  It becomes a ball of random energy that moves in every direction at it's own will.  I learned while moving through the early months as a suicide survivor that milestone and date markers will grab you by the hand and pull you back on to the roller coaster of  grief and emotion.  Even this writing is done through tears.  But I also know that as time goes by, the roller coaster ride, while intense, is short and that crashing wave will pass leaving the stillness of calm waters.  If there is any gift within grief, it is time.  It doesn't really heal all wounds, but it does leave a very strong, hard scab and if you remember not to bother it, it won't bleed.

As we begin this New Year with all it's hope and promise, let us not forget that our lives are fragile as is our love for it.  In as much as this Earthly world gives us, Fate sits in waiting to take the most valuable away.  So savour and treasure each moment, each touch, each kiss, each "I love you".  When its all said and done, they are all that really matter.

To my dear friend Maria, who I am sure was welcomed into Heaven with the words "well done", I love and miss you every single day.  Please take care of my Bella, hold her and kiss her for me and remember, she is a Princessa.

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