It’s been three and half months since Linda’s death. The grieving continues!
C. S. Lewis in his classic A Grief Observed writes that grief is like a bomber flying overhead. At times you are only faintly aware that it is there. Then, without warning it drops a bomb, shattering your world once more. The sobbing and disorientation return.
Those waves of grief come unexpectedly, like a sudden bolt of thunder on a clear day! They are triggered by a site, or fragrance, or a rediscovered memento, a reminder of an experience from the past.
Painful images of Linda’s diseased-induced distress, anguish, confusion, disorientation, and fear open the floodgates of grief’s tears. They trouble me, sometimes torment me!
Experts remind us that the memories with the most painful emotion attached to them are the hardest to heal.
Those negative images accompanying our journey with dementia are difficult to dislodge from my memory.
But healing is happening!
Our daughter created a collage of photographs of happy times over our sixty years together.
The collection of joyful images sits in my sunroom where I spend much of the day. Other photos are attached to the refrigerator. Two months ago, those photos brought tears, too. They reminded me of what had been but can be no more.
Yet, something important has been happening.
The painful images from the last few years are slowly being balanced by memories from six decades of love and laughter.
Our new community chaplain, Kathleen Miko, stopped by this week for a visit. Since she had not known Linda, I pointed to the collection of photographs and explained why they were there.
Kathleen observed, “I notice that you smile every time you look at those photos.”
I hadn’t realized that gradually grief’s tears are being replaced with smiles of gratitude for love shared.
I know that more bombs of sadness will fall, waves of grief will come crashing over me.
Yet, grief’s tears are slowly giving way to love’s smiles.