Friday, December 30, 2011

It's Not Good-bye, Just See You Soon

Many years ago I worked in an estate planning department at a law firm and during those years it became apparent that there were more deaths during the holidays.  I'm not sure why, the colder weather, family issues during the holidays, etc.  What I do know, is that the death of a loved one is not easy.  Even years later we still mourn their company and sometimes wonder how we have gone on without them. 

Death isn't an easy thing for any of us to experience.  Logically, for those of us who believe that there is life after death, we know that our loved ones are in a wonderful place and not that far away from us.  But emotionally, it seems more difficult for our hearts to understand.  This week was difficult watching a family I care about trying to deal with the death of a beloved son, brother and uncle.  I felt so helpless as I spent time with them and wished there was more that I could do for them.  I know it isn't much, but I did share the following poem that I wrote for my Aunt when my Uncle died with them:
 Heart Pieces
Like a quilt with its many pieces
My heart has many too
I’ve shared small pieces with others
But the biggest piece I shared with you

Our lives and heart pieces
became stitched together
Just as quilt pieces do
Joined completely to each other

We shared our heart pieces
As our little family grew
Yet our heart pieces never emptied
They increased and grew and grew

Time has passed too quickly and
My Father has called me away from you
My heart I take Home with me
But pieces I leave with you

Keep my heart pieces close to yours
To remind you that I am near
That I’m watching over you
And soon everything will be clear

Our heart pieces will join again
Never more to separate
In Heaven where I wait for you
Our hearts will celebrate

Last night I went to the funeral and saw so many people who loved this young man, it was truly touching.  One precious moment that I was witness to was seeing a young family with the parents kneeling next to their children in front of the young man's coffin.  The parents were holding their children, loving them and trying to help them understand what was going on.  I wished I had had a way to silently freeze that moment in time along with the feeling of love that was in the room despite the sadness.  I stood in the doorway with tears flowing as I watched this sweet family trying to come to terms with the death of someone they love. 

How do we come to terms with the death of a loved one?  I truly don't know.  How do we go on without them?  One step at a time.  One of my sisters had told me, "you do the dishes."  At first I thought she was crazy, but then I realized she meant that you face each day just doing the little things until you can start doing bigger things and until you feel like you can breathe and live again. 

I don't like the thought of saying "good-bye," I prefer "see you soon" instead.  To say good-bye implies a permanence and I know we will all be together again someday.  To me saying "see you soon" just makes more sense.  So to my Grandma and Grandpa Petersen, Grandma Zimmer, Uncle Keith, Aunt Nina, Sheela and many more, see you soon!

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