A Rose By Any Other Name

Grief. Loss. Sadness. Misery. Sorrow. Pain. Heartache. Torment. Mourning. I don’t care what you call it, it sucks. I don’t think anyone can truly, fully, love or appreciate a person until they are gone, which also sucks by the way. We all hear the sayings, “Life is short, live each day as if it were your last, if you love someone let them know, you’ll never know how long you’ll have them.” The list could go on forever. What doesn’t however is life, love, friendships, precious moments in time that end all too soon.

Yes, I am in a bit of a melancholy mood this evening. I’m missing my Grams. I miss my Papa. I miss my Aunt Marianne. I miss Aunt Mickey. I miss the relatives I’ve heard stories about and never had the pleasure of meeting thanks to cancer or drunk driving accidents, heart attacks, or old age. I am missing the friendships that have faded, the dreams we used to have. No matter what you want to call grief or loss it all hurts the same.

The other morning I woke up in my bed and had a moment of confusion. Where was I?  For a moment I almost felt like I was in my old twin bed at my parents’ home, in the room I shared with my sister. Then realization hit me that I was in my bed in Gram’s house. Then another realization hit. Gram is gone and this is now my house, although, it will always be theirs in a sense. This home was their love and their dream. I’m honored to be a part of it. Still, that one little moment kicked my mourning back into the present. I will grieve for the ones I’ve lost for the rest of my life. It never really ends. Some days will be better than others. Some days will be pretty grim. 

Loss is hard. When someone comes into your life and changes it, or helps to mold you into the person you are meant to be, they leave a mark. They become a part of you. My family will always be a part of me whether they are the ones who are still living and breathing or the ones who have passed on. The friendships I’ve cultivated and lost have formed me, for better or worse. The men I have chosen to give my affection to, while they may not always have known the extent of my feelings, they are a part of me, including the loss of them. Letting go is painful.

I remember when my ex and I broke up, as I was sobbing and a mess, my father asked me, “Does it hurt?” In that moment, I was shocked he would ask such a silly question. Obviously, it hurt. Were the tears on my cheeks, the swollen puffy face, the snotting, sobbing mess in front of him not enough proof? Luckily, I only answered with, “Yes.” His answer struck a chord in me and I am still so thankful I answered him simply and without sarcasm or attitude. He said, “Then it was real.” 

Only if we love someone can we be hurt by their absence. Right now, I am taking stock of my losses, saying prayers of thanks for being in my life at all, and trying to move forward. I am attempting to focus on the good times and let the bad memories simply vanish into the sunset. After all, when it is all said and done, who wants to hold onto the negative?  So that is my evening as I drink some wine and reminisce, missing all the people I’ve loved and lost.

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