Posted by: Louise | May 17, 2010

comforting grief

“She is still here, just not sadly as you would have her.”

A year ago I received a card with these words on it. Yesterday I was gardening, the kind of overhaul gardening that I seem to specialize in – ignore your garden for months on end and then exhaust yourself trying to regain control. The sun was shining. K was battling weeds beyond the garden wall. The little boy racer was cavorting like a lamb. Can I help you dig? Can I help you rake? in between demonstrating his football skills (limited, but enthusiastic). And then – butterfly – and he was off running chasing the butterfly as it fluttered in our midst.

Of course I thought of Laura. It is her time of year. It is butterfly time of year. And I thought of the picture K took of me sleeping in the garden this time last year. It was an overhaul day then too – laundry drying, all the garden equipment out. Laura is still here…… in the ripples, in the butterflies, just here……

I was talking to my brother’s girlfriend a few weeks ago about Laura’s impending anniversary and how at a loss my brother and she were to know how to comfort us. Her honesty was such a comfort. I ranted a bit. She was trapped in a car with me. There was no escape for her. In amongst my rant I know I mentioned one brother in particular as really knowing what to say. We have, I will stand up and yell, been blessed with the support we have received. It hasn’t been enough because it hasn’t brought Laura back to us, not because it hasn’t been enough.

Why was one brother singled out from so many? He has the words. He has never hid from that great yawning chasm in our lives where our daughter ought to be. What makes him different? When he was eighteen his best friend was killed in a car crash. He knows loss. He feels it from the inside out. The quote at the beginning of this post came from a card we received shortly after Laura died – from a friend, a father who had lost his son. If the school for comforting grief requires you live with loss yourself, then I would rather take no comfort any day than know others too know this pain.

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