Sunday, September 15, 2013

Missing Sharon and a Lesson on Grief

Lately, I have been missing my dear "sister" Sharon. She's been gone for 7 -1/2 years now, but in the last weeks, the longing for her has returned with an acuteness I'd not felt in some time. The "longing" is an actual feeling in my chest, a heaviness; it's tears just behind my eyes; it's a tendency to pout.

It seems everything reminds me of her. Someone gave me a book called The Good, Good Pig. I cannot even look at the cover without smiling and thinking of her. She'd have loved the cover and the book and it reminds me that we sure shared some laughs and some good reading!

I play my iPod on "shuffle" and all the "Sharon" songs seem to come on. Yesterday, I made a genius list of one of my silly songs -- "Don't Fence Me In" and there were a couple of those songs in the mix. The one that had the tears flowing was "Life A'int Always Beautiful" by Gary Allen. It is a truly lovely song and it's one that came across Pandora in the weeks I sat in the hospital with Sharon. It has ties to that time. Still, I wondered at this sudden renewal of a sense of loss. Something about it just didn't ring true.

The song that really busted me up, though, was "My Sweet Lorraine." Oh, my goodness, this song (and it's story) just has me crying every time. And yet . . . there is also something in the song that has caught my attention. It was this line: "I wish we could do the good times all over again." Isn't that how it is with grief? We blissfully remember mostly the sweet times and we somehow believe or think that if we had a second chance, it would be all those good times.

Finally, I had a speck of insight into my grief! I do miss those good times with Sharon; the twice daily phone calls, the way we told each other the whole truth, her honesty, her sweet smile. And though I'd have given anything to extend her life even a day, I learned so much from her death. This is true not only for  me, but many others as well. We have all evolved, so to speak, in a way that might have been much different were she still living.

I can see that it may not be mainly Sharon that I miss, but "the way we were." I sent my last "Little" off to school this year; there is grief there. My bestie is on a year long sabbatical traveling the country with her family. I'm so happy for her yet I do miss her so. My oldest "big," Alli, is in her senior year --our relationship is a close one but bound to change in the coming months as she traverses her first foray with true independence; it is a beautiful and heart-breaking time. I have gone back to "outside the home" work for the first time since Alli was born. There are a few unresolved guilty thoughts lurking there.

Life is changing, as it always does. Wishing Sharon back from the dead will not shield me from this truth. My part is (as always) to stop resisting and ebrace what is, to live my "yes" to the gift of this moment. 

In fact, when Sharon was dying, I was able to be present in the moment. I was able to say , "This is the truth of her life. I will be with her in her truth." That is how I want to be in the truth of my life this moment. I want to truly enjoy my friend's travels, to savor Alli's senior year without holding on too tight, to enjoy Bennie's first steps away from me, and so forth.

I do miss my sweet sister, and I am equally grateful for all I have learned, both from her living and her dying. Sweet Sunday, everyone!


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and feelings. I know writing them down is hard, but cathartic. You are truly blessed to be able to reflect on what causes your grief and identify it so that you can share it.
Prayers being sent for you and blessings!

Lily said...

This warms my heart and resonates with me. She has been on my mind so much recently. I wish that she could see the person that I am becoming. I love what you wrote about truth too. In rhetoric, the main focus is discovering a truth (through discussion and argument). As I study rhetoric more intensely I start to study how I can live more truthfully. Thank you for this post! I love you!

Dreena M. Tischler said...

Lily -- I just told a friend that your mom must be turning cartwheels over the amazing individuals you and Justin are; you have both followed your dreams in such a big-hearted way. You are truly a wonder. Love you, too.