Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saying Goodbye

This year has already been an eventful year for our family. We had hoped that this year wouldn't hold as much sorrow as last year had. With the loss of both of John's grandparents 2011 was a year we were ready to move away from, and hopefully towards a brighter 2012.

Apparently God had other plans. In fact, here lately I here laughter in my head when I start making plans for the future. Deep, belly laughs. The kind that involve tears streaming down the face, gasping for air, and a slight trickle down your leg. Not that I would know anything about the trickle. But still laughter.

This past week has been the first time that my own mortality has been so deeply affected. John's cousin's wife took her own life on Tuesday. She would have been 32 on February 25th, 4 days before John's birthday.

32. She was my age. She was also a police officer, and let's face it, we often think about police officers as being tough, impenetrable, unbreakable. It was hard to watch her husband grieve openly. He didn't try to hide his emotions when they overwhelmed him. He just grieved. It was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Last week, a few days after we learned of her death, I was headed to school. Thinking about her husband and son that she left behind and thinking about how angry I was that everyone was blaming her for being selfish for taking her own life. That she never thought about her husband or son, when in fact, I know without a doubt that they were all that she was thinking about.

See, I think that suicide isn't a selfish act, but a selfless. Granted the people that are left behind are deeply hurt, they want to understand but can't. They have questions that will never be answered. But I have no doubt in my mind, that as she ended her own life, that she thought that she was leaving their world a better place.

I've never contemplated ending my own life. But I have contemplated walking out of my life. There were months when we stopped infertility treatments that I just simply wanted to walk away from my husband and my family. I stayed up at night thinking about how easy it would be to pack my stuff leave a little note on the table by the door and leave. His life would have been so much better without me in it, without me not being able to give him a child of his own. Or so I thought. Thankfully, I didn't do it. But in the midst of all of that, I never not once, thought about how that would let me off the hook. It was about how much better it would have been for everyone else.

But, no matter what, no matter how much this has sucked, there have been a handful of beautiful moments this past week.

See today, was also Papa's birthday. So this week was already going to be difficult enough. I had dreaded today for his birthday, and then for D's funeral.

I'm going to skip around here, not to confuse, but simply because it will end better this way. Trust me.

Today at D's funeral, and also at her wedding, was the song that helped John and I both survive some hard days and moments after Papa's death. The irony of that was, that the song was also played at D's wedding to John's cousin.A wedding that for some unknown reason, John and I didn't attend. Go here to listen to the song before you keep reading.  I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe.

The moment the beginning notes of the music began, my stomach dropped. I love that song, but like I said, it has some other meanings to us both. I knew John was thinking the same thing I was, as his hand gripped mine. Yet, as the second verse began I realized that the following story, made so much more sense and gave me the peace that I needed to make it through today, through Papa's birthday and now D's funeral with some form of comfort.

See, last week, I'm not sure what I was doing, or were I was going, because just as suddenly as the image popped into my head, it was gone almost as quickly.

It's like I was watching a TV, or a play. Except, I knew those voices, and those people sitting at the table.

There was this gorgeous table sitting in this room with all these chairs around it. The table had a nice shine to it, and some nicks from thousands of plates and meals eaten at that table. Pictures had been colored there, bread kneaded, it was a well used, well loved table. Around this table I see John's MeMa sitting there talking with her son, Papa, and B (D's husband's sister). They are laughing about something. It must have been incredibly funny, because they are all laughing, one of those gut wrenching, leaves you gasping for breath and the slightest gasp for a neighbor has you laughing even harder. Slightly behind them, almost as if she has walked into the room in the middle of a moment that she shouldn't have interrupted stands D, looking very unsure about what she is doing there and like she is in the wrong place at the wrong moment. The laughter dies down, Papa turns and looks over his shoulder and see's her standing there, so unsure of herself. He stands up and smiles at her and stretches his arms out and says "I've been waiting for you." As she walks into his arms. She knows, just like I do that she is exactly where she is supposed to be.

That they are both exactly where they should be.

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