Monday, April 20, 2015

A Love Letter: Three Weeks Ago



Well, Beany, it's been three weeks to the day (perhaps even the hour) since you passed away. It is also Isaiah's 14th birthday today. So, in the mechanisms of time and space, this particular moment brings back a lot of memories. I was in serious labour by this time 14 years ago. I was scared. I was worried. And, to retrace the steps of the last three weeks is like combing over the details of one very bad dream. It is all so surreal. I can picture your funeral, but I can't seem to digest the fact that it was real. It happened, but it all happened so fast.

I was going through your pictures on Pinterest earlier and everything was all pink and glittery. Crazy. Shoes. Cats. And scriptures about God promising us a future. But, where is your future? Is God in this? It makes me wonder. Then, I hear mom's voice just as clear as anything and I hear her saying that we don't know what kind of future you have, but it is probably pretty good up there in heaven. So, to take it on that level, to apply an infinite level of faith to this situation (which seems to be what is required when someone you love dies) I guess you could say that yes, God has given you the best future of all because it is going to be with Him. I know that only you know for sure if that is true, but I also know that your faith in God was very important to you so I will honour your memory and never consider an alternative different from what you believed in. When my courage is up, I believe in it too.

That's the hardest part of all, you know. I know I have to have faith that all is well and you are okay. But, I found myself worrying about you. Are you okay? Were you ever okay a day in your life? Were you ever truly happy? And if not, what was it that made you so unhappy? I will never know the answers to these questions and Ian gently reminds me that wherever you are now, surely you have the answers you didn't have in life and we can be sure, quite sure, that you are indeed very happy now. Okay. Okay okay okay. I will try to think that way. But can I just say one more thing about that? Can I ask you if you knew for sure that I only ever wanted the best for you? Do you know, I mean really really really know, that I loved you sincerely? Did you know that for all our bickering, I pretty much worshipped the ground you walked on? I will forever be that starry eyed kid sister that believed everything you said: hook, line, and sinker. Even when you told me horrifying stories about the A bomb when I was only six or seven years old, even when you told me all kinds of stuff just to get me going, I believed you. You had that effect on me. And I loved you for it.

I have gone through my angry phase in the last few days. I have been quite angry about everything. I have used my anger to shield myself from my grief, I guess. I have tried to keep focused on the moment. I have tried to keep my head in the game for Isaiah's sake, since it is his big day today. We celebrated his birthday on Friday and it kind of rolled along throughout the weekend (you know how we Coughlins love a good party) so I promised myself I would keep it together for him. And I have done remarkably well in that department. I know it is important for me to set the example when it comes to dealing with all of this. I want my kids to know that life goes on, even when it doesn't.

Several times this week I have found myself wanting to pick up the phone to call you, though. I have so many things I want to tell you. One thing I wish I could tell you is that Liv wanted her hair cut so I cut it and it's the cutest thing in the world. She looks younger and I, of course, love that because we all know how much I like to slow things down when it comes to my children growing up too fast. She's been very bubbly and sweet ever since. Funny how we ladies react to things. A good pair of shoes or a new hair style is sometimes all we need to feel like we can change the world.

I have been painting a whale in honour of you because you always told me that if heaven is exactly what you hoped it would be, the first thing you would do is swim with whales. I have always loved that thought. So, painting a whale has brought me great joy and a calming sense of wonder. It's comforting. As I sat at the dining room table and worked on our budget for the month I felt your presence very strongly this afternoon, but I never know if it is just my imagination or not. It was comforting too, just the same.

I also wanted to tell you that Liv and I tried french macarons for the first time a few weeks ago. It was the Saturday following your funeral. For all the raving you did over the years about how good they are, I never ever tried them until recently and now I know that you are right. They are very good.

I miss you, my sister. I miss you I miss you I miss you. I can't say it is getting better, but I can say that I have read recently that grief doesn't leave you, it just changes shape. My grief has changed shape over and over again. I am finding that to be true. I can't describe what shape it is, exactly, but the edges are wearing off and it is less sharp, but it is still very present and very real.

They say love is the thing in this world that transcends the laws of physics. They say that it doesn't make sense to feel a love for someone who has passed on in a practical, biological sense. Therefore, they say that to love someone who has passed on means that that connection is the truest connection there is in this world or any world. Someday we will know more about these mysteries and maybe death won't be so hard to process for us because maybe, just maybe, we will know for sure that we do go on and we will know for sure we are connected by love and that is all that there really is, in the end. That's pretty deep stuff for 5:00 AM on a Monday, but I have been watching a lot of movies lately and that thought seems to be the recurring theme. I think someone is trying to tell me something, don't you? Enough rambling? Okay. Alright. I'll end here. I love you.


Jo

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