Sunday, April 3, 2011

Battlefield

After Henry died, there was the usual business of visitors and planning his funeral services. We went through those days in pain but with purpose. As always happens, though, life flows back into the lives of those around you like the tide coming in, but you who are grieving are left in unfamiliar and unpleasant territory. For you, the tides have stopped.

I think it was our first weekend alone as a family after his death that we went to a local Civil War battlefield to ride bikes. It was horrible. I spent the whole day in daze, realizing that this was now what my family looked like. Henry wasn't here, and he never would be again. The day was full of hurt and tender grieving. When faced with the option of sitting at home doing nothing but grieving all day, the bike ride seemed a welcome option. Busy grief has proven to be easier to bear than non-busy grief, at least for me.

Two years have passed. We went back today to ride again, the four of us. Spring in the air, glad to be out of the house at last, we had a blast. The scenery was beautiful, the cool air not too cool, the exercise welcome to winter-weakened legs.

We laughed. We laughed so hard that at least two of us might have moistened our undergarments (but I won't say which two). There was no heaviness, no hurt...a family of four, out for a wonderful spring day. He was not with us today, the way he was the last time we rode. I tear up to say that, but he wasn't. Today it was just us, and it was really fun.

It is what it is. It doesn't mean we don't love him, and miss him desperately. We do. But we are moving on without him.

7 comments:

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Such a lovely post. SOunds like a wonderful day.

He wil always be in your heart - It's just that he's settled in there now and it doesn't hurt as much anymore.

rlbates said...

What Peggy said.

Happy your family had such a lovely day!

alwaysmomof4 said...

As you've said to me. I feel exactly the same way. Our vacation last week in FL was so different from the fleeing to FL we did in the months after Jordan died. We all had fun this time and were able to embrace our time together as a family. "Joy and grief housed together."
Jackie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. Life can and will be happy, but most likely not nearly as full as if you still had Henry with you. I am glad that you are able to find some joy in life. There will always be that gaping hole and he won't be forgotten... One step at a time and continue to relish those happy times and embrace those sad times when they come.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Time does help to heal, though he'll never be away from you in your heart that because of the love you shared with him, but know he's looking down and it brought a smile to his face to see all of you laughing and enjoying, it's what Henry would have wanted for all of you.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Welcome to "this" side of the pain.

The side that allows a parent to miss, yet laugh; to love, yet miss; to live and let live.

What a great day for your family!

ADB said...

That's the way it's got to go, I suppose. The departed remain gone, and we have to move on. Still loving, still missing - but nothing will bring back those who have gone on ahead.