Today would have been the 59th birthday of the man I loved (and still do) with all of my heart. He was killed a year ago a few days shy of his 58th birthday. I have been in mourning since that day. Other family members have felt the pain, too, but I can only tell my story.
I made a comment to my cousin tonight (thanks, Cheryl) about grieving. I liken grief to a mantle or a cloak I was forced to put on. For the first few days, it was stifling, oppressive and shocking. The heaviness nearly suffocated me. As months passed, it became more a part of my normal wardrobe. That’s not to say wearing that cloak was ever something I wanted.
For a time, I was existing day to day, struggling to bear the heaviness. I got through those days, weeks and months, but just surviving his loss was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Ever.
Grief is a life-long process. The sharpness of loss fades to become bearable, but that cloak is still settled firmly on my shoulders. It doesn’t feel quite so heavy, but I still feel the weight. It’s not something I can take off and don again. It’s there to stay, but maybe I’m strong enough to stand tall in spite of the cloak.