The Cloak

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.


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