Watching the children enjoy their piles of candy from a successful trick-or-treat run this year (we celebrated Saturday), can't lift the heaviness on my heart. Not a heaviness of loss, but an odd heaviness of fear -- a strange anticipation, knowing an accident is about to happen... one that happened 365 days ago tonight. I don't understand it, but I accept it for what it is.
A heaviness as the heart is forced to recall the sick, hollow feeling, of having to tell two young children the next morning, excited for Halloween, that their mommy wasn't coming home.
Their cries still ring in my ear to this day.
But no tears this year. Not from me. Not now, anyway. Just a heavy heart. But if they come, then I'll let them come. Release them as they release me.
They say time heals all wounds. That's not entirely true. Time heals all wounds if we allow it too.
Judging by the fact that the memory of what passed through us a year ago has only placed a weight on my heart instead of triggering an emotional outpouring tells me I have been successful in following the counsel of my counselor. The counsel not to avoid the emotions as they come and when they come. Let them spill to the floor. Be open. Don't keep it in so there will be no grief left to handicap me in the future.
The children have done well. Madi will be old enough next year to attend the Comfort Zone Camp grief camp for kids and they're both signed up to go. They pray for their mommy every morning, every night and at almost every meal. They haven't forgotten -- and they're happy. That is my wish for all of us.
I cannot personally recognize this day as some will. In other words, I cannot hold it as a special day of remembrance because it is not a day I wish to magnify due to the depth of personal sorrow, regret, bitterness and pain I was forced to endure. Neither can I correlate the fun holiday of Halloween with tragedy, especially in the hearts and minds of my children. So October 30th and 31st can just be Halloween.
Is it possible? For me? I don't know, but it needs to be... because I have not been the most pleasant person to be around lately.
Instead, our special day of remembrance will be every July 9th, Katie's birthday. That must be the day for us to get together, share stories, participate in Katie's favorite activities, watch Katie's favorite movies and eat her favorite meals, talking about what she meant to us and how her loss has effected us.
Healing doesn't mean we stop remembering or don't feel sad when we do. Healing doesn't mean there are no scars; there are always scars. The scars remind us of what has happened, but healing means there is no more pain. Healing means we are not held back, no longer prisoner of the injury. We can run and move as we used to, but a little wiser and a little stronger for the experience. Healing times vary from person to person, but if we allow it, i.e. don't pick the scabs, all wounds will heal.
It's okay to hang our heads in sorrow
As long as we lift them up tomorrow
Remembering the bitter for the sweet
Until at our own road's end we meet
Face to face, our forever friend,
And dance through skies that see no end.
So forgive us for the pause we make
As we sleep in remembrance of what's at stake.
Let it wake us from that weary bed
And set us running toward the day ahead.
For yesterday captures the wandering mind
Securing our fate as we're left behind.
Tomorrow waits for no man's rest;
A moment to catch your breath, at best.
So take that moment to release your sorrow
As long as you never forget tomorrow.
Perhaps this next year we will move a little faster, hold our heads a little higher, feel our hearts a little lighter as we do what we all know Katie would want us to do -- LIVE!