To borrow a few words from Huey Lewis, “The power of love is a curious thing”.
Love, the ultimate emotion, has been the subject of songs, poems, and books for centuries. This elusive feeling has the power to make people laugh, cry, lose their temper, become violent, become humbled, and return for more.
How is it that people can cry for a loved one who has been gone for years? We do not forget the love, and our hearts definitely do not forget the happiness of relationship or the hurt of loss. In our quest to remember those who have died, we struggle with the love that is left. It has no where to go. There is no hand to hold, no forehead to wipe, no lips to kiss, no look of love appreciated and returned.
One of the difficult parts of love and losing someone you love is knowing where to “send” that love, and believe in our hearts our loved one has “received” it after he or she is gone. We caress a picture, hug an item of clothing close to our heart, never able to fufill that need to express our love to that special person.
Monuments are erected and mementos are treasured in the hope that our memories will not be forgotten. After a loved one leaves us, it is not uncommon to worry about forgetting. I don’t want to forget my son’s voice, his smile, his smell, or anything about him. And I don’t want others to forget him either.
A father once wrote, “I count it a blessing every time someone speaks my deceased child’s name, because it means they have not forgotten.” Those who are missing a loved one understand that statement all too well. It is a great comfort to know others remember that special person.
People who have never experienced this particular hurt often assume a grieving person is off the deep-end or obsessing about the loved one. I find my conversations often refer to my deceased son, but not usually any more than they refer to my living children.
I have stories for all of them. It is the reference to the son who is gone that sometimes produces discomfort in others. As grieving persons we hesitate to make those references as often. At this point a good grief support group can be very helpful. Everyone there will understand the emotions, and it is surprising how comforting it is to hear others voice the same hurts, fears, and thoughts a grieving person feels.
After a period of grieving, there often comes a time when a person wants to return to some “normalcy” in his/her life. Most times, that is not possible, because our “normal” has changed. At that time, it is important to enter into some self reflection. Yes, life has changed, a normal will always be different than it was before. It is the grieving soul who has to choose how to handle their normal.
I have decided my “normal” life will always be filled with memories, laughter and the pain of losing my son. I know that I will sometimes cry, always miss him, and never, ever forget him. The “power of love” IS truly a curious thing. If I had not loved him so deeply, the pain would not be so great. I would not trade that love for anything this world has. This amazing, wondrous, beautiful emotion will endure, and will bless me for all the days of my life.
Laura Lee Klouzek 2011