Monday, December 14, 2009

Pieces of a Life

I feel badly that I haven't kept up on this blog. I really haven't had the time or motivation recently. On November 22nd, my mother-in-law, Terri, found her peace with God. Since then, it's been quite a struggle to get back to some form of normal life. It's happening slowly. I guess I can't expect it to happen overnight.
Since I've experienced so much loss in such a short time, I've been thinking about death quite a bit. It's so strange how a person can just suddenly be gone from this world. Whether you know the end is coming or not, the loss is still so sudden, so final, so consuming. I guess the best way to continue on is to hold on to those pieces of a life that still remain. The memories, the possessions, the traditions.
Terri was in the hospital for several days before she finally passed away. As I walked through her house, the very walls screamed her name at me. It was overwhelming and sad and comforting how she surrounded us through pictures, wall paper and cut glass bowls. Even when I was at home, after the funeral was over, I felt her presence everywhere. The towels she bought for us on a great sale. The pajamas she gave to me last Christmas. The toys and clothes she gave to Marissa. All of these things are pieces of her life--represenations of her love, care and concern for her family.
Right now, these pieces of Terri are sharp and painful, but I know, over time, they will be treasured and comforting. That's what is starting to happen with the pieces of my dad's life. The physical reminders of his life are becoming a welcomed part of my life.
I think the lesson I take away is this--make your pieces count. Material things aren't important in the grand scheme of life, but the feelings and memories associated with physical reminders are very important. It can be the difference in just disappearing from this world or leaving your mark and making it count. Terri and my dad both left their mark on this world. I hope someday my pieces will make a difference to others.

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