The Long Goodbye

This is the time of year when I find myself saying goodbye all over again to my late daughter Brittany. I call it the “long goodbye” because it just never seems to stop. Every October without fail it comes, the wave of opportunity to say goodbye all over again. Does it get any easier? Maybe, in a different way than you might imagine or that I could have ever imagined.

I think it gets easier because the distance from the event to now is creating some space for healing. But that moment, that one moment when it all floods back and I’m right back in that hospital room – it’s new, it’s fresh and it’s hurts so bad it takes my breath away.

But what is different is that it doesn’t last as long. I now consider myself an “experienced griever”. What I mean is you learn how to grieve and then you move on. Understanding that it comes and goes like the high tide. Ebbs and flows with the new moon. Just underneath the surface lurks the rip currents. Those are the times when the lights are dim and future doesn’t look so bright.

As an experienced griever, you know you have to be careful of those “rip currents”. You have to wear your life jacket out there in the water of grief. For me it’s God. Some times I feel as if I’m drowning in grief and I am reaching up out of the water stretching my hand up to God because I know He will save me. He will pull me from the depths of my despair.

Even knowing that, the long goodbye is a tough time. It’s a time of remembering her. Her hair, her laugh, her uncanny way of knowing just when her mom needed a hug or a laugh. The way she moved about the world faced with everyday challenges with a smile and a song in her heart. Yes indeed the long goodbye is rough. And it’s time again to remember and to reflect on the many great things I miss about my girl.

until next time,

m

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3 thoughts on “The Long Goodbye

  1. This is really lovely. Thank you for bravely writing it. The best advice I ever got about grief was from a dear friend who told me, “You’ll always have a hole in your heart; you’ll try to fill it, you’ll decorate around it, but it will always be there.” It was such a relief to have someone reassure me that I didn’t have to “get over it”. I admire your strength.

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