Living with personal loss of any kind is painful and challenging. We are affected by loss in ways that we may not realize. Over time, it becomes obvious to anyone who is paying attention that we never completely
"get over" the grief that is connected to loss and there is no "time limit
No matter the years that pass since the loss of our yougest son, Kevin, there are still times when I am overwhelmed by grief, which serves to remind me that there is no time limit on grief. Even though I know this is true, I am always surprised, when the intensity of grief hits me with as much ferocity, as when I originally suffered the loss of my son.
I am trying to determine what to do with one of my son, Kevin's, shirts that he wore when he began his career with Andersen's Black Angus restaurants. The shirt is in perfect condition and I can see him wearing it, as though it was yesterday. At the time of Kevin's death, he was one of the youngest managers for Black Angus restaurants in the United States, and so this shirt is a part of his story and something of his that I can see and touch.
When I took the shirt out of Kevin's "keepsake" drawer, I unfolded it and held it up to look at it and grief gripped me like someone socked me in the stomach and grabbed my heart and was squeezing it. I hunched over in pain and I wept out loud. Holding tight to the shirt, it was as if I was holding onto my son and it hurt so much. Though painfiul, I do not regret experiencing that pain and sorrow for in that moment I was reminded of the reality of my son, and as always he was worth the pain and the tears.
It is sad, though understandable, that people who have not suffered loss of someone they love more than life itself would think there should be some kind of time limit for grieving. I have come to believe that people who insolate themselves from periodic moments of grief do so because they are not yet comfortable with the reality that there is truly no time limit on love and therefore on grieving the loss of one we have loved and that to experience such an intense loss is to definitely heartbreaking.
I am ever mindful and thankful that the broken pieces of my heart are held together by the One who holds all things in His loving and ever-faithful hands. I also have come to accept the reality that is not only OK, but absolutely necessary that I grieve as often as I have to, because I will never stop missing my son. And, as there is not ending to my loving him, therefore, there is no ending to my missing and mourning the loss of him. I am healing, growing and living life to the fullest, but, I give myself permission to take all the time I need, which will be until that day, when we meet again, standing together in Christ forever and ever and ever in that place where there is no more sorrow and no more tears.
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"