(An entry from my Grief Journey)
Through my grief journey I have discovered many of us have specific days, weeks, or months each year, which commemorate a life, death, or event, that painfully overtakes our thoughts, catching our hearts, and our breath. And for most of us, these commemorative days tend to make life tough to get through for that day, week, month. After much time, many years maybe, these days become less difficult to get through. Sometimes we can even carry on with a warm remembrance safely tucked into the back of our minds.
But do our hearts ever forget that day, week, month, completely? No.
I found it is true, though, we can get to a point where these days, weeks, months bring a fond remembrance, a sweet tug at our heart, a quiet but nice time of reflection on what used to be. As we allow that sweet memory to surface again, we live in it, love in it, and remember. We shed a few healing tears, then wrap that memory up with a loving hug, and place it back into safe keeping once more.
For me, each year, July 6th, begins a day and a week such as this for my family. It was a July 6th that my children’s Daddy, Tommy Joe Pruett, ran his pick-up truck off the road, ending his life here on Earth. Because he was a Purple Heart Decorated Vietnam Veteran, with untreated, sometimes severe PTSD, the days after his crash were filled with questions on how/why he ran off that road. No real answers ever came. After much deliberation and great sorrow, the family decided to wait several days and bury him on July 11th, which was my son’s, Tommy Joe Pruett II, birthday – my son who died in a tragic school bus accident some years previously. In our minds, this would be sort of a birthday present to my son in Heaven, to officially give his Daddy back to him on his birthday.
This was the one little scrap of joy we could pull out of the tragically sad situation, to place in our desperately hurting hearts, to help us cope.
Looking back on that time, I see the grief filled eyes, I feel the numbing pain of disbelief. Yes. However, now, I also see the love.
The mountains of love between a family and the lifetime of friends, gathered to mourn, but also to love; to love the grieving hearts through the difficult days. I see the love of a family for their beloved son, husband, father. And I see the love and compassion for me - the ex-wife of a beloved son and mother of his tragically lost child.
Now, each year, I will choose to remember that love– that beautiful love of a family, of a community, of a life I once lived - and loved. I choose not to remember the questions, the discrepancies, the disagreements about why. Or the turmoil of divorced individuals. I will remember the Pruett Family with love and gratefulness for the years they held me in love, within their family. And though each year on this week I will grieve with them, for two beloved family members, one of which is my son, I will also rejoice with them in the time God gave me—us—with my first husband, Tommy, and my son, Tommy II.
Yes, I will wrap myself up in the
Mountains of Love