So … after a very emotional two weeks, I pick my life back up and move forward, step by step. It’s all the same and yet it’s all different. I was blessed to know Lauren for many years, loving her more each day. I will love her all the days of my life and I will miss her with all my heart. And my life, as does that of all her family and those who loved her dearly, goes on.
The viewing and funeral was actually quite joyful. Those who loved and supported Lauren, Mary and Steve on this journey came to visit and offer hugs, nice stories and inspiration. I was happy to be the recipient of lots of that love. My own sweet circle of love was Duty (extra bittypaws for all you are), Boychild of my heart Justin (who is worthy of bittypaw status but might be too cool for it), SIL of Love Becky and best friends and partners-in-crime Dani & Jon. Without ALL of you guys, I couldn’t have gotten through this. Your love, quick runs for clothing, extra late night snarking and enveloping hugs during meltdowns helped me in more ways that I can even write about here. Just know that I am there for you, as you have been for me.
Extra props sent out to Rixie, Sal and Kim and HockeyKim for being there and giving us your time and love and support. I know that Lauren will be sending you lots of blessings for being so sweet and loving to her Godmommy and Nunc. Thanks also to those who were with me in spirit (waves to Twinnie) and sent email and cards of love. It felt like a big ass hug. Speaking of which, Uncle Charlie? Thank you a trillion times over for hugs, encouragement and LOVE!
There’s a lot to say and I will try to write it out bit by bit because while it’s been sad to lose someone so dear to your heart, the sum total of this experience has been one of love and connection. Each of us received blessings, some large and some infinitesimally small but there all the same.
Here’s my special moment from yesterday, though. It showed me that the Universe hears all of us if we just know how to listen.
I wrote about the incredibly spiritual moment we had on her last day with us. Her friend Natalie (she of the angelic voice) sang “Amazing Grace” at Lauren’s bedside and it was just lovely. I was hoping that they would be able to sing it at the mass as well but the priest nixed that idea (don’t even ask why). Duty mentioned that perhaps I should ask Mary if Natalie could sing it at the graveside ceremony and while *I* wanted to hear it, it wasn’t my ceremony to arrange so I decided to just “float on” with whatever was already arranged. As we were getting ready to say our final goodbyes to my sweet baby, I heard Natalie’s voice loud and true singing that beautiful song, there by where we laid Lauren to rest. That truly brought tears to my eyes and let me know that God was smiling upon us all. It was an incredible moment for me, one of many over the past couple of years.
This has always been a favorite poem of mine. Don’t know who wrote it but the words ” … and with every goodbye you learn” feel right to me at this moment.
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down midflight,
After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers,
And you learn that you really can endure,
That you really are strong and you really do have worth,
And you learn and learn… with every goodbye you learn.