Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Baby

I just heard a song I haven't heard in quite a while. It's called "The Baby" and sung by Blake Shelton.

It made me cry because it came out about the time my sister died, and it reminds me of her and her son. It was one of the songs that helped me process my grief after Debbie passed.

Another song that helped me even more was "I Believe", sung by Diamond Rio. Sometimes, I could feel Debbie's presence and hear her voice and even though I was hurting like hell, I knew she was near. Sometimes, I even teased that she had possessed me because I became more assertive after she passed. She never was one to keep her opinion to herself.

It hurts to lose someone, even when you know you'll see them again. Even if they are with you in spirit, I haven't figured out how to hug a spirit yet or call one up on the telephone.

We always had the funniest conversations when we would all get together at our mom's house or at a restaurant. It was better than a comedy club. We haven't done that in a while. Even though we are still a funny bunch, I miss Debbie's contributions to our conversations.

I am reminded of another song that is meaningful to me for the same reason. It's "Who You'd Be Today" by Kenny Chesney. It reads, "It ain't fair. You died too young. Like a story that had just begun but death tore the pages all away."

Thinking about all this takes me back to the anger I felt when she passed. I know anger is one of the stages of grief. I was just so pissed off because I felt she gave up. She was fighting cancer and it was far more advanced and aggressive than I wanted to believe. I refused to believe it could kill her. She was always so strong.

And I was angry that she didn't really get to build her life the way she wanted it. And I was angry because I wanted to call in a Reiki healer, and her husband didn't want that. He thought it was "of the devil". That's such bullshit, but Debbie chose to honor his wishes.

The funny thing about grief is that it has a way of resurfacing. You think you've processed all that you need to, and then it all comes up again, and you have to go through it all again. If you've given yourself the proper space and time to grieve, it's not going to be as intense in the future, but it will still reappear from time to time. It's not something you ever get over. It's just that you set it aside so that you can get on with the business of living.

Then occasionally, like going over old photographs or mementos, the memories return, and you are reminded that who or what you loved is gone. And it still hurts, even though it doesn't occupy all of your resources like it did when you first experienced the loss.

But what I always end up with is this: remembering what Debbie brought to my life, which is a part of me forever. That's why I love her and that's why I miss her so much. But I wouldn't have it any other way. As Garth Brooks said in his song, "The Dance", "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance."

The dance is worth it all.

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