As I write this post my sister in law is dying 1500 miles away. Since fall I’ve missed our weekly online messaging- I miss hearing her comments on my facebook posts- but most of all I miss our sharing of memories, joy, and grief. She became too ill and her Facebook posts, likes, political opinions, and virtual hugs stopped. My final message from her is a thank you for her copy of my book http://legaciesfromthelivingroom.com. I find this new loss ignites my old grief for my husband David.
When I got the call from her daughter in law that she was near the end I should not have been surprised , but I was. Tears streaming down my face in the grocery store made finishing my task next to impossible. I quickly realized as I got into my car that the familiar tidal wave of grief was about to grab me and try once again to take me down. I realized I was grieving not only her, but also my husband who died of nasopharyngeal cancer.
New Loss Ignites Old Loss
AS is the case so often, a new loss triggers an old. As memories flood in of good times I enjoyed with my sister-in-law, they also included my husband. I was immediately reminded of all who shared those moments. Given my brother in laws dementia, I realized I am now the only one who has the memories the four of us shared. The tidal wave knocks me down as pictures of the four of us laughing and being silly pop into my head. I am now the only one who remembers, there is no one to share the memories who was there.
All close relationships have secrets, and we certainly shared a few. I am now alone with those secrets as well. I hold hers sacred as she did mine until the day she died. The confidence I placed in her was honored until the end. The secrets once shared are now all mine.
Love Grief Equation
The love grief equation David describes and that has guided me to manage my grief will of course emerge again. I now hold onto the love as I face this new loss. I will share some stories with her husband despite his dementia, and with her family as well. We will laugh together and honor her to try to heal. I am so thankful for the memories. For now it hurts and the love spills from my eyes. My found coping with David will be a lifesaver as I move forward- time to but my lifejacket back on so I can move forward again.
A helpful resource is from http://thegrieftoolbox.com/article/multiple-losses-how-cope-loss-change.
To view Davids video on Grief see Video 13: The Love Grief Equation