In the last 11 months, I have been able to clearly define words and phrases that before I hadn’t truly understood.
The dictionary app on my phone defines heartbroken as “crushed with sorrow or grief.”
That’s not enough words. That definition doesn’t have enough emotion. Those words cannot possibly explain the depth absolute and sharp pain in my heart. It is heavier than crushed; it is bigger than sorrow or grief. That defintion doesn’t tell you my heart feels like a piece of fragile stemware, that has been dropped from a high shelf down onto a solid, thick piece of granite; shattered into a million pieces. And those pieces, no matter how hard you try, could never possibly all be found…some are simply gone, forever.
This heartache hasn’t settled in fully, until this past Monday. My week has been unbearable at moments, tolerable during others. The first 14 days were easy to manuver compared to days 15-20. The 2 weeks following Caitlin’s death were filled with details, errands, family and visitors. But Monday, oh yes, Monday…everyone went back to their routine. Days were filled with work, school, activites; “normal.” Except, my “normal” is no longer here. My “normal” died. For more than 10 months, I had Caitlin by my side. Some days were filled with sad and difficult medical or illness related appointments and side effects. Other days were filled with fun, happy and loving moments and memories.
And as I reflect on those memories, I realize some of the other words I am able to better understand the full meaning of now. I comprehend the definition of humbled, happy, difficult and scared. I know what the phrase “fight for your life” really explains. I know what it feels like to face down death, and what it feels like to lose that fight.
Of all these words and defintions, it is heartbroken I feel the most.
the last defintion I have been able to more clearly “get,” and feel.
The app on my phone defines love as “a warm personal attachment or deep affection.”
Well, that’s wrong too.
That doesn’t explain the way my heart has been infused to care about others, especially my family, most specifically my children. That defintion doesn’t account for enourmous passion, devotion and need that exists when I ‘love.’ That defintion doesn’t allow room for the enchantment, facination or captivation I feel deep inside my chest.
Because love, and how I love, and who I love, and why I love all makes more sense to me now. It’s bigger and deeper too, than I have ever understood it or knew it to be before.
But there is another kind of love that has been redefined for me.
By each of you, toward my daughter, and my family.
Through your gentle words, tight hugs, yummy food and caring actions you have shown what one person can do for another when moved by love. Selfish, conditional and deserving are not in your vocabulary when you define love. Your incredible love has helped to carry my family. You have shown that love does not know the word “stranger.” Your love has transcended many years and much distance between communication and friendship.
It is this love, that has insulated, warmed, protected and given strength. Thank you.
We will heal our hearts, I truly believe we will. (Because if we don’t believe it, then we can’t get to that healing place.) It will take a long time, I am certain. While we have fought for close to a year, we are only now feeling the grief of losing a dear part of our family. It is a hole that is deep and wide. We will hurt and ache when we expect it to be difficult, and when we least expect to be effected. But we work toward finding a place where our sharp and stabbing pain will dull to an ache instead. We will look around, for the shards from the glass that dropped on the granite. We will clean it up the best we can, and hope we see the missed pieces prior to stepping on them with our bare feet.
Until then, thank you, for keeping us in your hearts, and thoughts and prayers.
All my love, d