As I approach the two-year marker since Megan’s death, life is filled filled with moments of happiness that linger more than a moment. I am laughing again….sometimes even out loud. I’m not really a ‘laugh out loud’ kind of girl….a smirk from me is full-blown hilarious joy. If you make me laugh out loud, you should probably realize your potential career as a stand-up comedian. My sisters and I all have the same sense of humor. Megan often said, “I think you have a secret language when ‘the others’ aren’t around”…and would add “you all came out of the same creepy pod.” (I love my sisters, as did Megan, and could not have made in through the last few years without them.)
Life wasn’t so funny this week, and the days surrounding my girl’s 29th birthday were suffocating. Grief loomed heavy over the week, and I just couldn’t quit crying.
In a 1990 Episode of Star Trek – The Next Generation entitled “The Loss”, Ship Counselor Deanna Troi profoundly says “Recovery from great loss involves a great deal of pain. If we try to avoid that pain we can make it hard on ourselves in the long run.” Deanna Troi is a fictitious character, but her counsel was clearly scripted by writers who knew the condition of the human heart. Pay it now, or pay it later, but grief must be faced and worked through.
So I let myself cry this week. I cried because I miss Megan. I cried because I miss the life I imagined her to have. And I also cried because most of my old friends are gone. Another loss. That grief really started months ago when I tried to tell them Megan was dying. No mom should have to ever say that out loud. “My daughter is dying.” Yet more times than not the reaction was a hand to my face and a curt “I just can’t go there…I only want to talk in faith that God is going to heal her.”
“I just can’t go there…”
But I live there.
I let myself be mad this week. Mad because Megan left me. Mad because Megan saw “P.S. I Love You” before she died, yet so far has not left any hidden notes to appear at just the right magical moment telling me how life will be wonderful as handsome Irish guy is sweeping me off my feet. Mad because many of my friends have not mentioned Megan’s name in the last two years. I wanted to line them up like a firing squad and let them know how much that has hurt me…so couldn’t you just mention my girl once by name? Say her name. Remind me of some hilarious things she said…after all, she was oh so funny and made us all laugh. (This kind of grieving mom rage is why God did not put me in charge of any small countries or make me Queen of the Universe.)
Friday finally arrived, and after a six-hour morning of dealing with a programming nightmare on my website, I packed up to work eight hours at Sur La Table. The shift closed with my assigned task of cleaning the toilets, followed by a trek to my freezing car in zero degree Nebraska weather. On a dateless Friday night, I came in to a dark house, to be greeted by Megan’s King Charles Spaniel and Tea Cup Maltese. Dang, they love me, even though I felt like the morose screen writer for “It’s A Miserable Life.”
Stepping past their dancing joy, I wandered to a pile of business box deliveries and the day’s mail. Out of the corner of my eye was a large white envelope. The return address was The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
In a week where I felt angry and forgotten, as musician Joe Cocker’s lyrics eloquently say…
My baby…she wrote me a letter…
… to be continued