August 2012 I wrote an entry in this blog titled “These Three Words”. The three words are pretty simple and direct.
It gets better.
The story stemmed from an unexpected encounter I had with a woman who had just lost the love of her life. Her husband of nearly 30 years. It seemed her grief was getting the best of her so I told her “its gets better.”
Honestly, this journey is not for the faint of heart. I often find myself adding up the months, the years and sometimes the hours – since that night cancer sucked the life out of my only child. I watched her lay in bed and and struggle to breath.
I watched as the breathing became shallow
then more shallow
then not at all.
I laid beside her trying to talk her through the process of dying. Not that I have experience with these things but like a mom – as usual – I wanted to try to make it easier. I tried to comfort her with words – with the sound of my voice. She was not alone.
It was a night that is etched in my memory and will stay there until I reach the point where I am unable to think, remember and feel.
I look back and remember the day I spoke to the grieving woman. I can’t take back those three words I said to her because it’s true. I cry less. I am now able to talk about my child in complete coherent sentences without falling apart. In many of those conversations
I feel good talking about her.
And I love when people allow me to do so – to talk about her. Sometimes a brief chat can take the edge off a difficult day. Reminiscing is good therapy. And it feels so much better when it’s not done in solitude.
It really does get better. It just doesn’t go away.