May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Different Kinds of Pain

The other day I found myself pondering pain and its many forms. For instance, there is the throbbing pain of a stubbed toe, the aching muscles which follow intense exercise, the short-lived smarting of a bump, the sharp bursts of a pinched nerve and then there are the less obvious pains. The emotional ones. The pain of regret, guilt or anger when fighting with a loved one, the aching of watching your children grow more independent, the black hole of grief after losing someone. I have experienced so many different kinds of pain resulting from grief. Some are too fleeting to remember and others become seared into my memory. There is the sting of seeing a child of the age and gender which my boys would be. Sometimes just seeing a happy family will do it. A different pain is felt at the cemetery, though that pain has changed through the years. I went almost daily after Wyatt's burial and each time I would be completely overcome for my child, weeping uncontrollably. That pain has dulled into an aching which occasionally fills my eyes. There is an unconscious pain often when looking at one or more of my girls. A reminder of the little boys that should be in our house with them. Sadness at not being able to see them as anything but babies. Every holiday these absences are felt stronger than other days. Sometimes that pain only fills a moment, others it overwhelms an entire day. Just like the physical pains of my life my emotional pains differ. It is sometimes possible to just throw it to the side with a simple four letter word, other times it lingers and throbs for hours and occasionally days. Unlike most physical pain, emotional hurts are often impossible to avoid and that's probably what hurts most.

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