After Eli's diagnosis I turned to the church for help. More so for validation of my beliefs than anything. I needed to know that God was my Father and that he would care for me as a parent and that he could not be the one to have caused me so much pain. I found comfort there that day and I was also surprised. My priest called me holy for enduring to have endured and continue to endure such suffering for my tiny children.
As I grieve another death today I find myself thinking of these words differently. In my mind I picture a quilt, the most beautiful heirloom quilt built one square at a time over countless years. Each square is a memory, a story. Then I imagine one of those squares being violently torn from that beautiful quilt leaving only frayed threads behind and effectively destroying the quilt's carefully constructed framework. When I see that blanket it is impossible to see beyond that ragged gaping hole. The quilt cannot mend itself and it cannot be fixed without adding foreign material, things it has not known and is not comfortable embracing.
I imagine this is what grieving that death might be like. Having a person whom you have carefully constructed a life around, a person who is a constant presence in your life, your thoughts and your heart violently and suddenly ripped away. That hole must be all consuming and may even make you want to get rid of the quilt altogether. I imagine it would be something that I would put aside because I did not know how to even begin to mend such a precious item, nevertheless where to find suitable material with which to mend.
My losses have been different. My time with my sons was spent rubbing, talking and singing to an unknown being in my belly. I had only short minutes and hours in which to memorize the colors of their hair, their eyes, the feeling of their bodies and their sweet baby scents. I grieve the loss of what could have been more than what was. Yet I am holey. The holes in my quilt are tiny but significant.