No one told me the 14th year of grief might be one of the heaviest. What a random year.
I really can't put my finger on why. Maybe because my son is getting older and it's hard to grasp that he'll never get to meet his Uncle Will. Maybe it's that I've been so busy lately that I haven't let myself feel any of these emotions and they're just now boiling over.
The truth about grief is that it never fully goes away, it just goes out of focus. If you're new to the clue, I know that's not what you want to hear. I'm so sorry.
Grief changes your perspective on the world like a camera lens can change its perspective on its subject.
Sometimes grief is a distant memory, content to stay out of focus in the background of your view. As more time goes by, the distance grows wider and wider, but it's still there, blurred out in the background.
Your focus is on the life you're living today. You can see the grief if you look for it, but it doesn't affect you the way it once did. The pain isn't as sharp because neither is the image.
Then, every so often, your lens switches focus. The life you're living now gets a little blurry and your view is replaced with the cristal clear image of what was lost. The switch can happen suddenly, maybe brought on by an old memory or a familiar song. Sometimes you can feel the switch coming, like an approaching anniversary, but it still doesn't prepare you for the intensity of what you might feel.
The strange part is, you find yourself wanting to stay in this focus for a while, because the pain of remembering feels better than the worry of forgetting it completely.
Fourteen years of this grief going in and out of focus, and the only thing I can tell you is that Jesus is standing next to you regardless of what you can see in front of you. He weeps when you weep and takes joy when your pain begins to blur again.
He's felt it all, more so than we ever will, and he'll feel it again with you, however many times it takes until we're all reunited in his Sacred Heart.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us
"The Lord sometimes makes you feel the weight of the cross. Although the weight seems intolerable, you are able to carry it, because the Lord, in his love and mercy, extends a hand to you and gives you strength.”
-St. Padre Pio