So says a little nick-nack that my mother and I found together last summer at a boutique. We had laughed so hard over it, she insisted that I had to have it. Sometimes I agree with those words-- and I feel so blessed to be able to love my family from a distance. At other times, however, I would give anything to live near my family and be daily a part of their crazy lives. This past week was one of those times.
On Wednesday, my cousin passed away. She died as a result of a severe automobile accident on her way home. Her sister had driven by it and had remarked that, "Whoever was in that car could not have lived." It was true. A team of over 500 people (in one capacity or another) had worked so hard to save my cousin's life. She had never regained consciousness, however, and although it was a miracle that she held on as long as she did, my cousin died a day later while on life support. In truth, she would probably not have wanted to live if she could have.
The loss was still difficult. While we had grown apart in later years, my cousins and I had all grown up more like siblings than extended family.
Today, we laid to rest our departed loved one's body. I had not been in our family's old church in seven years, but it still felt like home. The memorial service was extremely touching. There was so much laughter mixed with tears, in remembering the beautiful, vivacious, independent, tomboyish girl we all loved and missed. She was not remembered with rose-coloured glasses, but the honesty of being able to admit who she had been brought much comfort. It was one of the most beautiful, uplifting funerals I have ever experienced.
I am still, however, in a state of shock. It keeps hitting me in small waves what has happened. The grief is not over. The hardest part of all of this was not receiving the news of her death, nor was it the funeral and burial. No, the most challenging aspect of our loss to deal with will be tomorrow morning, when we wake up and real life will begin again... without her in it.
It is in times like these when I wish with all of my heart that my Husband and I did not live so far away from my family. I have been holding much anger in my heart against him for this very reason. While I adore our new home, while my Husband's new job is extremely prestigious, and while I am glad that we at least live near one of our families, I hate it all. I would trade it all in an instant to be a 'country girl' again. I try not to tell this to my Husband, though. I do not want him to feel down over his success-- or do something stupid about my hidden feelings. No, I try to be a good wife. But I have to find a better way to change the resentment.
I do not deal with grief very well, either. Instead, I tend to pull away and shut down emotionally. I do not lean upon him as he would like. I scowled at my Husband this afternoon when he remarked-- after I lamented that I've probably cried over the past two days more than in the past 10 years-- that it barely makes up for them.
Well, life has been changed forever... It's time to get with the program and change my life along with it.