Letters to Taylor: On Loss
Life has been so strange this week without you here. On Monday, I thought that perhaps once we laid your body to rest at the cemetery, I would feel like we could find a “new normal.” I’d heard others who have lost loved ones use that term before. It seemed that the fog we had entered in the last few weeks of your life might start to lift. I was wrong. It has only thickened with each passing day.
One of my dear friends who lost her husband years ago had texted me and said she will touch base in a few weeks. “Because life will go on for everyone else and you’ll still be wading through concrete.” I can see how she is right about that.
Your brothers and sisters didn’t want to go to school today. We are all exhausted and it seems it has been years since you left us while it was only been 9 days. I was tempted to crawl back into bed once everyone was off to work and school, but since I had coached and texted the kids to try to harness their energy and thoughts into focusing on what must be done, I figured I should take my own advice.
I have a large list of things to do and many more issues to think through but accomplishing any of it seems completely overwhelming. There are things that no one talks about when you lose a loved one.
Things like the lone bag of clothes you were wearing when you died just sitting in the back corner of the funeral home when we arrived for the viewing. Things like sobbing brothers and sisters who are met with the reality of life without you when they see your body lying in a casket at the front of the room. Things like folding your clothes fresh out of the dryer and moving to put them away in your drawers, only to realize that they won’t be needed ever again.
There are simple, everyday tasks that have really made your mama reflect this week. I opened the mail to find an insurance claim rejection deeming your last hospital visit as medically unnecessary. I came to the cemetery to see if your temporary nameplate was posted and instead, I found deer and the remains of your sister wreath. (I had to wonder if you told those hungry deer to have at it.)
While I was sitting here at the cemetery writing to you, I heard a car approaching. In an effort not to block the road, I started the van, only to hear the obnoxious honk of an impatient driver who felt her need to pay respects to the dead was more urgent than mine.
The truth is that life is just as unfair as it was when you left. I’m so glad you are in Heaven, but I’m sorry we must do life on this earth without you. It’s not going to be easy; I’m so grateful we have Jesus. His grace and strength will see us through as it always has.
For today, I will hug longer, smile sweeter, talk kinder, and pace slower. Maybe a few others will join me in seeing the importance of those seemingly small values and a movement to shift the unfairness of the world can be made visible.
I love you. But more than that, I especially miss you.