My Family is too Familiar with Loss

Shelley and Freeman Erickson

“You will lose someone…, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss…. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up…. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott

In a tragic series of events, I lost both my aunt and uncle-in-law this week. My mother, the dearest person to my heart (after Athena of course), has now lost three siblings and a brother-in-law; my grandparents have lost three children and a son-in-law. No parent should have to suffer that type of loss. It is heartbreaking. My tears have only dried up from a previously devastating blow to my family where we lost two other family members in the same week and tragedy is upon us again.

I am grieving with my family yet I can’t be with them. I can’t protect them from the pain or wash away their tears. I can’t hold their hands or hug them tight. I have never felt so alone yet I’m surrounded by people. I find myself doing the most normal, every day things and I can’t hold back my tears, but my cousins are left with a much greater pain. They not only lost their parents, but their providers, their friends, their support system…

My three cousins, all in their 20s, are now left with the responsibility of carrying on without their parents. Growing up, we were all part of a larger community. Families supported each other and stood together in times of happiness and times of sadness. My cousins are like brothers and sisters; my aunts and uncles like parents. It is that sense of community and family that has shaped me into the person I am today. It has made me feel like I’m never truly alone.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday and I will not be posting until after that date. My heart is heavy. The scars are deep.

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73 thoughts on “My Family is too Familiar with Loss

  1. I’m sorry for your loss. Although it will continue to be difficult, I do hope that you eventually find the comfort that you need to make it through this period. You and your family are in my thoughts. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and your family, your mother, grandparents, cousins. I know there are no words that can give you comfort, but maybe the thought of knowing others are thinking of and praying for you will bring you some small measure of comfort. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

      • I know that you would not ask for donations unless they were absolutely needed. Your integrity and character shines through your blog. I only wish I could help out more. If you ever just want to chat (and I mean this sincerely) you can contact me through Facebook. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • They truly are in need. My cousin has a five year old son. She relied heavily on their income and support. She needs to stay strong for him even though her pain must be deep.

          I appreciate your offer. Thankfully I’m with Darren and Athena this week so they have been helping me through the ups and downs but that doesn’t mean I’m on the other side of grief. It will take time.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. My only sister died at the age of 26. She was three years my junior. I’m now 70 and she continues to come to my mind every day in some form or another. I recently lost my mother and though she lived to be 92, she too will be missed,She has now joined my sister in my thoughts. Time does heal the pain, but the little space in your heart will be there forever. You and your entire family are in my prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Regardless of age, it adds holes in your heart when you lose someone. I’m grateful for my memories with my aunt and hope that they fill the empty spaces of my heart. You are a beautiful soul; I bet your mother and sister were both lovely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It doesn’t make sense to me either, Karen. All I can do is continue to be grateful for the time that I have with my family.

      Thank you for your donation. I believe that kindness is rewarded with kindness.

      I hope your day is filled with happiness and joy. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. When I experienced the loss of my mother. i can remember looking out of the window of my house, watching the world go by and thinking ‘my world has stopped.’ Feeling so alone and so separate to everything and everyone in my grief.
    My thoughts are with your family Lesley at this tough time.
    The words that sit on my fathers tombstone are: Never say in grief you are sorry he is gone. Always say with thanks that you are grateful he was here.
    I . hope at some point these words will hold meaning for you and your family, as you grieve the loss you are experiencing and at the same time, remember all the happy times and love you all had together. Take care.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you!

      I always knew that I would have to make difficult decisions when I moved across the continent but I assumed I would still be able to make it home during the extreme ups and downs. This has taken a toll on me that is difficult to explain.

      After a few days of anger and asking “why?”, I’m starting to let the good memories creep back in. I had so many with both of them. There are stages of grief and I am still in the beginning.

      I hope the memories of your mother stay with you for the rest of your life.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Emptiness step’d into Light
    remov’d the shadow from her soul
    hung it over our hearts

    we watch’d and wept
    at a half life
    his whole life

    we wonder’d why?
    when we knew why
    but wish’d we did not

    he was a palette of smiles
    who paint’d the world
    who suffer’d quietly into night

    and while we fight time to forget
    we only remember more
    ‘tis what we really want

    I wrote this after the death of a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends. Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. As you grieve the loss of two exceptional people in your life….also celebrate the lives of these two people who meant so much to you and those who were honored enough to know them and be touched by their presence here on earth. God Bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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