Friday, January 13, 2012


I'm at the cemetary picking up the weatherbeaten Christmas wreath I placed on my husband's marker weeks ago and I spy four empty Heinekein bottles lying in a puddle of water on a nearby marker.

My, my...What do we have here?

I'd like to think it was someone's birthday and four friends or relatives came to celebrate, sing and raise one for their family member or friend.

Or maybe one person came and had a good time drinking four beers while talking and singing to their loved one.

Either way the empty beer bottles don't bother me at all.  At another location, people would regard the Heinekein bottles as trash and would be annoyed to find them laying the grass as litter.  Not me.  Other than creating work for the people who work at the cemetary, I like that people have been here, drinking beer, visiting someone they miss a lot and continuing with their rituals.

It is possible that a person or people were here drinking beer because they missed this person so much that they wanted to numb their sorrow.  I totally get why you would want to do that.  It is soooo tempting yet so short sighted.  I remember the day of my husband's funeral.  All I really wanted to do was drink martinis all day until I couldn't feel anything.  But numbing yourself won't get you anywhere.  It doesn't help you heal or work to get you in a good place in the long run.  When you come out of your haze, nothing's changed.  The person is still gone and the pain is still there, waiting for you to work it out.

Whether we like it or not, loss is a part of life and grief is a totally natural response to loss.  When people loose someone they love very much, they don't know what to do when their special days come along.  Some decide they will be closest to the person at the cemetary so they go to the cemetary to be close with the person, to hang out and mark a day that was special to them when they were alive.

There is no truth to the saying, "Out of sight. Out of mind."  The physical absence of someone doesn't mean  you stop thinking about that person when they die or that your need to feel close to them at particular times of the year also stops when they die.  I know someone who still bakes a cake on her father's birthday even though he died years ago and we still hang my husband's Christmas stocking on the  fireplace right beside the others.

We all have our rituals to ease the pain and they are precious.

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