Okay, I’ve spent the day looking at many pictures from Pat’s and my past. What indescribable pain.
The night before Pat’s memorial services, all my extended family was gathered at my house (which is also my parents’ house) searching through my boxes of pictures for photos of Pat to display at the services. It was a huge family process that I could not partake in. Nieces, nephews, sisters- and brothers-in-law, brothers, sisters were all passing around stacks of photos to find Pat. I know that all of Pat’s brothers and sisters and extended family were going through the same process down in Kokomo.
So, almost all existing photos of Pat have been found and displayed already. Today, I went through the remaining pictures in the boxes and viewed my life with Patrick. The remaining pictures were full of Pat’s memory–our wedding, our children’s births, our vacations, our holidays, our children’s developments.
Our wedding pictures really struck me. I never put them in any special album, no scrapbooking pages. Our wedding pictures had a familiar backdrop to pictures I recently viewed. We were married at Little Flower Church with all our family and friends present. Pat’s funeral service was at Little Flower Church with even more family and friends.
There’s a picture of my Dad doing a New Testament reading at our wedding. Sixteen and a half years later there’s another picture of him doing a New Testament reading in the exact same spot, this time with the love and anguish of losing a newly-grown son.
At our wedding, Pat’s sister Mary and her children brought up the Eucharistic gifts. At Pat’s funeral, his children and I brought up the gifts. Most of his 41 nieces and nephews who dearly loved their “Uncle Pat” brought up daisies to place on his casket. I just now looked at pictures from Pat’s funeral. The suffering in the eyes of those who knew and loved him is tremendous for me. Now I’m crying for the grief felt by so many people.
My sister Annie called me tonight and I completely broke down to her when I heard her voice. Am I doing the right thing? Should I be looking at pictures? Am I experiencing the necessary feelings of the grief process or am I wallowing in grief? I know time heals. I also know that time erases. Does getting better mean that I will forget?!!! NOOOOO!!!
I’ve said that my kids have suffered enough. Do they need to see their mother deteriorating?! For their sake, I NEED to get better.
Looking through the pictures of my life with Patrick has certainly shown me that NOTHING stays the same. This season of autumn is telling me that every single day.
I’m scared of what winter will show me.