As we have begun to return to our daily lives I find myself thinking about grief.  I love people.  I find them intriguing.  I love to watch them…listen to them…  Then I find myself in my own world filled with grief.  For those of you that know me or have been following me for a while, you know that one of my sweet nieces was diagnosed with brain cancer two and a half years ago.  She lost that battle last week.

She was such a wonderful girl and I think about the first time I met her.  It was the eve of her father’s wedding to my sister.  Boy were our kids all so little then.  We looked at pictures and I couldn’t believe how long ago that was!  She danced and played and laughed and smiled at that wedding and none of us had any idea what was to come.  Her hair had been done in this lovely up-do and she and her soon-to-be sister were dressed alike.  The girls are the same age.

Grief.  Lots and lots of people have told me they’re sorry for our loss since she passed away.  It brings tears to my eyes every time.  Not because of my loss but because of the loss of the children…her father and mother.  We haven’t all just lost a child.  We’ve lost a friend, a singing and dancing partner, a fellow game player, a secret sharer, a graduation, a wedding, Christmas’, Easters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, a whole life.  Stolen from her and from each of us but especially from her parents and her siblings.  It was stolen two and a half years ago though.  We’ve been quietly, silently grieving for years now and Kasey’s passing is somewhat of a relief.

Those last weeks she was in pain…terrible pain.  And our prayers turned from “heal her mighty God” to “take her home to be with you and release her from her pain.”

For a while after she was diagnosed we acted like nothing was wrong.  We went about our daily lives and pushed our fears down whenever they crept up.  After the second large tumor, reality started to set in but she was put on a series of drugs that gave us one more viable year.  She could still travel, go to school (most of the time), and hang out with her family and friends.  When the allowed time span for the meds was coming to an end though, it was time to face the truth and we refocused.  It was time to build memories.  It was time to do the lasts and that hurt so much.

The last time I went to visit her (I live half way across the country) before she passed away she told me that she had wanted to come to my house more than anything.  She had never been there.  I knew she wanted to come.  She had asked me to make it happen when she knew it was over.  She was upset one day and she texted me.  I told her I’d do anything I could and she said she wanted me to bring her here to my house.  She wanted to be here and we would pretend she wasn’t sick and do girlie things like get our nails done and shop.  She would lay in our hammock and watch our crazy chickens and nobody would treat her like she was sick.  I told her I would see what I could do.  But she got really sick and I had to go there instead and it was really hard to pretend.  She struggled with walking and other things.  I just wanted to hold her and protect her from what we all knew was coming.

I know from loosing other loved one that the pain,the grief isn’t over yet.  It never will be.  There are always days, times, moments when you need them, want them, reach for them.  There are seconds when you think you heard their voice and turn around only to remember that it can’t be her voice.  It’ll never be her voice again.

As so, what do you do with so very much grief?