June 30, 2014

Grieving In Moments. ~ Jaimee Guenther


You came into my thoughts as I willed myself to reach slumber.

I knew it was you because it hit me like a bag of rocks. Vision behind my eye lids brightened and your name scrolled across my thoughts.

At first I felt anger and reality that you were gone. It wasn’t just another long winter without seeing you; I couldn’t look forward to a rendezvous on your beach at the lake. This time of year is always a hard reality in the lack of your presence. The days are growing longer, the nights are growing warmer, the mosquitoes are getting faster and the sun is getting hotter.

You are really gone and that reality won’t set in. It doesn’t seem real. I hate that it is real and I can’t grasp it! I get heated and anxious about the hard truths until I realize that you really aren’t gone completely. This moment before sleep hits me, you are there. You actually came bursting into my thoughts with a flash.

My anger dissipates and a calming feeling washes over me. This proves that you are there. You are walking me through these bites of reality and guiding me to reach calmness. In this fight for sleep, I made great progress. I lay there thinking of all the special moments that you are a part of and it brings me intense comfort.

You are in that moment when I finish reading a really good book. A novel was always near you and you loved to share your good reads with those close to you. I make sure to always take a calm and quiet moment, when I close the back cover and breathe in the satisfaction. I like to ponder the journey that the book took me through, basking in its completion.

You are there.

On a crisp evening when the fall hits and, even though I dislike the cold, I sometimes like to stand and take a deep breath, clear and long. That moment when I let my breath out slowly through my mouth to watch it billow away into the clean air, you are there.

You are in those beams of sunshine coming through the trees. They are the only photos that one can capture exactly as the eye can see, sometimes even more enhanced. You took many of these photos during your time with us and they are now treasured by your loved ones. Whenever I see those rays shining through, I think of you. You are in those moments.

You are in that first sunburn of the year. Giggling with worry as I poke my red skin to see how white it turns. That first outing in the spring sunshine always catches me after a long winter, forgotten sunscreen and the joy of sun on my skin. As unhealthy as it sounds, that first sunburn is a sign of hope. Of a bright and warm summer ahead, of an amazing tan to come! You know my thoughts on this and you are in that moment.

You are in specific deep breaths of mine.

When I become agitated by the thought of your passing, I entertain the pondering and the pain. A point is always reached when it becomes unbearable or I’ve done enough grieving in that moment. So I take a few deep breaths.

You are in that moment when my breath reaches all the nooks and crannies of my thoughts. You are with that breath as I let it out.  It’s a welcomed feeling; open, fresh and clean and I know you’ve assisted in that.

I’ve been practicing being present in life more—appreciating what we have, not worrying about the future or stressing about the past. I’ve been taking inventory of my surroundings more often.  I’ve always been one to stop and smell the roses but as life gets busier, those moments start to dissipate. I’m realizing now that you are in many of my moments of being present.

Even though you are gone, you are still present in these moments. It’s a beautiful comfort that I will hold onto as I continue to grieve.

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Editorial Apprentice: Hannah Harris / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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Jaimee Guenther