Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Year One--Year Two

Monday, January 9, 2012
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Year one is standing on the sidewalk enjoying a beautiful day.  You’re holding a glass vase that means the world to you.  Someone comes along, and with no explanation as to why you are picked, takes the vase away from you and throws it in the air.  Confused, you watch as the vase sails upward.

People walk by and see you without your vase.  They try to say the right things and ask questions about how you’re doing, but you can’t concentrate on the conversations.  You’re too busy watching your vase in the air.  Friends also stop by and tell you to go to a movie.  “Come on, it will take your mind off the vase.  You shouldn’t just stand looking in the air all day. It’s not healthy.”  But you wouldn’t dare leave the sidewalk.  You can still see the vase rising in the air.  You know it’s gone, been taken away from you, but you can’t seem to take your mind off of what is no longer yours. 

Slowly, people stop coming by.  Those who do, bring up how much time has passed.  They might even suggest it’s time to buy a new vase.  “You looked so good having one.  You really should get another one.”  But all you can do is watch the only one you loved sail in the sky.  You’re emotionally frozen, wondering how much longer this will stay in the air.

Year two is the vase hitting the ground and smashing into a thousand pieces.  You stand looking at shards of glass everywhere.  Your mind tries to make sense of the disarray.  Maybe if you look fast enough, you can mentally see how all the pieces fit back together and it will somehow get your old life back.

At some point, a defeatist realization hits you that the vase is impossible to put back together.  You walk inside your house to get a broom and dustpan.  You come back out and stand there, trying to figure out where to start.  A couple of months go by holding the broom and dustpan and doing nothing else.  Feeling overwhelmed, you want to go back inside and sleep.  Yet, you know, as long as shattered glass is out here, it impedes your ability to move without sustaining more and more cuts.  

Not knowing where to start, you put the broom to the floor and start sweeping.  You gather up pile after little pile, your arms ache from the constant movement of trying to clean this mess.  You get on one knee to sweep up a little pile of brokenness into the dustpan.  A friend happens to walk by and says, “Hey, it’s been well over a year.  Life pretty much back to normal?”  Still on one knee, you look around and wonder why your friend can’t see all of the pieces that need to be picked up.  You look back up at him and with a tear in your eye, shake your head no.  He shrugs his shoulders and walks off, never even asking if you need help with the mess. 

You get back up and continue sweeping.



Matt, that was beautiful!!

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