"God bless the people who are suffering from broken hearts. If not for love,there would never be the broken heart. Let them remember the joy from the love they had."
It struck me that grief of any kind is due to the loss of love; often the more we loved, the greater the pain when it's lost. But how great is it that we had that love! And must we really lose it? Even with a divorce, we can still keep the part of our heart that grew because of our love. If we have children, we have beautiful miracles that came from that love. It's a shame that so many people only remember the worst in their ex's instead of remembering with gratitude, the love they once shared.
Friday night I went to Craig's wake and Saturday was the funeral. I've known for months he was planning all the events surrounding his death. He was a bit like a kid planning a big surprise party. I'd seen the gorgeous book he'd had presented to his kids, full of photos and stories of his life. He even got the idea of the Hallelujah song he made for them from the recording of the song I'd made at my 50th birthday party!
I spent the night at the Quality Suites in Evergreen with 25 members of his family that had come in from out of town. I remembered their names from what I call "Craig's List"... the list I used when I'd made the recording for a Thanksgiving surprise and they knew my name as well.
The Mass was the next day, Saturday, and then one final gathering and celebration back at the hotel.
How wonderful it was to share this common love we all had for Craig. Hearing the stories and memories was such a comfort. People would talk about how he "spoke with his eyes"; they'd reiterate that same spirit of determination and vitality that I was so inspired by; they'd talk about his faith; and most especially, they talked about the love of his children.
The deacon encouraged us to tell the stories over and over. He joked, speaking to one of the kids, saying "Ten years from now, you'll hear your sister starting to tell a story and you'll think, 'here we go again!' But keep telling them. When you grow up and have kids, tell them about your Daddy and when they grow up they'll tell their kids. As long as you tell the stories, you'll keep him alive."
I've been wondering if I've written too much about grief lately. I want this blog to be all about love -- inspiring and happy...not depressing. But, again, grief and love are related.
I learned so many lessons about love from Craig, so my posts about him are not over yet. As the deacon advised, I will be telling the stories often. He may be gone, but I am so keeping that love alive.