Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Time to Mourn

December 31, 2005

Today I visited Dennis’ grave. After nearly four years, I finally mustered up the courage to return to that wind-swept graveyard that holds too many memories.

I drove straight to his grave, and stepped out onto the dry, brown grass. A Christmas wreath sat atop the headstone that bears his name next to my mother’s. But next to his name there are two dates.

And suddenly, I couldn’t handle it. I stood in the cold and sobbed. And I stomped my feet. And I railed again at the unfairness of it all. The unfairness of a life that ended too soon. The unfairness of our now fragmented family. The unfairness of all of that pain threatening to explode out of my chest. The unfairness of another year without the only man who has ever loved me completely and without condition.

And then, just as quickly as it began, it ended. The sobs stopped, I took a deep, shuddering breath and let the wind dry the tears on my cheeks. I touched the rough gray stone with my cold fingers, then walked back to the car. I didn’t look back. I didn’t need to. Part of my heart was still there.

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