What’s Left Behind …

Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars—show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open, too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you.

Today is the 8 month mark of losing Bryan and the reality stays with me more than the shock and numbness that I knew, which gave me some time to just ‘be.’ But, there are new realities that I am learning. There is still heartbreak and denial and an out of body-ish-ness that fills me up, but there is also beauty, love, and breathtaking moments that cause me to stop and say, “Thank you.”

Bryan is physically no longer here and I miss his laughter, his smile that took my breath away, and his kindness. Oh, how I miss that. Bryan reminded me to be more gentle and kind toward everyone. He saw the best in people, even at their worst.

I find I am understanding more about the preciousness of life and how each moment is filled with beauty that I had not noticed before. Saying, “I love you” over and over again to my sons, my husband, my dear family, nieces, nephews-in-law, cousins, and friends has become not a mantra, not a meaningless saying, but a truth that I am compelled to share as often as I can. Life can be fleeting, unexpected things can happen that take out the very heart of you and rebuilding your heart, allowing the cracks to heal, to build a protective covering over what is lost, it is these cracks in my heart, the cracks that are in everything that I know, it is there that I discover, “That’s how the light gets in’ (Cohen, L. 1992). And it is this light, the light of love, that I find I turn to in times of deep sorrow.

Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes  
And hurt, I know you’re hurting, but so am I
And, love, if your wings are broken   
Borrow mine ’til yours can open, too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you

People continue to reach out to me, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, cousins, friends of those who are battling the disease of addiction. I am honored that they trust me with their stories, but I feel less than qualified to offer anything more than my deepest sympathy and the promise that if they need help, an ear, a shoulder, I will be there.

What I do know is that tomorrow is not guaranteed, we all have today, the present, and it is this moment that we need to embrace. Regretting the past, worrying about the future, none of it matters. Anger, resentments, frustrations, they get me nowhere. It’s this moment that matters, it is only now that I have and holding these moments in my heart are the only way to honor Bryan. And honor him, I do.

Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you
(Rachel Plantten, 2017)


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