Because now, it's been awhile, so you think, "Oh, sure, it was hard at first, but now time has passed and it's the circle of life, so yeah, I mean it's tough, but life keeps moving and besides, she's in a better place."

And you do keep going. And it's not so bad, most of the time, because the punch-in-the-gut feeling has faded and your initial shock is somehow integrated into your sense of daily living and you'll think about her time to time and smile as you walk by her photo each morning.

But it's tricky, your emotions, because you think you have them all figured out and under control and you can even start to believe that if you've rationalized it all to death then your emotions will surely be on board and in sync and fine, just fine.

But then, you let your guard down. And not even in a conscious, calculated way, more in a walking-into-Target-to-buy-a-fan-because-it's-hot-as-blazes-at-home kind of way. And it's Tuesday. So really there should be nothing more to worry about on a Tuesday except folding all your weekend laundry (finally) and whether or not you will allow yourself to indulge in ice cream (again).

And you're on your way out of the supermarket when just like that you smell popcorn, and you spot a sweet pepper-haired old woman and in the moment you know you're experiencing loss all over again, and immediately you squeeze your husband's hand and smile a little remembering smile.

And you think because you recognize it, call it out, then you will proceed to thoughts a-b-c and threat neutralized.

And then you're all surprised when you're in bed hours later, after a chat with a friend and a few episodes of The Office and living your Tuesday life, that when you close your eyes, you smell popcorn again and tears pop out and they just keep coming.

And you just can't stop thinking about how much you'd love to call her up right now and catch her up to speed and how she liked to clean out drawers when she couldn't sleep in the middle of the night and her chuckle when she was saying something a little bit ornery and how you don't think you'll ever take her number out of your phone.

And you grasp at the fragments as they float away into the summery shadows.


Sarah said...

thank for this sister. my father in law just passed away may 24th, and we know exactly what you are talking about, although in a bit rawer way given the shortness of time that has passed. hugs

jenny said...

Oh friend. Crying as I read your words...I remember that target story....what a popular lady!

Sara said...

Thanks you friends! You are the best.

Sarah--Thinking of you and so wishing we had a summer full of walks ahead of us. Love you and praying.

Jenny--I just love you and love that you remember that story! Thank you friend. :)

Austin & Terri said...

It's okay Sara, I cry all the time at moments that seem inappropriate or surprising. But then at the expected or obvious times my sorrow is no where to be found. I suppose emotion doesn't care one way or the other if reason is on board. Love you friend!

Sara said...

Thank you Terri. You are the best. I'm so lucky to be friends with you!

lauren said...

Bringing tears to my eyes, friend. I love hearing about her spark and singular her-ness. Love you & hope some sweetness will linger where the wisps of pain have passed.

Sara said...

Thank you Lauren! Love you too! :)