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Struggling with the Words

Remember me? I know I’ve been away from blogging for a while and although I’ve been jotting down my thoughts, I’ve also been struggling with the words. Not only what to say, but also having the time and the energy to say or share them. About a week ago, I caught some type of bug that has had me down for the count. I’m happy to report that I’m on the mend and feeling unbelievably better, thanks to some miracle drugs; one that is curing my infection and one that is helping me sleep without coughing.Kleenex Box

But there is another reason for my word lapse. Earlier this month, there was a death in my family. One of my brother-in-laws died unexpectedly and I’m still having a hard time believing he is gone.

He had been a huge part of our family for more than 50 years, and many of my memories include him. Family was important to him, especially the family he shared with my sister, whom he loved and cherished in a way few people ever get to realize. Together they raised seven lovely daughters, who over the years added five amazing men to their numbers, and also nine grandchildren.

It was the first time in nine years that all my siblings were together. The last time had been for a funeral too. So we came together from across the miles, along with hundreds of extended family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to celebrate my brother-in-law’s life. We also came to share our love and condolences, and to reminisce. We told many hilarious stories of his practical jokes and antics, his ability to drive people crazy, as well as his ability to fix just about anything. He was a one-of-kind character and I can’t imagine there ever being anyone like him. As you can imagine, the weekend was full of hugging, and laughter, and tears.

Although our family is rather large by anyone’s standards, when one person dies, it leaves a gaping hole that isn’t easily mended and one that cannot be replaced. I think that it is true in any size family.

When I was young and my mother died, I didn’t understand all the laughter and joy that I saw people experiencing at her funeral. I couldn’t understand how people seemed to be going on with their lives, seemingly oblivious to the pain and brokenness that my siblings and I were experiencing. But that is exactly what happens. The world keeps on spinning and people, especially those not directly impacted by the loss; go on with the business of living. Even those who are grieving need to go on. Even when it seems impossible and when the future looks so different than what had been imagined.  

And although it isn’t often a topic people want to discuss, death is something we all share and something we’ll all experience firsthand someday. An unexpected death should remind us all that we truly do not know the day, or the hour when it will be our time to say good bye. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to say goodbye. But that often is not the case, as it was with my brother-in-law. Death should also remind us not to hold back. Say the words. Whatever words you’ve been meaning to say. Say them. Speak your words of love and forgiveness and affection. Speak them often. Take the time. Make the call. Send the note. And know that you too are important in the fabric of your family. We all are.


8 comments on “Struggling with the Words

  1. dianescheurell
    March 26, 2013

    I have noticed your absence. I missed you and your words of wisdom. Welcome back, even though you may not feel like being back. I will pray for your family. Much love, Diane

    • spencedaniel2012
      March 27, 2013

      Diane, thank you for missing me and my words. That is so sweet. Thank you also for your prayers for my family. They are truly appreciated.

  2. Leslie
    March 27, 2013

    I’m struggling for words as well. We are taking it a day at a time and counting our blessings. You are truly a blessing to me.

    • spencedaniel2012
      March 27, 2013

      Leslie, you are a blessing to me as well. You always have been and always will be. I’m surrounding you (and the whole family) with my love and hugs and blessings too. Please stay well. xo

  3. “Struggling With Words” really does cover it doesn’t it? . . . One of a Kind. . . THAT was John. We’ve talked before about how the understanding of words change in times of great happiness and great sorrow . . . if they were fortunate enough to know him, some people are understanding ‘love’, ‘commitment’, ‘legacy’ and ‘hilarity’ at an entirely different level with his passing. Love you, Christine

    • spencedaniel2012
      March 27, 2013

      Christine, your words and love understanding are so appreciated. Your presence throughout the weekend was a comfort and a joy. I’m so glad you were able to be there too. Love you always.

  4. Given
    April 1, 2013

    What a beautiful reflection Sue. I’m touched. I love you. Xo.

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2013 by in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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