Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Ripple Effect
Sitting within the epicenter of profound loss, I've noticed that the impact of that tragedy can be far reaching and unforeseen.
Many of the negative effects have been fairly predictable while others have not. Our kids' loss of innocence and fears could have been anticipated, but the same worries have also permeated the homes of cousins on my husband's side of the family and some of the kids' friends in the neighborhood, on their teams and in school. These kids now know in a real way that mommies and daddies can die. Friends of mine have either stepped up or, more often than not, stepped away not knowing how to deal with the new Peg...tired, sad, negative and consumed by the complexity of this new life. The strain on relationships within my family has been unpredictable and I think many people would be surprised to know how this tragedy has in many ways caused additional loss and pain in our family rather than bringing us together. This has definitely not been an after school special where everything is tide up in a nice bow at the end of the hour.
Positive things have come from the accident. Many people have come up to me to tell me how Jeanne and Mike's lack of planning have made them write a will and make financial plans for their family's future. The county has investigated how they can change things on the road where the accident happened, so cars can't cross over lanes and similar accidents can be avoided. One of Jeanne's friends actually quit her job to spend more time at home with her children. Numerous people have come together in the last two years to help our family and this makes them feel good about themselves. In talking about our loss with people openly and directly, I hope I have helped others understand how to approach people going through loss and what NOT to say. Strangely (from my perspective at least), people have told me that seeing me and our nuclear family go through this and still get on with life, laughing and loving each other, has reaffirmed their faith and given them hope.
The loss has given me this blog.
A terrible accident caused a giant splash in our little world. Circular waves of both positive and negative exploded from the surface impact. As time passes, the ripples have slowed and diminished in force...causing people to forget, feel better, move on. I still feel stuck in the loss. Rather than moving on with the currents, I'm tied to the pain which pulls me downward below the surface. The accident permeates my thoughts each and every day. Flashes of memory. Wondering if they were in pain and knew what was happening. Imagining what the girls must have felt when we told them. Wishing I can turn back time.
I sink beneath the weight of grief. I wonder if and when this will end. My love for my sister sometimes makes me wish it won't.