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I Still Need Holding Up

I still need holding up.

Not like it was in the beginning. Not all the time anymore. But I still need it.

I still know that there are times I cannot do this grieving thing alone and yet, as time goes by and lives continue and the busy gets busier, I find the circle of people standing beside me, ready to hold me up gets smaller and smaller.

And it should. That's how it needs to happen. Trust me, this isn't on them at all.

See, when tragedy first strikes it's actually those furthest out from the strike zone that are the strongest to hold things together. The closer the relationships get to the one who passed away, the weaker they are.

In my case, my daughter died. I couldn't expect my other daughter to hold me up - her sister had just died. I couldn't expect my parents to hold me up - their granddaughter just died. I couldn't expect my sister or brothers to hold me up - their niece just died. I couldn't expect my cousins to hold me up - their relation just died. Her friends were grieving, her teachers were grieving, her coaches were grieving, her teammates were grieving.

We were all a mess.

So it was this outer ring of protection -- co-workers, neighbors, people in the church, community members, old classmates from school, even strangers on the internet -- they were the strength that held it together so they could hold us when we couldn't stand.

But now that the example of how to hold strong during a storm has been given - now that the lesson has been taught, it is time for them move on.

One by one we each got stronger. That, too, has a certain cadence to it. The furthest ones out recover first. The closer the relationship to the deceased, the harder it is to heal.

It was as if every one was suddenly stricken down, paralyzed in one fell swoop... but some of us managed to sit up in a wheelchair, and some got crutches before others... and soon some dropped their crutch and steadied their walk back into the world way before the others... we were - are - all in various stages of literally picking ourselves up and walking back among the normalcy of this life. (Whatever that means.)

There are times though, when I still feel like I'm laying on a piece of cold concrete all by myself, in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, during a thunderstorm. And I can't get my legs to work. And I can't get my voice to speak (because I wouldn't know what the words should be that would make anyone understand). And all I see is everyone around me skipping happily off into the distance - making phone calls and responding to texts, laughing at tv shows or getting a haircut that has to happen today and can't possibly wait until Monday, when the deep sorrow of a Mother's Day without has passed.

Yes, I still need holding up. Or else I just need to be okay laying here for a bit until I have enough energy to do it on my own.

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