The Cost of Love

November 19, 2021. It was a day like no other.

Every day since November 19, 2019, the day we lost our beloved 26-year-old son, brother and godson, marking time takes on a whole new significance after our loss.

By day’s end after posting the letter to my departed son, the outpouring of support and encouragement that I received from this blogging community was beyond what I could imagine. Your support, along with the support of a handful of family and friends in my life, has sparked an unanticipated strength that has helped me survive the sudden eclipse of my soul. Through this grief journey, you have given me faith that the sun, even though appearing dark, still shines light into our eyes. In science, this is a fact. In my pieced-together heart, this is a fact too. When the dreaded Friday arrived, I was hurt that a few family members, not to mention a number of “friends,” have disassociated with me. Nonetheless, I focused on the positive.

It was an auspicious morning. I rifled through my closet for something to wear and coincidentally pulled out the t-shirt pictured above.

“Faith does not make things easy

it makes them possible”

Later on, my daughter, my children’s godmother and I enjoyed a quiet late lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. Afterwards, we shopped for socks, but ended up purchasing a few additional food and practical items as if symbolizing the various forms of sustainment during our grief walk.

At day’s end, I was glad only our little trio gathered at the cemetery. Our unconditional love that we share made us comfortable and genuine. Standing at my son’s grave, out loud we effortlessly spoke our hearts. Our words of love, discontent, sadness, regret, guilt and the joyful opportunity of knowing him in our personal ways transformed into a meaningful elegy, resembling in many ways how our lives themselves have been molded in these last two years. It is incredulous to us still how so many irregular, broken pieces of our shattered lives have managed to create an artful mosaic.

Through streaming tears I realized, if I had skated through life unscathed as I always desired, I would not have been forced to live a life with wide open arms. In this life you take it all in. You feel deeply without numbing or canceling out the pain or heightening the joy. This, too, is the same life where you are lucky enough to own a cloak of love and support weaved by those to whom you matter.

That early evening at my son’s gravesite, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words resonated with me: “It is not the length of life, but the depth.”

My son lived a short life, but he was so much more than the demons in his head. He was compassionate and loyal. He was full of depth, insight and a sharp wit. He lived for purpose and passion and not for possessions. I only wish more people were fortunate enough to have met him — they missed out on knowing a superior human being.

“It is not the length of life, but the depth.”

When we three parted from him, we felt grief’s depth, the painful stretch of our marathon-trained souls. In life’s irony, we were like winners who had crossed the finish line.

Yesterday, on our daily walk, the neighbors’ dog raced across his yard to greet us. Our neighbor informed us that her dog isn’t friendly to strangers. “You must have a special aura,” she explained.

Among the many definitions, “aura” means, “a subtly pervasive quality or atmosphere seen as emanating from a person, place, or thing.”

Love is our aura. Loss has taught us the extent of love’s reach. It stretches to a point of excruciating hurt, ready to break but, defying logical odds, it digs in, roots firm.

If love is truly our aura, I cannot exclude loving the people who have abandoned us. Coincidentally, I started reading Cheryl Strayed’s national best seller, Wild. She writes that some people “scatter in their grief.” This concept pulls me away from feeling angry to coming to an understanding of the ones that we have lost along the way as a result of our loss. It is too much pain for them to endure.

Afterall, the price of love will shatter the femur of our hearts. The femur, BTW, is the only bone in the thigh and is the longest and strongest of all the bones in the body. The price is high. Our little tribe pays the cost. Like expert appraisers, no one can undermine what we have come to know as true value and we willingly pay the price.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

This Thanksgiving, although we will have an empty seat at our dinner table, it will not diminish my thankful and grateful heart and mind, thanks to all of you.

Faith Muscle

16 thoughts on “The Cost of Love

  1. E.A. Bucchianeri “So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love. Stacy i This is true at one level. But It is a purifying process at a sublime level as love transcends death. When ever I read your post, my residual mourning for my son Shyam gets completed. Hinduism believes in ” Vasudeva Kutumbhakam”which means The world is one family. I feel you are part of my family though I have not seen you! This is the power of faith and lover stacy dear!

  2. Love is our aura. Loss has taught us the extent of love’s reach. It stretches to a point of excruciating hurt, ready to break but, defying logical odds, it digs in, roots firm.

    So beautiful Stacy ❤

  3. I believe Marshall was crying tears from above – I read your post with tears in my eyes. I’m thankful that you had a gentler Anniversary of the Heart this year. It is hard to know how we will handle the devastation on the horrific calendar date that became the end of the life we once knew. I always found anticipating the day to be worse than the actual day.
    You made it through another year, Stacy. I hope you know that I am always holding you close and I do have faith that your heartache will ease into healing someday.

  4. Stacy, your words pierce my soul. The depth of grief to your depth of faith ~the shared journey of your tribe. The way you describe your journey should be of comfort to those who have gone through what you have. Each day, each step, each word you write, the prayers,…you are not alone. Although I do not live close, I feel you in my heart. You are loved. Thank you for allowing us into your heart and journey. The cost of love for you has been great. May faith and love continue to be your aura~and your strength. God bless you friend. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻

  5. Hi Stacy,
    Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!
    I am grateful that you spent the anniversary with people that mattered to you and Marshall. I am sure he heard and appreciated your words and love.
    The sweater you picked was perfect!
    Sending you love!!❤❤

  6. Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving Stacy. 🦃🍽🍗🥧 I’m so glad to see you holding steadfast to your faith. While it is tragic to feel such a void in your heart, I can empathize with your emotions, because our holidays this year holds such longing memories. But as your t-shirt says, “Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible.” God bless you and your family, not just on a day like this, but every day of your blessed lives. Demons won’t win! 🙏🏼✨

  7. Sending a giant hug to you Stacy. I can’t explain why people react this way…I think it is a matter of time. The more time that lapses without making contact, the harder it becomes for them to do it. Then when the gap is so very wide they are just too embarrassed (I speak from personal experience…unfortunately 😦
    Sending warm wishes during this holiday and hopes that your grief will allow you to breathe.

      • I know we all connect and there is always a message if you are willing to see it 🙂 I thank you, because you made me get out of my head and contact someone who got a very grim prognosis. The longer I waited…the harder it was to make the contact. I know how these things go and I don’t usually wait because I KNOW HOW THESE THINGS GO! So thank you, Stacy. I just hope you get exactly what you need in every moment…and that the people you need are there for you. The holidays can be so tough. Sending lots of love and light and wishes for peace! ❤

  8. So sorry an event was for a Mother whose son passed away in the age of 26 . Vary very sad moment . But we should not forget Emerson’s words when he rightly said that it is not the length of life but its depth of life is important . I went through your blog . Very painful . But thanks for your powerful expressions .

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