Wash Out Your Heart

Dear Patrick, 

It’s November 5 which is not a significant day or so I thought this morning.  Birthdays have passed for this year.  Holidays are just beginning to loom.  Today shouldn’t matter at all- except it did. 

Today was All Saints Day at our church.  You know that day every year where they show all the names of the members who died the previous year.  Your name wasn’t there.  It was there last year- but not this year. It’s been 15 months it wasn’t supposed to be there- I know this in my head.  My heart felt differently. 

Strangely enough this All Saints Day was more painful, more gut wrenching and heart breaking than seeing your name on the screen last year.  Today, the tears exploded out of my eyes the minute the names came up on the screen and by the time they were done I literally could not see.  The ball of sadness, the chains of overwhelming grief and the  heaviness overtook me in sheer seconds.  

I could hear you telling me that I’ve been through the hard part, I’ve learned to live this life, I’ve climbed out of the darkness and am so much better than I was this time last year.  I could hear you telling me that I’m doing a good job with the kids, that you’re proud of me for what I’ve accomplished professionally and you’re happy that love, laughter and Jesus continue to permeate our home.  

None of that mattered today.  As I dissolved into a mess of tears, as Mollie reached back and squeezed my hand I only thought of you.  I thought of your 41 years- so well lived and full of love yet so damn short.  The unfairness of it all came back to me in deep, powerful waves that made me so weary I could hardly move when the service was over.  

Grief never ends.  It’s never over.  It’s never easy.  I wrote these words to you today with tears still flowing as I try to find some sort of understanding in this mess of emotion.  I don’t know that there is an answer, a meaning, a reason.  I’m not even sure why I’m writing this today- I just know my words needed to flow along with my tears.  

Happy All Saints Day in Heaven honey, 


“Have a good cry, wash out your heart.  If you keep it inside it will tear you apart.”

One thought on “Wash Out Your Heart

  1. Heather, emotion is a strange relief – I can’t imagine yours, as mine FOR you – and the kids – that has been that roller coaster wave in the past 15 months. While at the joyous occasion of Allen and Rachel’s engagement party it was a bit overwhelming for several of us remembering the last time we were there at the same beautiful venue for Katie and Gibson’s rehearsal dinner. Patrick was there – sitting in the same overstuffed chair that was still there ..we all basked in the memory-and for a moment – time stood still – then – as life – we were drawn back into the reality of the moment – of why we were there again on this new and happy occasion – once again – and it seemed to draw into perspective that life does go on – and what a fabulous job you have done with the circumstances – and portrayed through your life – and blog. We, as family members , had the tribal council meeting right then and there ..and voted you the strongest, most spiritual and rooted member of our clan to date. Just thought you should know how you/ we stand at this point. Not only is Patrick proud and amazed at the job you’ve done – your cousins are, as well !!.. GODSPEED, little cousin – GODSPEED !!..


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