In Memory of my daughter
Julie Ann Christiansen
April 8, 1976 - May 29, 2010
You come and visit again on days like this.
You know the date well because you always show up on this day. Always.
I know you.
I know your name.
I know all the thoughts and feelings that bring with you when you visit.
Sometimes you enter the door of my heart in bursts.
Yes, Grief, your short, unexpected visits are named ‘Grief bursts.’
Other times you come and visit and stay for days, longer than I would like you to stay.
But let me tell you something, Grief. While I am well acquainted with you and your visits, I have learned something about another visitor that makes you seem like a rather simple emotion.
The name of that other visitor to my life is
Bereavement is more complex than you are Grief.
Bereavement speaks of the tearing apart that was left in my soul, in my heart, in my body, in my family circle when my dear Julie left me.
Bereavement left me unable to function, to get out of bed, to cook a meal, to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other.
Bereavement left me feeling robbed. Yes, robbed. When I wonder just what my beautiful daughter would like like today on what would have been her forty-third birthday, I feel robbed.
I feel robbed when she isn’t here for family holidays, for special occasions, for memorable event.
I feel robbed when I can’t call her up and hear her voice. When I can’t hear her speak of her take on events, politics, movies, books, family matters, work, life, and love, I feel robbed.
And, more than that, I think of how she was robbed of a life that, “woulda, coulda, shoulda” been her's to live.