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Painful Anniversary

Certain pain never really abdicates your heart, it merely recedes its insidious tendrils. You try valiantly to resist the urge to cry suddenly, chalking it up to weakness, fear, and lack of fortitude. But eventually, you stop pretending to be made of steel, and succumb to your feelings reluctantly. The sobbing is stifled first, barely audible gasps caught in an aching throat worn raw from all the anguished shouting. Your breathing grows laborious as you struggle to maintain a semblance of dignity, fighting to continue gulping air greedily before the current of gargantuan emotion inevitably overtakes you. Your entire being is racked with raw, unfiltered pain, resonating through the vast, cavernous expanse once occupied by your soul. Your heart yearns maddeningly for what youve lost, reaching out constantly, vainly in all directions, before settling down into reluctant acceptance. The piece of you that was stolen by cruel, harsh life will never return, nor will anything of substance recover enough to occupy the vacancy that has forced itself into your waking life. You will re-emerge from the murky depths, rest assured. The human spirit, though fragile, is also unimaginably strong. But you will never be whole again, forever broken, always searching for what the malevolently natural ending of life has stolen from you. You will always be scarred, and there is little consolation in that fact. But you will endure, especially since you have no other choice. As surely as the clouds roam through the black void of the night sky, so to will you drift through the darkness. The bitter embrace of polarizing cold will enull the frayed nerve endings of your heart, protecting you from further torment, preparing you for the moment that the scalding embrace of love will surture those scabbing, festering wounds shut permanently.  Ive been here, as have many. Take heed my friend, life goes on, and you will live yet.

Its been 5 years since that dreadful day, and simply visualizing her face, mentally enjoying her presence, is enough to topple me, instantly disintegrating my facade of toughness and stoic reserve. Even now as I pen this, my chest is tightening, and in the fogged car mirror I can see the glistening of burgeoning tears dancing over my eyes. Not a day goes by that my heart doesnt scream for you agonizingly, burdening me with the role of vigilant caretaker to a sensitive child. Or maybe Ive just grown to hard from my years in the military. Im sentimental and emotional by nature, and that will never change, I refuse to allow it. Yet Ive learned from necessity that the compartimentalization of certain feelings and thoughts is essential to survival. Ive come to realize, however, that trying to remain pragmatic and objective in the face of such profound loss is cowardice masked as power. There is no strength or pride to be found in neglecting ones emotional well being, especially regarding one so special and integral to my development as a man. Id essentially be denying my love for my gracious Grandmother. Dealing with the grief is not easy, as it effects me so deeply and completely half a decade later. But Im getting better. I know that she has shed this falliable mortal coil and departed this wretched, disgusting world for a setting more fitting a woman of her stature, station and character. I long to touch her again, to experience the favor of an angel once more. These may be fantastical pipe dreams at present, but I know shes with me. As a Christian, Im ashamed to admit that, while my faith doesnt falter, I sometimes eschew my confidence in seeing her again in favor of caving to my moroseness, craving to hold her in the flesh for one more day. Selfish I know, but we are all human. The pain ebbs and flows, and I ride the waves, forever reaching for the shore towards reunification.

After the last pulses of bittersweet nostalgia have passed through me, I lay feeling relieved. Another year has passed by, yet it still feels like you never left. Your presence hangs over all of us, a certain thickness in the air, the slightest provocation triggering your beloved reveries. In the heat of battle, my demons grasping me by the throat, threatening to stifle, smother and suffocate me with my own grief, I can be forgiven by all but myself for zeroing on solely on the negativity, to allowing myself to become dominated by cynicism. After the din has dropped though, and Im gazing upon the skirmish with clear, unfettered vision, I can easily realize how pathetic such a perspective is. Mourning you will never end, nor should it. For a love as everlasting and perpetual as yours, the grieving will never really subside. But to focus solely on your death is an insult to the life you lived perfectly, and the accomplishments you left behind. When I feel the ice setting in and the clammy, unsettling hands of absence and recognition wrapping around my heart, I will immediately remember who you are. The unbridled, insatiable confidence you imbued in me is the sole trait that allowed me to power through adversity and barricades as ferociously as I have. Watching Jeoprady, reading books, watching documentaries, and playing poker while you praised me for my emerging intelligence formed the bedrock of my varied interests spanning across the sciences. Your genuine astonishment at my writing and musical attempts fueled my early efforts, and your voice still rings deep in my mind whenever fear and doubt plague me. The fondest moments of my childhood were absconding to your house on a frigid winter day, eager to be thawed out by vegetable soup enhanced by gratuitious amounts of spices and plump, succulent hamburger meat. If simplicity is the true key to success, then you were a virtuoso, and we were all blessed to bask in your vivacious magnanaminity and maternal care. Until we meet again Grandma, I love you. Rest In Peace.

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