Page 10 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 10

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                             Ten-Year Anniversary is a Life Marker

                             by Harriet Hodgson

                             “The 10th anniversary of Helen’s death is coming up,”       the twins’ father, had a will and it listed us as the twins’
                             I told my husband. “I think we should do something          guardians. The court followed her wishes.
                             significant—write a large check to the food bank or the     When the twins moved in with us they were 15 years
                             public library.” John nodded his head in agreement.         old and we cared for them for seven years. Life was hard
                             Helen died from the injuries she received in a car crash.   for us all. John and I tried to be upbeat for the twins, yet
                             There were audio books in the car and I was the one who     at the same time, we were grieving for multiple losses.
                             returned them to the library, told the librarian Helen had  Helen died of blunt force trauma, words I hate to say or
                             died, and the books were overdue.                           write. On a snowy night she entered a highway from a
                             “I owe you money,” I said.                                  rural road and her car was hit broadside. Helen suffered
                             The librarian’s reply: “You owe us nothing.”                severe external and internal injuries. Her daughter, who
                             As soon as I finished this story, I began to cry. What      was in the car with her, had a mild concussion.
                             was going on? The 10th anniversary of Helen’s death         The 10-year marker of Helen’s death took us back in time,
                             was really an anniversary of four deaths. In 2007, four     back to trauma, back to emotional pain.
                             family members—Helen (mother of our twin grandkids),        Bob Deitz, in his book, Life and Loss, writes about grief
                             my father-in-law, my brother, and the twins’ father—all     anniversaries. Grief can be a time of self-discovery,
                             died. No wonder John and I think of this year as the        according to Deitz. As he explains, “Grief is as much about
                             year of death. Thankfully Helen, who was divorced from      finding as it is about losing.” John and I understand this

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