Feeling Loss - A Look Back

There is an app called TimeHop. It shows you posts for the last 4 years. This is one of mine.

20 July 2011

I have spent my life with this motto: I reject your reality and replace it with mine. It worked pretty well for me. I lived in my happy little world.

It really wasn't that simplistic but I never saw a big world. I knew it was there but it never mattered as long as the people closest to me were all safe and happy nothing else really mattered. I know that sounds selfish. I was young and small town naive.

When I saw the second plane crash into one of the World Trade Center buildings on September 11 my view of the world changed. It might have only been on tv but it was real. The only other time I had witnessed such tragedy was when the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. I never watched another launch. This was no where close to that. This affected the safety of our country. The false sense of security that I had living in small town USA that nothing bad ever happens to good old America.

I have mentioned before that I became a news addict after 9-11. I cried for the loss of lives that day and I cry for each and every soldier that is lost since. I'm not a political person. I honestly do not know the political reason of why we are fighting and have soldiers in so many different areas. To me it all boils down to taking a stand. I do know about taking a stand. Digging in my heels and no one is going to budge me.

My rambling really is boiling down to a specific thought. I just want you to see where I'm coming from. If you're a military wife you might already understand. But so many don't.

Back to shedding tears for soldiers lost. I have honestly done this every day when I read the news about another soldier lost for whatever reason. I feel a very real sense of loss. I don't know the person. I have never been to their home. They are a complete stranger. But I cry. That soldier WAS a part of someone's life. I cry for their loss.

Recently an event happened that was 'close' to me. No, I still do not know the soldier. But it was too close. I won't go into details but I will say it shook me to the core and shredded away whatever my little reality had been with my husband going into a war zone. I could no longer lie to myself. My husband is fine. Let me say this, he is in no more danger now than he ever has been. The ONLY thing that changed was MY perception. It was always easier to pretend that nothing could ever happen. It was an event that happens far too often in a war zone. It was just that it was 'closer' to home. A soldier was lost. It felt as if I had lost had brother. ME. I lost someone. Someone I do not know. Someone that someone loved.

I'm sure that sounds confusing. But I need to get this out of me. I have had to learn a new reality in the last week. I will adjust. I always adjust. I have cried more, worried more and have looked at things in a completely different light.

I went to the memorial service today for the soldier that was lost. I knew it was a memorial service for some other soldiers that were also lost in June. When I opened the memorial program I slowly turned the pages and there were 7 soldiers that were lost in the last month. From one division. I don't know what I was expecting but I did not expect to be looking at pictures of 7 men, most younger than my children. I did not expect to see their parents and grandparents there. There was no amount of preparing in the world that I could have done to be ready. Soldiers that knew the fallen gave eulogies. Psalms 23 was read. The names were read. At this point I was glad (if I can use that word in this context) that it was a reading of names rather than a roll call. Taps began. Taps is so final. Music reaches my soul. Taps goes as deep as any song can go. The firing of the volleys happened behind me. Each shot that rang out stopped my heart. Amazing Grace began to play as the families and Soldiers said their goodbyes. Watching the soldiers salute the fallen as they approached one by one was too much. I still kept it all in. Shaking with a need to cry for them. Not just the fallen but for the families and friends that lost someone so special.

I contained my emotions and tears through the service. I shook inside and my eyes filled with tears. But I wouldn't let them flow. I don't know my reasoning. I just felt like I needed to be stronger. That others wouldn't understand my need to cry. I had a friend with me. The same friend that went with me to the memorial service for the soldiers killed November 5, 2009. She understands me. She understood my need to leave as soon as we could. She knew I was holding it all in. I couldn't bear the reception after the service. She understood.

When I got home I cried for fallen then crawled into bed and took the longest nap I have taken in a long time. I feel better. I am adjusting to this new reality that so many before have already had to face.

This is who I am. If you hurt and feel loss, I feel it with you. When I get distant or distracted it's okay. Just know it's my way of mourning the loss around me everyday.


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