Memorial Day 2018

It’s been an emotional day.

Worrying about family members, especially those I don’t see as often as I should and who are growing old far too quickly; anxious for friends who are battling serious illnesses or grieving lost ones.  Concerned about another friend who is trying to come to terms with the nightmare of a loved one she tried desperately to save, but who is about to lose the battle despite those Herculean efforts of hers.

Remembering all of those who didn’t make it.   Aching for those who still struggle, but will not be able to overcome their physical or emotional frailties.

Wishing I had answers for those who are confused, and a magic bag of tricks that could heal the pain.  All of the pain.

Somehow I need to do more, but there are days when taking on even my little corner of the universe exhausts me.

My eyes are puffy with grief and pain as though I’d been crying for hours.  I haven’t.  A few tears, yes.  But not enough to feel swollen and bruised.  I somaticize my grief.  When my mind goes numb my body gets sick.  That pain always has to leak out somewhere, somehow.  It can’t be escaped.

I try to teach this to the families I work with.  You can’t ignore your wounds because even the old ones have a way of festering.  Emotional puss, like physical gangrene, will find its way to the surface.

My Johnny tried.  He’d mastered the impassive face of someone trying desperately to hide his anxiety and control his fear. But it doesn’t go away because you think you’re controlling it.  While he was always – always – kind and gentle and sweet with me, he was secretly self-destructive.  He loved me with everything he had, but I couldn’t convince him to love himself. It’s all so very unfair.

Hug your people hard and fiercely.  If not for them, if not for yourself, then for me.  Please.

Guess I’ll go to bed now because I’m very tired.   Tomorrow will be better.

Post Script.  As I am writing this, I have received a message from someone I don’t know, asking for help with her depression.  Johnny always said I was about saving lives.  From what I’ve learned, he lived far longer than he would have if he hadn’t fallen in love with me.  It just wasn’t nearly long enough.

I’ll go talk to this other person now.  I hope I can give her hope.

***

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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