Sunday, March 2, 2008

Marcy day

Today, March 2, 2008, is a special day for me. It is the 14th anniversary of my daughter Marcy's death.

How could it be so long ago? It seems like just yesterday that she was killed in the car accident. Fourteen years is a long time, and I can tell you that I have grown in that time. I will never accept that she is no longer here; it seems so impossible. But I have moved on as best I can.

It took time; I still tear up and sometimes cry when talking about her; I have different friends now, many who walk the same walk; I have different goals with new meaning; and I have a completely different life than I ever dreamed I would have. I write books and articles; I try to help others by speaking at national bereavement conferences on surviving grief; I leave memorials in different locations when appropriate. I live my life as I know Marcy would have wanted me to, with my husband who has said he not only loves me unconditionally but also understands and empathizes with how I feel at any given moment and wants to always be there for me. He says he can't imagine what I must be feeling (he is not Marcy's father), and he is right. He can't. But he surely comes as close as any human being can as he tries to understand. I can feel it in my gut. I know he speaks from the heart, and it makes me feel special.

This morning I arrived home from a vacation in Maui where Marcy also spent quality time many years ago. I think of her constantly when I am in Maui and remember what fun she had there with Simon, her future husband. They had planned to go back many times. It was not to be.

When we got off the plane at 10 a.m., we headed directly for the cemetery. I go there on every anniversary of her death (and birthday and perhaps a few other times a year) and place new flowers next to her stone (white "silk" Iris flowers, her favorite; they last a long time). I sit down next to her, and we talk for a few minutes. Her picture is etched into the marble, so I can look at her beautiful face as we talk.

Today I remembered what one of her dear friends said to me after her death, "She touched all of us in a way that can never be forgotten." Her friend felt a quote by May Sarton said it all. So I quote: "She became for me an island of light, fun and wisdom where I could run with my discoveries and torments and hopes at any time of the day and find welcome." Yes, a very appropriate quote to describe Marcy.

After a few minutes I tell Marcy one more time how much I love her, something we always communicated, and we leave. Tonight I will be lighting a candle at home in her memory as I do each year. I love you, Marcy, and will never forget your beauty, grace, vibrant personality, smile, understanding nature, and how you brought so many people together. You were one of a kind and will be in my mind and heart forever.

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