Waiting for Goodbye…


I haven’t cried much about the impending loss of my father in law. This is for a lot of reasons, none of them having anything to do with not being sad that we are losing him.


I’m a thinker. If I don’t have time to think, I don’t process emotions as readily. Of course, there are the immediate emotional responses to things, like having my foot stepped on my my four year old in cleats. You can’t help but to respond to the immediate pain of such things, typically. My parents jokingly call those moments “Spirituality Tests” because you frequently blurt out the most natural-to-you words without filtering.  😉


But in my day to day life, especially lately, I have about a million things swirling around in my head:

  • Keep Kids alive
  • Keep Dogs alive
  • Keep Fish alive
  • Keep Dogs from eating each other or Kids or Fish
  • Feed Kids and Dogs and Fish and Myself if I can find something that doesn’t make me sick
  • Keep house from burning down while Matt and Mom were both gone for 5 days
  • Prepare for Homeschool
  • Figure out how to teach a Dyslexic person to read, write, do math…
  • Control and balance my spinning plates of Chronic Illnesses…
  • Soccer…
  • Groceries…
  • Remember to go to the CSA to get produce on Thursdays…


And then of course there are all of the things that I shove on top of that to attempt to do something for personal enjoyment – like helping a friend design her social media marketing for her home business, or planning and organizing our ‘curriculum’.


I am doing my very best to keep my act together for Matt and for our kids. I don’t believe that Matt wants me to not be emotional about his dad, or anything like that…it’s just that this isn’t about me. It’s Matt’s time to grieve and our kids are losing their first grandparent (though they have lost one ‘Old Grandmother’/great grandparent) and they have already had to deal with losing both of their dogs this past Christmas. And every time I have a doctor appointment, I have to reassure my kids that it isn’t because I’M dying. I’m okay. It’s just acupuncture. I’m NOT going to die. (I have to tell myself that, too.) I am just trying to be the person who is keeping it together so that no one else has to.


Anyway, that being said…I haven’t cried much about this. But music really has a way of speaking to me…of leaking in through the cracks and painting pictures in my mind. And today, this song came on. It comes on a lot, actually, but today it brought with it images of my mother-in-law as she waits to say Goodbye. I cried a little. Shhh…don’t tell anyone…I’ll deny it.


I imagine that there are nights that she lays in bed wondering if it is the last night that she will go to sleep next to her husband. In many ways, she likely looks forward to his release from pain, even though that means he will have moved on. The song mentions the perfection of the person to whom the song is directed and I smiled as I thought of all of the ways that my husband’s parents are perfectly imperfect for each other.


I thought for a moment about the people that I know who have had to say Goodbye earlier than they had planned, and how different the experience is when the death is not as sudden or unexpected. You get time to say goodbye and to relive life’s more precious moments together. You have more time to prepare…if one can ever really be prepared to lose someone to death. I think of my mother-in-law and of my husband and his brother and sister. It is bitter sweet to have warning. And I wonder if she ever lies in bed and thinks something like the message of this song…(link below picture. :))


Bob & Kathy


2 thoughts on “Waiting for Goodbye…

  1. Cassandra Shark says:

    Hi Anna,
    It’s been along time since I have talked with you. Sorry to hear about your FNL, from your message I believe you will conquer this moment in your life. Alot of things have changed in the health department, Susan has retired and Deb is no longer over WIC. We have merged with Charleston, Bamberg, Allendale and Orangeburg. We have found another dynamic peer counselor like yourself. Thank you Lord! This is my 1st Breastfeeding day in 5 months, so I thought I would give you the honors at this time. Well a breastfeeder in distress is here. I have to go. Talk with you later.

    • It is great to hear from you! It sounds like you have your hands full these days. I’m so glad to hear that you found someone good to work with breastfeeding in Beaufort. It was seriously one of my favorite jobs ever – and I have gone in a wide variety of different directions with employment in my life!

      Things are good here, though we grieve the loss of Matt’s dad. He was a good man but he had been in tremendous pain that was graciously relieved last Friday. We are in Bristol (Va) for the funeral this week, helping his mom greet friends and family. Matt was able to get off work for the week, so we have been able to take time to regroup as a family.

      He is working at Verizon Wireless now, which seems to be an excellent fit for him. The likeness to team sports in the sales world combined with getting to play with to a of new technology is right up his alley!

      I’m staying home with the kids, homeschooling for now. Hadley has been diagnosed with Tourette’s and dyslexia, so we find that he learns best in the home environment- at least while conquering the world of reading and writing.

      I have been thrown for a loop being diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder and dysautonomia – which has been an interesting learning curve. I am starting to work from home with social media, which I enjoy. It helps me feel connected to the working world. 😉

      It is great to hear from you. I look forward to future updates! We miss Beaufort but love northern Va. Hope things continue to go well for you!


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