Oh how we miss you! On what would be your 46th birthday, we honored you, as we always do, by visiting the beach where you and I once whispered our dreams to the wind. Today, those whispers still rest gently in my heart while the wind carried up the words that we ache to tell you in person.
I know now that the journey of grief is long because there is so much to be learned from love and loss. Among the many things I’ve learned from loving and losing you, Mark, is that grief is really just love with no place to go. It’s all the love, all the dreams, all the hopes for tomorrow that you want to share with someone but can’t.
When I first lost you, I couldn’t even think about tomorrow because doing so was excruciatingly painful. My ‘somedays’ had been shattered. I endured each day by focusing only on today, one moment at a time. This way of surviving the loss of you also taught me to be truly present and to savor each moment. While this is a concept that is talked about often, truly learning to ‘live in the moment’ can seem like an idyllic, yet unattainable ambition. Through grief, it was achievable. As time went on, I moved forward. I learned that it is possible to be both hurting and wondering what tomorrow will bring while also healing and feeling and breathing in joy. It is in knowing the depths of true sorrow that I really learned how to live. How blessed I am to have loved you so much and to have learned that all that love really does have some place to go. I pour it everyday into my people, the ones I hold dearest and choose to keep in my circle.
Today, Mark, I am constantly aware of both your absence and your presence. I’ve learned that extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life if we just look for it. Our love story, a true love story never ends. Your heart will remain perfectly snug inside my heart for all eternity.
Erin, So beautifully written and so very true. Your children are gorgeous. ❤️ See you at the next meeting. Best, Gayl
Gayl Franz Tarpey Franz Team Shorewest-North Shore