At the beginning of last week, the good moments, the good days, were starting to outnumber the bad ones.
Smiles were becoming more frequent than tears...the hurt was still there, the memories still the first thing on my mind when I woke...but healing was happening.
Then, Thursday rolled around...and I received news that a wonderful co-worker had passed away after a sudden illness. In the first hour of hearing that news, I felt numb. Still emotionally exhausted from my grief over losing Verd, I couldn't process the feelings I had about Barb's death.
However, I suddenly found the tears hard to keep away, again. It was as if hearing about Barb's death had ripped the freshly formed scabs on my raw emotions right off.
I went to conferences for Belle and E.W., one with a teacher whose children were in Verd's wife's daycare (and so, very close to them) and the other with a teacher who is a children's grief counselor at a summer camp.
I was weepy through the first conference, and talked mostly about Verd...by the second conference, I was full on crying. Apologizing, finding it difficult to talk, watching my sweet husband, in his own grief, go fetch me kleenex.
Returning home, I discovered my Hambone, quietly crying because he "missed Verd"...and I wondered how much my own tears were rubbing off on my children. So, we shared memories and laughed and talked and remembered how fun Uncle Verd was.
Then, last night, I worked. I wrote a memory to Barb's family in the journal our unit started, I read her obituary, and I cried.
And cried and cried and cried. I'd pull it together, only to have someone ask "How are you doing?", and I'd start all over. My tears for Verd mixed with my tears for Barb. Thank goodness I had my best bud working with me to hug me, to cheer me on, to rally me and make me laugh.
Barb was a Verd. Inspirational, kind, heart of gold. A line in her obituary struck me...it was perfect: "Barb was an ordinary and extraordinary person."
Ordinary...just like you and me.
Extraordinary...went the extra mile, smiled, was so kind and genuine and positive and put herself out there to leave her mark on the world.
Just like Verd.
Ordinary and extraordinary.
Heaven has gained two wonderful souls...and we here on earth, are left with open wounds, broken hearts and fabulous memories.