The world doesn’t stop because we experience a tragedy and need a moment to catch our breath. The day my mother-in-law passed away, babies were born, people went to work, groceries were purchased and arguments were had over where to eat dinner. There was no moment of silence; there was no pause. The world just kept spinning.
There was only a matter of minutes before we needed to gather up her things and leave her hospital room. And then the phone rang to see if we wanted to donate her organs. Everything in slow motion, all while at warp speed. How can it only be 1:30 pm when it feels you’ve experienced a lifetime of emotion since 11:30? And the world just keeps spinning.
Funeral home, flowers, cemetery, obituary. Hurry up and get it done. There’s no time to come apart- there are people coming. Clean the bathroom, make sure there is water to drink and something to snack on. Sure, your heart is breaking, but there are things to get done. And the world just keeps spinning.
Pick clothes for the burial, find six someones to carry her, buy shoes for the granddaughter she won’t get to see grow. Go through pictures and clippings and long ago smiles. My, I’d forgotten how pretty she was. The world keeps on spinning.
Hands to shake, people to meet, and stories to hear. It’s okay to come apart, but just not here. Being strong for her daughter, your husband, her son. You sneak away for a moment, the tears have begun. Deep breath, back at it, we’re almost there. Just a few more hours. So many people care. The world keeps spinning.
To the cemetery now, to put her to rest. Kind words uttered, God’s promise, “this is for the best.” And even though you know it’s true, she takes with her, a part of you. A mentor, a friend, someone that you loved. But the world just keeps spinning.
The casket committed to the ground. A life sealed up, but soul Heaven bound. Now back to the church to break bread with kin, many of whom you’ll never see again. Still the tears have yet to have their way. No time yet, so you push them away. The world keeps spinning.
The house now empty, the visitors gone. It’s almost time, but wait, her son. He hasn’t yet had his turn to weep. You gather your strength, you dig rather deep. He should get to go first. She was his before yours. So you wait, while the world keeps on spinning.
More than a week has past, time keeps moving on. Demands still calling, still things to be done. And it’s then that you realize this is why people say, grief is a beast. It’s got no beginning, and it won’t go away. You only get to feel it a second here, a minute there. Things don’t slow down to let you feel. You won’t ever get to empty it out because the world keeps on spinning.