Home > Death, Love, Reflections > I take you with me

I take you with me

A car like my own zipped past me on the freeway this morning.

I shook my head when I saw an “In Loving Memory” sticker plastered across its rear window.

What a strange place for an in memoriam, I thought.

I’ve thought this dozens of times.

For some reason, seeing the lettering fade into the distance on a car like my own jarred me:

In some ways, that’s the perfect place for a reminder.

Grief can feel like a deep, unmoving, unmoveable eternity.

But when we start pushing against it, learning to take tiny steps against its vastness, we can see glimpses of greater movement beyond. We can see glimmers of how we carry with us in our love and our motion the deceased whom we love.

To emblazon it on a car is a powerful thing;

a mighty reminder that, though I might never hug you again,

I take you with me,

everywhere.

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  1. July 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I have always thought those “in memoriam” stickers on the windshield were very bittersweet. I see those and I feel grateful that that person shared with me something so important to them (even though they are more accurately described as broadcasting it to the world).

    • July 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      It really is sweet, if the bitter sort. I have a whole new perspective on it now. Indeed, it already seems funny I should have had any other.

      It turns out today is the seven-year anniversary of my grandpa’s death. I drove up north in hopes of seeing him one more time before he died. He died a few hours after I got there, all of which means: Seven years to the day at the moment of my epiphany, I was en route to say farewell. It seems fitting today should be the day I understood. Bittersweet, indeed, to be reminded … of him and my mom, who was his caretaker (and by his side) when he passed.

      I take them both with me.

      • July 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

        That is a beautiful reflection – thank you!

  2. July 17, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    wow…this is so beautiful. what a wonderful thing to post. thank you xo

  3. July 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I have never seen one here. And how true it is, first it is grief that we carry with us, and then slowly (sometimes too slowly) it is memories. Until the grief pushes its way back in. To be replaced by the memories. And the grief. A perpetual cycle.

    • July 18, 2015 at 6:02 am

      I never saw them in Oregon, but I see at least one every day or two here.

      The cycle is perpetual, but for me, the grief portion of the cycle has become abbreviated as the years pass. They’re still there. They still happen. But I know better how to find equilibrium, before months have passed.

      That is just me, of course. I don’t know how true that’d hold if I lost one of my kids. I see very different responses from the otherwise vary different people I follow.

  4. July 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I find it a little disturbing to picture the car zipping by you. It brought to mind an image of said car in an accident. Then there might be an unintentional reunion of driver and the memorialized.
    I do like your thought on the sticker, the idea that one may take someone with them everywhere they go. It very well may lessen the pain.

    • July 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

      I’d guess it was only going five or ten miles above the speed limit. I was moving a little slower as I neared my freeway exit.

      Looking at it this way made me consider getting one of my own. I don’t think it’ll happen, but imagining it does make me smile.

  5. July 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I’ve never seen that, but I think it IS true that we take those we love with us wherever we go, even if they’ve passed on. But I wouldn’t try to use the carpool lane because of that sweet sentiment. Just sayin’.

  6. July 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Your poignant interpretation of the sticker and the grief process really struck a chord. I’ve never seen a sticker like that before. What an interesting way to share one’s personal loss with strangers. As someone all too familiar with grieving, I thank you for this post. ❤

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