Grief has a way of interrupting so many things in my life. So excuse me, for not always making my thoughts flow well and with clarity. You see, my brain is still sometimes foggy and my memory is terrible-except for the stuff that I want to forget, but I can’t. I have no concept of “real time.” I walked around for a few days saying that Chad and I would be celebrating 26 years of marriage…until a friend corrected me and said, “Ugh, isn’t it 28?” She was right. In many ways I feel like I’ve lost 2 years of my life. People that know my story have been so gracious to me in so many ways, but I’m sure there have been many a stranger that thought I was either on drugs or just plain crazy. I sometimes have no memory of completing task or managing responsibilities. Somehow, with God’s help, things have gotten done and I haven’t completely wrecked our home.
I wish I could get motivated. Motivated to care about things like: being organized, cooking for my family, cleaning (no worries, I do shower and de-clutter occasionally), exercising- or even just being health. I used to love to work out. Now, I just don’t care. I wonder if I will ever care about such things again? Poor Libby…I miss every parent deadline, permission slip sign-up, volunteer opportunity, and am terrible about getting events on the family calendar that she’s involved in. At home, I literally am taking it one day at a time. I’m thankful for a husband and responsible daughter who understand and help out with the household.
I’ve decided the best way to describe this stage is that I’m just plain numb. I don’t want to feel right now. I don’t want to feel sad. I don’t want to feel happy. I don’t want to feel anything. So, I don’t. I react to life’s situations, but only on the surface. I know that I’m guarding this fragile heart of mine, while it’s trying to heal. This is probably the place where some who are grieving may find ways to help them stay in the state of numb by turning to substance abuse. I’m not enticed by that option for several reasons, but I certainly understand how someone may go there. Unfortunately, that path leads to more loss and just starts a cycle that is so hard to break. It’s a trap. If you’re stuck in that cycle. Please ask for help.
I’m not so numb that my emotions don’t occasionally break through. So, I guess that’s a good thing. I have moments where my tears come hard and fast. It hurts. It hurts like hell. The band-aid rips off my heart and it falls apart again and I bleed. It doesn’t last as long as it used to and it doesn’t happen as much, but it still happens. I guess that makes me human.
There is a comfort that comes in those moments though. It’s not from another person; because…trust me, I make sure I’m alone during those times. It’s the ultimate “Comforter.” (John 14:26) There’s a calm reassurance and presence that wraps around my heart and squeezes it back together. He gently places the bandage of Hope over my scar and whisper’s “I’m here and I’ve got you.” You know what? He’s got Sarah too. He holds us both. That vision gives me so much strength. So, for now, I’ll focus on that.
I’ve been drawn to the cemetery a few times lately in the early mornings, after taking Libby to school. I guess I know the cold weather is coming and it won’t be as easy to go. I took a white pumpkin to her gravesite and left it. Every year, that was her choice. She loved those white pumpkins. I can’t see one and not think of her and all that her life represents now. I understand that not everyone is a fan of celebrating Halloween. When we think about the process of creating a jack-a-lantern though, isn’t it a bit symbolic of what Jesus wants for us? When we invite Him in, he cleans out all the yucky stuff and puts a light inside of us that others can see.
I love that as I’m driving off out the cemetery in Hope that I can always see the empty tomb. That reminder…gives me just the boost that I need to keep driving.