I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. God has been prepping me, prodding me, and encouraging me to let go of any fears that I have about it. I’ve always said that aging people lose their “filters” because they are more comfortable with themselves and they just don’t care what other’s think about them anymore. I wish I could be more like that. I confess that I want people to like me and be comfortable around me so, that’s where the struggle has been. I don’t want anyone to think that I am “unstable.” I am ok. I am strong and feel very supported and hopeful. So, please do not read more into this than necessary. My goal in sharing is simply to raise awareness to the issue of grief and child loss. So therefore let me invite you into my head for a day in the life of a grieving mom…The thoughts inside my brain will be in quotations…
My brain slowly wakes my body as I realize, it’s time to get up and go to the bathroom. “What time is it?”…Then it hits me, “Sarah died.”…”Did I have a dream about her? I wish I could remember.” Stumbling through my morning routine…”Getting up will make me feel better”…contemplating the sick feeling in my tummy because I know she’s not sleeping in her room. I listen for Libby to see if she’s waking up on her own, if not, I go to her room to turn her lamp on and wake her. At some point during this routine, I say good-bye to Chad for the day. As he looks at me, I imagine that he’s wondering how my day will go and he’s thinking, “Is she ok? or is it going to be a hard day?”
As I pass by Sarah’s door, I have to look in there…”Maybe I can see her in there.” I want so desperately to see her as she is now, healed and whole. As I glance, my stomach turns over with grief and tears swell in my eyes, but they don’t always fall. “I just miss her Jesus!” I continue to head downstairs and on with my day and decide not to give into the grief. I enjoy my coffee, catch up on my FB feed, watch the news, help Libby stay on schedule with her morning routine, and tell her good-bye as she heads to school.
Then, it’s just me and Jesus. I read, listen to worship music, sometimes write this blog, and about every 5-10 minutes the thought that Sarah is no longer here enters my mind. It never stops through out my day. Sometimes when the thoughts come, physically my heart flutters or my stomach churns. Often times my knees get weak, but in time I’ve learned to push back the urge to fall and I just keep going on with the day. On the good days, I counter those thoughts, with the truths from scripture. Sometimes though the sadness wins and that’s ok. I need to let the emotions out.
Most of you know, Sarah played piano. She played very well and was a natural. At some point in the morning, my routine has been to sit at the piano and play. Sometimes I play for hours. Sometimes, it’s just one song. There’s a nearness to her and God that I feel when I play. I know she’s making music in heaven somehow. I’m thankful for the gift of music and how it connects us. It helps to know that through her memorial fund we’re going to be able to help other kids discover their gifts through music.
As I continue on with my day, I visit with family, friends, do chores, and other business, I laugh, I feel joy, and have my same sense of humor; but every few minutes, my brain reminds me that we’ve lost Sarah. It still stings. Even after 7 months it feels surreal. Some days if I’m going to town, I go by her grave. Some days if I’m going to town, I just can’t. Some days when I see her phone, I pick it up and scroll her photos, or watch her videos so that I can hear her voice and her laugh, but some days I can’t. It just hurts to much.
I have no expectations for what my days should be like. I’m doing the best that I can to minister to others through our pain because I feel very strongly that I’m suppose to. That’s the only thing that I’m sure of. God wants to use our grief journey, just as He used her cancer journey, to somehow strengthen other’s faith and give hope to those who are hurting. If you’re grieving, your days may be completely different than mine. If you’re grieving for a significant other, a child, or someone that you were extremely close to, I’m curious to know, how often your brain reminds you of their passing? For me, some days it’s more than others, but every day-it’s still a lot. I know there’s no right or wrong answer. The important thing is how I counter the negative with thoughts of hope. I discovered a verse again that has helped me:
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 1 Thessalonians 5:8
I know, it’s that “hope” word again! This verse confirms that the hope of our salvation protects our minds. How cool is that? Our faith and love acts as shield for our hearts, but our minds are not without a defense. Oh, how I need protection right now as I’m in the trenches of grief.
I read a unique analogy of grief recently. I honestly don’t remember where it was, but it basically said that our grief is sort of like an infant at first. It requires a lot of nurturing and work at first. As it progresses and ages, much like a toddler and a child, it won’t require as much supervision, but it’s certainly still necessary to give it plenty of attention and care. Eventually, it matures. It will always be there and we can visit it and attend to it, but it’s no longer necessary to devote so much time to tending to it and caring for it.
I’d like to know if those of you who have been grieving for a while, agree with that analogy? I’m really curious to know how often your thoughts take you to your grief? Are you reminded often of your loss? If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear your thoughts.