There are moments when, the 20 months since my Mom’s passing, have felt way longer than just that year and a half. And there are times when those 607 days, seem as though time hasn’t passed at all, and I’m once again, waking up, heading to the hospital to sit with Mom and wait………
I’ve had opportunity the last year and a half, to talk to people who have lost – and their perspective, their experience, has similarities to mine. We share that, some-days-you-feel-like-you’ve-‘moved on’ and other days it seems like you’re right back ‘in that moment’ – living those days all over again, feeling every little thing, all over again!
Grief and loss and our responses and reactions to it, seem as individual as the ones we lost, but we all respond in some way. We can’t force progress, as every step is meaningful and necessary.
And as much as I’d like to say I’ve figured out how to do roller-coaster emotions and have figured out how to grieve gracefully, there are moments, where I am slammed, like on the floor, tears streaming down my face, mascara everywhere, trying to catch my breath. I wish I could say that I’ve moved on and that emotions are completely under control, that the sadness of loss comes and goes quietly and quickly, and that i have the resolve to publicly remain sunshiney, ready to march on into my future, without Mom…… but some days, that is not the case.
Some days, emotion still hits – strong. Almost suffocating. The quiet moments Mom and I had in her hospital room flood back. It’s the real-time, slow-motion stuff. Her raspy words, softly spoken, few, now sacred, held tightly in my heart, and yet they have a way of creeping into my head and soul, cracking the scab I thought had become a healed scar, forever impacting who I am, who’ve I’ve become and will become as the years move me steadily along.
Those moments of feeling – everything – to that point where there’s nothing left, nothing to hold yourself together, no strength to just be “ok” – those moments of pure vulnerability and realness… when the only thing to do is to be raw and truly broken… and the only thing you can say is “please, God, meet me here……”
Pain shows itself…. sometimes in the busyness of life and sometimes it’s only there when you slow down, when you try to catch your breath, find a rhythm, and sometimes it’s there, even if you’re not seeking it out. Pain demands to be felt.
People have told me that grief and loss is a process. I’ve learned there is an intentional process, the grabbing emotion and the affects of the void (a void that can never be filled) and working through it, but there’s also the other part, the emotion, that will come, on anniversaries – when it’s expected, but also, as my sister says, it’s the sneak-attack, when it demand to be felt, seen, thought about, worked through, and experienced.
I don’t like pain.
I don’t like emotion.
I don’t like feeling the depth of my loss, of hurt, the void, and yet I know, in those moments, my deepest pain creates potential for God to step in, in the deepness of sadness, and somehow bring peace and show who He is. He’s not the one who caused the pain, the hurt, or even her death, but He’s more than willing to step in those moments, to sit in all the messy, broken, emotional process and do it with me!
There are moments when I hate that this is the life and the journey (I had no choice) to walk. I didn’t want this and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, and yet, even in the pain, the hurt, the emotion, the darkness, I can say there is good, and I am thankful. Thankful that even if all I can say, is “God will you help me?!”, that it is a conversation, part of relationship with God, that I may not have had otherwise.
God is not afraid of my vulnerability, my brokenness, my tears, or even the silence, when words seem to be meaningless. He never promised an easy life, without pain, loss – but He promised to be with me, in it and for that, I’m beyond grateful!
There is good, even in the darker times…