Do you ever have one of those days, that turn into weeks and months of hurting? Kind of a loaded question I admit. I find myself here after 6 months of my daughter passing away and into the arms of Jesus. I know this is fresh.
Friends that I talk to who have gone through loss like this confirm that at first there is almost a strange euoforia when your child leaves you. I’m only speaking from my experience, I don’t know how else I could speak from anothers..ha…but now…I feel as if someone has peeled off my skin.
Everything in me is sensitive. My eyes often ache from crying, my head hurts from thinking too hard…..and my body is tired…just because it is.
Several counsellors have also told me that generally they won’t even start speaking to children and adolescents who have gone through a death until 6 months have past. Apparently it is difficult to start processing the finality of this separation until then.
As of last Sunday…Easter Sunday incidentally, it has been that space of time since Bianca went away.
I say, “went away” because it still feels as if that’s exactly what happened. One moment she was here, and in her bed, and smiling adoringly at me, and the next…I was visiting her plot of earth in the cemetary.
How can this be I ask myself? The only way to explain this is to say that you feel like in essence you have been sleep walking. Truly like watching your life pass by, and you are not sure that you are living it.
I have shared wonderful, loving, soul connecting times with many friends and family, but right now it feels bitterly silent and barren in my heart.
I keep hearing that song on K-Love radio that starts out with these words..”Shattered…like you’ve never been before. The life you knew, in a thousand pieces on the floor…” Yep..that about covers it explicitly.
How can my eyes feel wide open and slammed shut at the same time? It seems impossible to grasp.
I attended a “grief workshop” at a church here for the last 5 weeks. We met every Monday evening. A friend went with me who also has had to say farewell to her child. It was good to share grief with her. Others in our small group had also buried their children. The emotional gut wrenching pain we were in was palpable. In their eyes was raw sorrow. We were connected to each other in a group none would ever voluntarily join.
Yesterday, a dear friend and I went over to be with Bianca on a beautiful sunny Colorado Spring day. I was thankful for the millionth time that I now own a convertible. We put the top down, and off we drove. The mountains were breathtaking on the Western horizon. They stretched impossibly high, their bright snow caps the perfect accent against a azure blue sky.
I had watched an old movie the day before, and several of the cars depicted in this show were convertibles. They just make a girl smile, can’t help myself. Also, I guess I feel especially connected to my Dad in a convertible. His personal favorite was a 1972 cutlass convertible 442. I guess you could say he had a ” few favorites.” I believe at one time there were 4 of them on our driveway .
My Mum used to laughingly say that our yard looked like a “used car” parking lot. I had the good fortune to drive one of these babies to high school. Mine was bright orange with a white roof, and white interior.
I remember one particular time when I was maybe 16 or 17 that my friend Kim and I took the car out for a spin. We were feeling good. Duh…we were in a convertible. We came up behind a semi that was turning right. I decided I could squeeze up beside him on his right. You might guess what happened next. I was quite obviously an inexperienced, novice, full of myself driver. He started to turn, and before I could react, had practically driven over the side of us with his trailer. Actually he just kinda caved in my door, but without a roof on, we felt like he was driving over us.
Yikes… I was so mad!!.. Remember in “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase, and he finds himself driving his station wagon under the semi? This is so classic. This was the thought running through my head.
I remember when the police came, they went and spoke to the truck driver first. When the police officer came and spoke to me, he commented that the driver of the truck had not dared speak to me because ” the young lady looked very mad.” Remembering this incident, I’m sure I looked like a spoiled kid having a temper tantrum.
Part of my frustration, I remember was knowing I would have to go home, and fess up to my Dad that I had “creamed in” the side of his prized car. Don’t get me wrong, I knew my Dad loved these cars, but I knew he loved me more. I did not want to disappoint him.
It occurred to me that this is just how I feel when I disappoint Jesus. I know he realizes that I’m gonna get mad, lose my temper, cuss, and stamp my feet, but I still want to do right by him.
I am “His child.” He is my Heavenly Father who loves me more extremely than my earthly Father. I find it hard to even grasp this kind of love. His love is unconditional and everlasting. I could wreck a thousand cars, and still He would look on me with love, and adoration and would forgive me. Again and again He forgives me, how great is that?
One thing I’ve learned on this journey of life that I find myself in, is that I could not, would not(to quote the great Dr. Seuss,) do life without him. Jesus that is, not Dr. Seuss, although I grew up reading his books, and still find him brilliant.
My Lord, calms my troubled seas, he brings me back from the edge, he entreats me to sit still and be calm. When I listen, and wait to hear his voice, the mad inside my head turns to sweet peace. Aahhh…He is my morning sunrise after a sleepless night.
He is my hope, plain and simple. After I’ve thrown things, and broken them in frustration, cried out so many tears,that I think my eyes would run dry, He is ever there waiting, gently asking me to come outside and rest awhile. Gaze at the sky, watch the clouds roll by. If you happen to find a rake handy, pull it gently and gather up the leftover leaves from the fall. Smell the musky, excellent scent of fresh earth.
It is Springtime, a time for rebirth. There is fresh hope on the horizon. So if you are me, and I am, I throw many sticks and leaves upon the fire pit, and use an excuse to light a fire. Have I mentioned that I love fires? Well I do….
They calm me down, and I’ve been known to throw a chair or two upon the pile, and almost clap with glee when a huge blaze erupts. The smell of burning wood is excellent to my nostrils.
It occurs to me that raking, burning, breaking stuff, and smelling fresh air is good for my morale..Who knew? I suppose I’m thinking, reminiscing, and dreaming, all at the same time. I’m also getting accidental exercise. The very best kind to get me thinks.
It is way too easy to get lost in this grief thing. It can threaten to bowl you over, leaving you flattened as a pancake. Distraction is good….watching a movie, lunch with a friend, talking on the phone, and yes maybe, just maybe, I’ll feel like doing something creative once again.
Did I mention prayer…Can’t forget that…its of primary importance. I’m completely sure that had I not been held by prayer these many months, I too, would be one with the earth.
I have felt myself carried along, when I know there is no other way, but by prayer. The sustaining power of God in my life can not be underestimated. I take a moment today to say thank you. Thank you to those of you who lift myself and my family up in prayer. That is the absolute best thing you could ever do for us.
Life is brutal..words of wisdom by Jill….I acknowledge that the only way I’m still standing is because of my Savior. To God be the glory, forever and ever..amen…and that my friends is all I have for today…..
He is enough for me…….