It’s been more than 2 months since the crack made its way into my heart. I’m not hurting as much, perhaps because I named my sorrow. I named my love. I dive into a lifetime of what could have been each time I close my eyes and it comforts me. Still, I’m jaded, but I’m not. I’m hopeful, but I’m not. I want it, but I don’t. This sense of duality has been exhausting. E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G! Like I said, I can’t remember what normal or before was. All I know is the after I’m walking through.
My body recently was pulling a number on me and I was like, “Oh God ! Please. No. Not no, but also no.” I’m sure He understood it. It took less than a minute to know I was in the clear and after, I sat with my heart and asked if it was still beating. Maybe. Slowly. I haven’t cried (something that was regular – in buses, in toilets, in our bed) since maybe 2 weeks ago but I’m afraid of triggers. I’m afraid someone will say something and I’ll crack or burst into tears. Deathly afraid. I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing, or snapping, or what will come out if someone says that one thing that trips me up but so far, nothing of that sort has happened.
About a month ago, anger is what came up to the surface. It was the reason I wrote this post. I was the person whose heart would respond with, “I highly doubt YOU’D be all cheery and quoting James 1:2-4 or any scripture saying count it all joy if YOU were in the thick of things or if YOU lost a kid.” as I rolled my eyes. Of course I know people meant well but I didn’t want it or need it. I just wanted to go through it without feeling like scripture or empty encouragement was being shoved down my throat along with others whose desires were for a better job or a better house or rent (things we also felt). Too much? Well, that’s what I honestly felt.
Those responses and eye rolls are fewer now but sometimes there – with less urgency and pain. I think it’s because I’d always feel like people wanted me to be okay when I’m not and I honestly was/maybe still am some place with church and my faith. I mean, it’s better now but earlier on, I was like, why go? Not because God isn’t good or anything. Love God. He gets it. I just didn’t want to get tripped up and it felt like that every time I was in church so I seriously debated not being around people for a while. Even family who’d do the belly touching or carry other people’s kids and ask me when I’d have my own. It was hard, still is hard with other believers, especially when matters doctrine came up about the goodness of God or if we believed God. I’d always respond with, “I’m somewhere floating in the ocean, finding my way,” because I am. I’d always be honest in my heart (and with certain friends) and I’d tell God that I wasn’t okay in certain areas of my faith. But Christianese, or what feels like empty Christian platitudes weary me because I was (still am) living in the questions. I didn’t and I don’t want people to tell me I’ll have kids to encourage me. I don’t want people sharing dreams or visions of it. I had them, long ago. I just want to be okay like this Ingrid Michaelson song chorus that I tend to sing most mornings on my way to church. Somehow, through all this, I stuck it out. Not sure if that did much good than bad but I stuck it out.
I always tell Dave that I wasn’t one to share much to someone grieving before but now, I’m not too sure I’d even be quick to. The valley of death or grief is better when walked through with others, for sure, but sometimes, some journeys are solo journeys. They take you where no one else can go. Dave and I went through it and we’re on different parts of this whole thing. Same thing, different journies. Same experience, different questions, different answers needed. Same but not same. I’ve found time and God to be fitting companions. And David who is living it and walking through it with me. It’s just that sometimes having people outside of it can wound rather than heal and I often got tired of having to pray for God to heal my heart and perceptions concerning things people said or did whether they meant well or not. Far too many times have I said, “God, it’s so tiring. I can’t keep praying for this everyday,” hence my desire to just have my heart beat right before returning to the wild of being with brethren, friends or family. But dear God I made it. We’re here! I’m still standing albeit a little wonky and bruised, but mosaics need broken pieces so the art is forming.
Recently, I read somewhere that grief tends to heighten in the 3rd to 9th month (I get the last part because of what could have been the due date) and that grief softens and quiets by the 24 month so I’m just here hoping I’ve made it okay and will make it okay. I’m taking my time. I know I’ll need to share about the book and maybe get back into doing our YouTube vlogs but I’m not rushing into it. I think I’m afraid of crying or not crying. If I don’t cry, have I healed or am I numb? Am I too tired about it (which is what I always said every time my heart would do the loops because of what someone said or did that made things worse). I hate it.
What I think I’ve learned so far is that grief in all its shapes and forms is the wild west in the church. Foreign territory. I’ve learned to pour grace and mercy like gravy on everything like when someone who doesn’t know asks when Dave and I will have kids, or touches my belly and asks if something is in there seeing as to how we’ve been married almost 3 and a half years, or proceeds to say that I shouldn’t worry because what I lost was a mass of tissue and blood (this one killed me rather than angered me and I’d always tell Dave that we all started out as masses of tissue and blood and we’re here so what was different about mine? There was probably a heartbeat but we didn’t go in time to hear it). I won’t even bother to get into all the money we spent and lost and how that made everything worse for the rest of the month. Or how earlier on, getting my period was a cue for me to cry a waterfall. Not there now. Like I said, I may be part healed, part numb but I’m more okay than before. The longing has softened into gratitude for what is rather than what could have been, what could be or what was.
Deep sighs. High tide and low tide, I guess. It comes and goes in waves…
This is the low tide. Not sure how long it’ll last but my feet are firm on the ground. I no longer feel like I’m floating. My theology is a little jumbled up (but please don’t preach to me. Please. The Holy Spirit is honestly doing a great job of that already) but my eyes are getting sharper and clearer. Isn’t that what the wilderness and winter does? It makes us see far because of the emptiness that’s there. And my sight keeps getting sharper. Slowly. Surely.
I know I shared this song in the resources section of this post but I really mean it. I’d rather have two of us here than nothing at all. That’s where I’m at. Grateful for the both of us, just as we are, whether anything is added or not. This is good. This is worth it. Many lose that part. David said we’re better together when we turned 3 and dear God! We didn’t realize we were about to slide down from a high peak of a roller coaster because year three started and ended rough (for the better part). But it’s true.
Even if it comes and goes in waves, I’m glad I’m not riding it alone.