Days when the wind rolls in fierce, and leaves twirl sideways carried on air, and huge gusts knock you back; this is what grief feels like.
You know how hard winds blow against you on those days, making every step laborious..yes, that feeling. It’s not that she’s always at the forefront of my thoughts, though often she is. It’s more that some invisible heavy blanket has been laid over my every thought and action. Every other feeling is tempered by loss in some deep recess of my heart.
I can laugh, yes. I find such joy in my boys, and am even a little lost when away from them, without them there is no one to mother and I find that I need that most of all. For so long, my attention was zeroed in on Phoebe’s many needs, and life is too simple now without a round-the-clock med schedule and shots and water pumps to be turned on. I have a restless energy that begs for a task, coupled with the inability to focus on any one thing or give my full attention to it. It’s much like going in circles or walking into a room several times a day only to forget what you came looking for.
But sometimes I’m brave. Sometimes I go into her room when the boys have gone to bed.
And I rail..
And if I’m really brave I look at her monkey slippers that still have leaves stuck to them from the last time she wore them. I look through her drawers and hold her clothes, and I see those socks still in her laundry basket that she wore the night she died. And her pajama top, with the pink strawberries, I remember slipping her sweet little arms out of it after she’d gone. It still hangs on her closet door-knob.
I hate these times. But it feels necessary.
And then, at least for a little while, I can go on about life.
I am so proud of our boys. I feel like they are doing well and doing what they’re supposed to. We talk about Phoebe all the time, we wonder what she’s doing today, or Deacon supposes that she’s probably taking a bubble bath (one of her favorite things) or eating peanuts. We share memories or “Phoebe-isms” and we laugh together. They ask good questions about God and we talk. And some days one or the other seems a little down, more quiet than usual, needing extra space to just feel.
We are easy in the mornings, rather than sticking to our usual “alarm-clock wake up for school” routine. We drink hot cocoa and I read to the boys before we start our schoolwork. We take breaks, I cry randomly, and then we move to the next subject.
So, it ebbs and flows and some days are more productive than others. We are trying to be gentle with ourselves and with each other, which isn’t always easy. It would be nice if there were a set “end date” to grief, but I don’t think it works that way. So for now, we take it one day at a time.
God is near, and grace is real. We feel very cared for by the Father, even in the midst of our sadness.
Thank you for loving us and praying us through, ~Amey