“In desperate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of my house. I find her not.
My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be regained. But infinite is thy mansion my Lord, and seeking her I have come to thy door.”
It is so obvious that death is wrong. Backwards. Simply not meant to be. The eternal in us cries out for continuity. Nathan and I sit and stare and talk of how surreal it all is. That she was here, so fully here…and now she’s gone. One might expect that things are getting a bit easier as we approach the five month mark, but those who have grieved deeply know that right about now the shock that sustained us the first three months or so has worn off and the reality and permanence of her absence feels like a new revelation. And the missing her, oh the missing her…
I remember the first night I had to spend away from her. She was 3 days post-brain surgery and I hadn’t slept for more than an hour or two in something like 72 hours. Things weren’t making sense and my nerves were shot, but how do you leave your sick child? I would never think of leaving her for the night with a small fever much less with surgery-induced tremors and a shunt pulling fluid off her brain. It was treacherous, leaving her that night to sleep at a hotel across the street. I could never have imagined that spending every night without her would become a reality.
At night, I close her bedroom door. I hate seeing inside that empty room at night. In the morning, the first thing I do when I get up is open her door. With the door closed in the morning it feels like she might still be in there asleep, so before those thoughts can come I open the door to make it real. She’s not there. She didn’t sleep in her bed. I start the day facing that awful truth each morning. But it’s necessary. I don’t know why.
I haven’t had the courage yet to do anything with her room. I let children play in there with her toys when we have guests and the boys will spend time in there every now and then, so I don’t feel the need to preserve it just as she left it. It’s more that I feel incapable of deciding what to do with everything. I can’t just load it all up and take it to Goodwill. Each item must be gone over and a decision made about what to do with it, and that is overwhelming because of the emotional toll. Her clothes will eventually be made into a quilt, but even that requires the hurdle of allowing them to be cut up. Moving forward is scary, and so is standing still. I’d love to know how others navigated this part of losing their child…
In other news, the big boys started soccer this week. They will be playing on YWAM’s private school team, the Christian Heritage Patriots and they are super excited. We had another batch of cold weather this week that has slowed down the garden prep, but we are hoping to get some seeds in the ground as soon as it warms up again. I know the next few days will be full of mixed emotions as we approach Phoebe’s “No Mo Chemo” day on March 1st. This time last year our lives were full of expectation and hope. Thank you for continuing to pray for and think of our family, and thank you to those who have sent cards or rememberance gifts, they bless us more than you know.