Thursday, January 21, 2016
On loss and learning to go on
The sun came up here today.
This seems unremarkable, maybe, except that I almost didn't expect it to rise.
It was a long night, every half hour or so punctuated with a gurgly wail or a congested whimper- "Mama!"- and my own body, reluctant to rise, dragging itself against my will to respond.
And every time I pulled myself from bed, my heart remembered that Gram is still gone.
She died on Monday morning. She's not here any more. Yes, I know all the things about how she's no longer suffering, and she's with her mother now, and she can see her husband again, and her body and mind are whole and she's with Jesus...but it still hurts.
Somehow, in spite of this loss that feels like it casts a shadow over everything in my whole life, I have to keep going. There is schoolwork, and Sam needs a haircut before we leave in three hours. I have to pack everyone's funeral clothes, and we have to make the quickest trip in history because the Snowpocalypse is coming tomorrow (and most Virginians cannot drive in snow).
And Felix is sick.
Sick babies are the saddest thing of all, because they don't understand why they feel so bad. They don't know how to blow their noses, and they don't know that taking medicine and lukewarm baths and squirting saline up their noses will make them feel better in the long run. They look up pitifully at us and cry and wonder why we're torturing them.
And when Felix looked up at me with red-rimmed eyes and a drippy nose and moaned, "Sad. I sad. Nose sad!" my own eyes filled up with tears again.
Everyone needs me today, and I feel like I have nothing to give them but sighs and tears.
I'm not sure how Gram did it with four children of her own. She said, "Mercy!" a lot. I find myself borrowing it pretty often these days, like when Sam fell off the counter this morning trying to make his own toast. Or when Lucy needed Tylenol for a headache and it made Nora feel less special. Or when Nora subsequently refused to allow Lucy's slice of bread to share the toaster with her own.
Somehow, Gram always seemed to be able to give everyone just what was needed...even Gramp, especially Gramp, even when he was grumpy and grouchy and kind of ungrateful for it. She gave him his jacket or some coffee or some headache powder. She gave him her generosity and kindness and the benefit of the doubt and, and she told everyone how he "never complained" about his aches and pains (even though he really complained pretty often).
She's the one who never complained.
She did roll her eyes a lot.
I do that, too. I have done it at least seven times already today.
It's only 8:30. Before we go to bed, we will be five hours from here at my mom's house having already survived Gram's visitation at the funeral home. It feels like a long day already.
Please pray for us, will you? And if there's something I can pray for you, if you have an intention I could remember this weekend, would you share it with me, please?