This week my car has been in the shop. It’s actually been six days, but it feels like a lifetime. Of course, I used the time to get a lot done. I organized what needed to be organized in the basement, did some writing, worked on our grief support curriculum that’s due to come out in Jan/Feb 2017, homeschooled (a little), cleaned, did laundry, etc. It was foreign to me not to leave the house at some point during the day.
Since October, I’ve really been struggling with my grief. I mean, everything in me wants NOT to struggle. It’s almost as if each year that passes, I subconsciously hope I’ll be over the pain of losing my son because it hurts so terribly. I don’t want to hurt like this for the rest of my life. I want it to get easier, and, of course, some days are. But, there have been many days over the last several weeks that feel just like those first days. One of the biggest misconceptions of grief is that ‘time heals.’ Time does not heal in any way, shape or form. God alone is healer, and He’s still restoring my heart each and every day.
But, still I grieve. I grieve for my son – to love on him, to hug him, to talk to him and hear him talk back. I grieve for myself – the person I used to be, so fun loving and care free. I grieve for my husband who used to be the most physically strong and capable man I’d ever met. I grieve for Gabriella, who doesn’t want to be the same age as her brother. I grieve for Brian and his sensitivity that was buried in the grave with his brother. I grieve for Nate who never used to get angry and was always care-free and laughing. I grieve for my family that used to be six, and, as optimistic as I can be, it’s just not six anymore. It’s five. It’s six minus one – therefore, it’s five.
Being alone this week, with minimal distractions, has made me evaluate some things. Grief may not be eternal, but grief is constant and it lasts for a lifetime. Grief is love with no outlet to show that love. I’m hurting, and I don’t want to be. It’s so frustrating. If I’m overweight, I can try to diet. If I’m sore, I can try to work out my muscles. If I have a headache, I can take some aspirin. If I’m broke, I can work. If I’m hungry, I can eat. There seems to be fixes for everything. But, there is no fix for grief. You can’t bring people back. You can’t just stop missing them or go make a visit. It’s constant pain that God steps right into with us. He ministers his love and His healing, and, although there is momentary relief and an eternal hope, the pain doesn’t fully leave your heart.
Mary never stopped missing her son. I know this because I am a mother. Even though she knew he was used to deliver the world, that didn’t absolve her from the pain of her personal loss. Knowing Christiano did great and wonderful things and knowing he is with his Heavenly Father, doesn’t absolve me from the daily pain of living with one less child to mother.
If you are grieving, know that I’m with you. Know that God doesn’t shy away from you at your lowest. Know that you can lean and depend on God to comfort you in your darkest hours. To all the mothers, specifically. To the mothers who never got to hold their babies and to the mothers who once held their babies, but never will again until God calls you home – know that you’re not alone. Your pain, your devastation, your grief – so real. Your unfulfilled hopes, unseen plans and unrecognized dreams – so painful. Your questions, your struggle, your frustration, your anger – so valid. It’s so easy for people to tell us that we can’t move forward if we keep looking back. How can we not look back? All the memories, the experiences, the EVERYTHING tied to our child is back there.
You matter. Your child matters. Your loss matters. Your pain matters. To God and to me. I’m so sorry for your pain. I wish I could tell you it goes away, but I can’t. What I can tell you is that God will go through it with you and carry every ounce of your burden as you lean on Him. This doesn’t make it go away, but it makes your ability to walk forward on your journey just a little bit easier.
We will never ever move on, but, with God, we move forward; and sometimes, we even look back.