I wrote this last night at midnight. Just came out of me and I decided to share it. I did not rewrite anything, didn’t want to prove read, I wanted it to just be real and raw. So here it is:
Yesterday was National Grief Awareness day and it made me think of so many things. Well that, and the fact that people I know and love are in the midst of very fresh losses themselves.
It took me back, back to the rawness of it all. Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come. I forget that as my work day got closer to ending my anxiety would grow and my skin would crawl because I no longer wanted to go home without him there, but I also wanted to be no where else but home. I forget that for over a year I never missed a day going to the cemetery because being there brought me closer to him. Whether I went before work or after or on my day off, I was there. I needed to be there. It felt like peace.
At times, while driving, I would simply breakdown sobbing. I had no way to release this “thing” inside me, this energy, this grief. Sometimes my only release was to scream at the top of my lungs, which I did on more than one occasion. To anyone who hasn’t experienced it, grief of such magnitude, I looked crazy I’m sure…but to some, oh I know they would understand. I wanted to punch walls out, do anything to get the grief OUT.
When it calmed down it would just be quiet. Still. Numb. I forget sometimes I would sit on my couch for hours and just stare. No tv was on, no phone in my hands, nothing, time would just pass and I would just stare. I forget sometimes that I would pray and cry out to the Lord to perform a miracle and bargain with him. “If you bring him back I’ll tell of this miracle. We will bring people closer to you.” But that wasn’t how this story would end. Erik was not coming back, BUT maybe, just maybe, I would bring some people closer to Him. Because the Lord, He held me. He quite literally carried me some days because I had NOTHING left to give. Nothing to give Him, or my friends, or my family.
Time kept passing and each day, there He was. Hope never died, even when I almost wanted it to, even when I wanted to. I didn’t understand, how could life still be going? How could people laugh? How could people complain? How was any of that possible? I’m not sure when the shift started. It was subtle. It took time. A lot of time. Some how I saw light in the darkness, I saw hope in the bleak, HE CARRIED ME.
There were days I thought I would never laugh again, never love again, never really live but merely exist. That is grief. It’s raw and it’s real and it’s hard but it’s also beautiful too. You can be a fighter in grief. You can discover things about yourself, you can discover things about The Lord as well. That doesn’t mean you won’t fall and that doesn’t mean you won’t cry because trust me, you will, but you can thrive too.
I do not believe Erik had to die for “this or that” to happen…but I do believe God can use his loss and bring purpose in the pain. The connection I have had with others through my grief is like nothing else. I would not trade my story for anything because I have an amazing love that will live on for as long as I do (and beyond) and I also have a purpose that can come out of it all. For anyone in the very new rawness of grief I will never tell you “it’s going to get easier” because honestly, that’s kind of annoying when you are in the throws of it…but I will tell you that God has you. That He will continue to have you. That no matter whether you feel like you can’t do this or not that you will because guess what? The other choice just isn’t good enough. So you WILL survive this because you HAVE to, because you have no other choice but to survive.
Some describe it like the ocean. The waves in the beginning are crashing on you over and over and over and you think you may drown. You keep getting hit by one after another and barely can take a breath. Then you’ll notice one day that you got a breath in, not for long but you did. Then the waves come in just a tad farther apart even though they are just as big. Then, over time, maybe every other wave is just a little smaller. Not all of them but some…some give you a moment to breath, to think, to pray, to hope.
So no, it will most certainly not be easy. Grief has been the hardest thing I have ever endured. First the loss of my husband and then the loss of my stepchildren. One by death, another by circumstance. Both knocked me to my knees and left me gasping for air…but here I am. It’s not easy, tears still fall and sometimes I still need to scream, but He never promised me easy. We are not of this world. So until I’m in my final eternity, I will continue on. I will laugh, cry, fight, hope and most importantly love. If no one else tells you today, you are allowed to cry, you are allowed to scream, and yes your skin may even feel like it’s crawling sometimes…all these hard things will happen AND there is STILL HOPE! Seek Him. Always.
Sending anyone who read this so much love!