The Day After
My plan for this post was to say "thank you"s for yesterday's amazing celebration of Chandler's life.
But as I sit here, my heart is hurting, and if I'm going to be honest about this journey, that's what I need to share. I will extend my "thank you"s in tomorrow's post.
The reality of grief is that as I work my way through writing this, I will probably cycle through a few different emotions.
The last of our family from out of town left about 45 minutes ago, and it is quiet. As soon as I said goodbye and closed the front door, the tears began to fall. My heart literally hurt. Every cell in my body strained to hear Chandler unlock the front door, stroll into the kitchen, and grab whatever leftovers are in the refrigerator. I could always count on him to make sure no food was wasted, much to the chagrin of his dad who would always yell out, "Who ate the last of my ice cream?" We will also find out now who actually opens the second bag of tortilla chips before the first one is finished.
Reaching for tissues, I saw my phone and noticed texts from friends. I knew this was God caring for me right when I needed it. One of the texts was from a compassionate fellow mom who is in the club no mom ever wants to join. She was extending herself to me from her own pain. I asked her, "How long before this isn't the first thing I think of in the morning, the last thing I think of at night, and the thing that consumes every moment in between?" I knew what the answer would be. This is going to be a long one.
Then Charli and her sweet friend came downstairs to grab a snack in between doing homework and I was so happy to hear their laughter. We even laughed about a conversation she'd had with Chandler not too long ago. My heart felt lighter.
I know that losing my mom is a different variety of pain than losing my child. But I still take courage in knowing that after some time, I would end the day and realize I hadn't been sick at my stomach, or cried, or wished my mom were there. Mother's Day would come and I would no longer feel an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness. It doesn't seem possible right now, but I know from experience, time does help in the healing process.
Speaking of time, I don't like that it is a necessary element in the process of healing. I have to just feel this pain. There is no way around it. It is natural and normal and not something to be skipped over. In that sense, time does not feel like my friend. I hope and pray that time will be kind to me.
On writing...I hadn't wanted to start a CaringBridge site when all this went down. But my friends told me they thought it would be good for me and that I could help other people through it, so I did it. This has been a lifeline for me. Each and every time someone said that my words were an encouragement or an inspiration or that it helped them in any way, that was a point of redemption, evidence that God was already bringing good from such a painful circumstance. So I'm going to keep writing. CaringBridge is not quite the appropriate venue now, so I'm trying to figure out what is.
I told you I would run through the gamut of emotions during this post, and here I am, ready to open up the Grisham novel I had almost finished before December 15 and find out the ending.