Predictable and Startling
Grief is predictable and startling at the same time.
I’ve come to expect a pit in my stomach when I pass Chandler’s bike memorial, the spot where everything changed on December 15. I anticipate feelings of sadness when I have to put away something in Chandler’s room. I know I will probably cry, or at least tear up, when his name is read each week during Prayers for the People at church.
It is startling when something new punches you in the gut. And it does. Regularly.
An email from insurance asking for details about Chandler’s accident as if they are asking Chandler directly. Chip took that punch.
A siren and flashing lights. I have to fight thoughts of what exactly happened to my baby boy that afternoon. The questions are too raw, the answers – known and unknown – too excruciating to contemplate.
A credit card offer in the mail bearing Chandler’s name.
An innocent question about my kids from someone who doesn’t know.
A song on the radio that played while making our daily pilgrimage to the hospital.
The one constant about grief is….its presence. It’s just always here. What it feels like or looks like exactly can change from moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day. But it remains a constant companion – an unwelcome companion. No one ever invites the opportunity for grief. But also a welcome companion, in a way, because the grief means there was, is, love.
I hear the grieving turns to mourning at some point, which is supposed to be a step up of sorts. It’s all semantics to me right now. I just know it always hurts.