Friday, November 11, 2011

One step forward, countless back

15 weeks. In so many ways, it's so much harder. Psalm 46 says, "though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging" I will not fear. God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Clinging to the rock that is higher than I.

Fridays are just hard days. I have privately wondered in anguish how long it would be before I lost Matt's smell. Yes, his smell. We have kept his sheets, blanket, and pillow in our room since the day he died. For the first several weeks, Dh and I slept with Matt's comforter between us, trying to capture our son's presence, to grasp whatever we could, whatever we had left of him. I have smelled his pillow every night before going to bed. Oftentimes I will pause throughout the day in the usual coming and going into our bedroom and savor the smell of his pillow.

This morning, I could not smell him. It was like having my heart wound torn open all over again. I knew it was not going to be a good day. The waves of grief came crashing violently in and snatched me out into the deep. I couldn't handle dealing with the two-year old, so I called a friend and she came to take him for the day. What a blessing and a lifeline.

Trying to regain my footing, I decided we would do "night school" and directed my energy instead on the mindless task of switching out the last of the seasonal clothing for Miss T.T. and Mr. Monkey. The older girls did their own several weeks ago. I had managed to get Army boy's and Drama boy's clothes done a few weeks ago, too. There's also been a towering pile of "homeless" clothing on the shelves in each closet for several months that have needed tending to. So I bit the bullet and pulled ALL of them down and drug out ALL the clothes boxes from sizes 2T through size 6. We spent ALL day sorting, throwing, and giving away.

Grief is hard work, no matter how you slice it. I am in awe of how many tears one can cry. It amazes, humbles, and comforts me, too, to know that God is aware of every one of them. Psalm 56:8 "Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?" I cannot fathom how many mine are, much less all the millions of other peoples' who have experienced sorrow of some sort. 

 Grief is exhausting. Yet I will not apologize or feel ashamed for crying. It is healthy and necessary for healing. If I feel like crying, I will cry. Whether it's in front of others or alone, I will not deny the God-given expression of sorrow. The physical impact of grief is crushing. It compromises the immune system in ways I never knew. We have suffered from sleeplessness and illness for literally months. But we have been sustained and provided for by friends and family the entire time. Without them, we honestly would not have been able to survive. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you..." Phil.1:3

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