I've realized this rehabilitation/healing process isn't smooth. Go figure. I've been discovering a lot of expectations, that I didn't even know I had, aren't very realistic and are downright naive. I had expected by now to be back "in the swing of things." Household things like baking homemade bread weekly, having "normal" sleeping habits, and a return of energy and mental clarity. But I have learned from many in our GriefShare group that these sorts of things don't magically return all at once. They sort of happen in fits and starts. I am just so relieved to know that it's "normal" for those of us in the grief journey, that I am not crazy or abnormal. I am learning to re-adjust my expectations.
I've also twice now caught myself referring to our 2nd born as the "oldest." Oh, how that pains my heart! She is NOT our oldest! I shocked myself both times as soon as the words left my mouth and my ears heard them. I don't know if other bereaved parents have struggled with this, either. It is a paradox to me and I am not sure how to deal with it. It leaves me confused and feeling as if I've betrayed my firstborn.
My heart is also heavy with the knowledge that I am forgetting, that lately I can't remember certain things about Matt. Grief is a double-edged sword in that, though excruciating when it is fresh, it is because the feelings, the smells, the memories, are fresh as well. However, the other side of the sword is a bit duller in that the farther in time from grief that one goes, the "duller" the pain, but then, too, the duller the feelings, the smells, and the memories. It, again, leaves me perplexed, troubled, and deeply saddened.
Moreover, reminders of our loss persist. This week, it was the FB post regarding one of Matt's cousins who will be graduating this upcoming school year, the same as Matt would have, that brought a stab of pain as his mom posted a preview of his Senior pictures. While I am happy for them, it is a bitter pill to swallow as it's also a reminder that that's not something we get to do. Can grief make one jealous? You bet. Just yet another temptation to battle along the journey. I must, however, choose to remember that God is just. It is not unfair. The truth is, we all will have an end to our days and they are not the same for everyone. However, those 18" in getting that truth from the head to the heart seems a lot farther at times.