Monday, September 22, 2008

724 Days

This is the time when everything starts to shake. My whole torso seems to shudder and vibrate with every shaky breath I take, pulsing in and out with grief. These are the times that make my head spin and my heart ache.

I was in yoga class last week, stretching and tensing my limbs in repetition in a darkened room. In the middle of class I suddenly found my body overtaken by intense sobs. One minute I was standing strong, arms stretched out, eyes locked straight ahead, the next I lay forehead pressed to the rubber mat, tears streaming up across my eyelids, through my eyebrows, and into my hair. Crying upside-down.

This is what it’s like. The grief just comes and hits hard and fast like a weighted blanket swung by someone very strong. Chest goes fuzzy numb and knees buckle. And then two hours later I’m fine. And by fine I mean “fine”.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
(C.S. Lewis, "A Grief Observed")

This time around I’ve found myself feeling the same familiar hustle, and looking desperately for an avenue to let some of this steam out. I want to work like crazy and busy myself up to try and match the frenzied pace inside. Last week it worked. But here I am on Monday morning and I’m realizing I can’t do that any more. This week is the countdown, the home stretch. One week until it’s been two years since my sweet momma stopped breathing. It hurts so much it’s almost sweet.

I still miss her so much.

And this week I can’t take that away, I can’t make it better, I can’t drown out the echoing throbs that ache for the innocence I once knew. They say that in a car accident it’s best not to tense up, but relax into the impact. This week I have to quiet my heart that’s throwing a fit to try and protect itself, and stretch out on this bed again and relax into the throes of grief.

This week I have to take it.

But this week also holds a new promise, a new hope. As I look back on the last two years, the past 724 days without my mom, amidst the piles of ash and burned rubble, I see restoration. I see the moment He touched my heart and opened my eyes to his goodness again. I see all those nights I lay on the floor, aching so deeply I thought I’d throw up, and my sweet Lord came and kissed my face and told me it would be okay. I see the night just a few weeks ago when I laughed for the first time since she died. Laughed… Not just a giggle or guffaw, but a true, honest, straight from my belly and toes and fingertips, so deep I cried, laugh! For the first time in a long time, I had tears that weren’t from pain. I didn’t know if that would ever happen again.

So as I’m laying here, still and throbbing, I feel hope rising. This week is the end of two years of battle, two years of war. This week marks the end of another year of pain’s dominion. This week I will remember my momma’s sweetness, her soft strength, her quiet wisdom and authority. This week I will remember all the ways my ravaged heart has been sewn up and kissed better by the one who made it. I will remember how he’s promised to restore me and “make all things new”. This week I will remember his faithfulness, and how it’s made all the difference.

It’s all going to be all right.


Arielle said...

If I could only express the admiration I have for you, for while this has been a battle, you are resilient and strong in ways I don't know I could ever be.

Rindy R said...

Amen - God Bless you!

Daisy said...

Jessica - echo to the previous comment - AMEN. I am thinking of you and remembering your sweet momma. I sure do miss her! And remembering God's faithfulness along with you, too. As always, you're in my heart and prayers. Love you!

The Glamorous Life said...

Just yesterday as I was driving myself home from dropping off the kids at school. I began crying. And I said outloud like it was a revalation 'I will never ever get over it'. I was surprised. It has been 4 years since my dad died and still my yearning to have things 'the way they were BEFORE' never wains. It is a simple feeling. I just MISS him.

"Grief is the price we pay for true love"

Hang tough. it won't get better. But you start to get used to it. You learn to deal.