10/29/13

still grieving . . . .

"The reality is that you will grieve forever.
You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one;
you will learn to live with it.
You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.
You will be whole again but you will never be the same.  
Nor should you be the same nor would you want to."

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & John Kessler

October 28 - We went out on a date, just the 2 of us, to LaCabana in Menominee.  It was our first time there, and little did we know, our last.  That day, Kajsa learned that she had made the cheer team.  Her Daddy was so proud!  

We never dreamed he'd never see her cheer.

October 29 - The girls and I went to town to run errands and get groceries.  We searched all over for pumpkins to carve.  We finally found some right here in Wallace.  As we left the pumpkin patch, Kajsa slammed her foot in the car door (I still can't figure out how her LEFT foot was slammed in the RIGHT side passenger door - but that's Kajsa!)

Little did we know that this would be the last boo-boo Daddy would console.

October 30 - We went to church.  Like always.  Rickey stood at the door with a smile and a hug for all who entered.

I'm sure nobody there dreamed it would be the last "good morning" hug, smile and hand-shake they'd get from Rickey.

And on we go through the week that lies ahead.

Living in the present, but all too aware of the past.

Someone told me that the second year after loss can be harder than the first. 

They were right in some ways.

The first year is about survival.

The first year was about all the "firsts".  I survived the first Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter . . . the first anniversary of when he went to Heaven.  And because they were the "firsts" others remembered them as well.  They were fresh for everyone, we grieved together at times, at times I grieved alone, deeply and agonizingly.

The second year is about reality.  

The second year began . . . I survived the second Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas . . . and by then, I began to realize that this IS real.  This IS my new reality.  The numbness and newness of the grief was no longer there, I began to  "feel" again.  And, even though life HAS moved on, I have felt deeply.  The grief has been deeper and sharper than I imagined, hitting when I least expect it.  The question STILL plagues me . . . why?  I KNOW in my head that God's ways are NOT my ways.  I KNOW that our days are in His hands and were written before even our first breath was taken (Psalm 139), but still . . . why?  It still doesn't make sense.  I still don't understand. This was NOT my plan.  I do my best to "be still and know".  I do my best to remember WHO is in control (and it's surely not me).  But it still hits, some days like a tsunami.  Sudden, unexpected and fierce.  I have cried more tears this year than last.  I have questioned myself more this year than last . . . did I LOVE him enough?  Did he know how much I loved him?  In his death, did I point people to Jesus enough?  The list goes on.

Until I get to Heaven myself, those questions will never be answered.  I will never know how Rickey's life and death may have impacted others.  Until then, I have to continue to trust that GOD, not me is writing my story.

Just this morning, I read a quote on Facebook:

"My life may not be going the way I planned it, but it's going exactly the way God planned it."

So, as this week marches on (as time has a way of doing), I will continue to trust that God's ways are higher than mine.  I will continue to thank Him for my beautiful children who Rickey left to me as a reminder, and a testimony of his life of service to Christ.  I will be ever so thankful that He brought Rick into my life - who so graciously and lovingly understands this strange dance with grief that I do.  For I have learned that grief is not something you ever 'get over', rather, it just takes on different dimensions as time passes.

As C.S. Lewis said:

For in grief nothing 'stays put.'  One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs.  Round and round.  Everything repeats.  Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?

But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?

How often -- will it be for always? -- how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, 'I never realized my loss till this moment'?  The same leg is cut off time after time."

Ah, yes, what a perfect metaphor . . . it happens time after time - and each time it's like remembering it anew.

"The reality is that you will grieve forever.
You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one;
you will learn to live with it.
You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.
You will be whole again but you will never be the same.  
Nor should you be the same nor would you want to."