This Thing Called Grief

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five months later, I had the thought that the grief would be less, the pain not as stabbing.  Jimmy and I misguided in our thinking that we would be in a “better” place today. 

How wrong we were…

The tears flow so easily.  Daily. 

I liken our tears to a cup filled to the brim, with the water about to careen over the edge.  Our tears are now forever on the edge.  It takes no effort for them to topple over that thin rim.  Once over, they continue to flow, to pour. 

The cry of grief is unlike any other cry that exists. 

It’s one so visceral that it comes from the depths of your core.  One that comes out of nowhere.  At any given moment.  Literally creeps in.  One that doesn’t care where you are when it arrives.  The cry of grief is more primal than it is an actual cry.   It’s one that can’t be stopped until its ready. 

A cry that time can’t heal.

Day in and day out, we push.  Jimmy works non-stop throughout the day as if making up for a year’s worth of time.  I keep a full and busy calendar between the boys, the foundation and other commitments. 

But sometimes we push too hard.  We make the outside world think that we are okay.  Give the impression…or say everything is fine.

Guess what?  We are liars. 

Everything is not okay.  We aren’t okay.  Sometimes.  Much of the time.  Our hearts ache from morning to night and through the night. 

We talk about her. 

Every. Single. Day.

For our boys, for others and maybe even some for ourselves, we feign happiness most of the time.  Our heart weighs so heavily in our body that we sometimes “joke” that we are surprised we can move. 

The grief is stifling. 
The grief is debilitating. 
The grief is life changing.

Nothing in life compares to this grief.  Jimmy knows firsthand.  He lost his dad at a young age and has now lost his daughter.  He has shared with me that for him there is not a comparison.  They are both incredibly devastating but also different.  Losing his dad changed his childhood, he shared, but losing Everly has changed him.

Our hearts ache with this desire to hold her again, to touch her, to hear her squealy sounds, to feed her, to change her NG tube, to squeeze her, to smell her.  The thoughts of never having this with her again comes on like a runaway train…with vengeance and can’t be stopped.  It causes devastation when it hits and is completely unexpected.   

Some days we don’t have the strength to push through.  Some days we stay within the safety of our home.  Some days we rely on each other here at the house…our little family.  We are thankful for my dad who comes over three days a week because he goes out into the big world for us a lot.  He thrives on that, though I don’t doubt there are times when it’s hard for him, too.   I’m happiest when I’m in the “safety” of my home and having dad do some of the errands, drop offs, pick-ups, etc. has been a huge blessing.  It allows us to stay protected in our cocoon of the house.

No joke…the outside world is harsh. 

We pretty much stayed in for the first month or so for this reason but I’m finding that Jimmy and I still prefer our four walls to out “there.”  I know it’s the same for my mom, too.  It’s so incredibly difficult for each of us to socialize in the midst of such deep anguish.  We find those “windows” of time when we can and we try to take full advantage of those moments because they are so every fleeting.  For the benefit of the boys and our own well-being, we push, moving forward slowly. 

We had been told early on that grief can get harder as the months…year…years…progress.  I remember we all jokingly said we didn’t think that could be the case, maybe it was just them. 

Ummmm…no.  Unfortunately, they were spot on.

The pain today is riddled with more agony and sorrow than it ever was back in February, March, April. 

Why?  I wish I knew the straight answer but I can only surmise that it goes back to the “bubble” I wrote about early on after Everly went to Heaven.  Call it shock, a God-given hedge of protection…whatever it was, it allowed us to function…actually get up out of bed each day and move from room to room, eat, have conversations.  But now that coverage is gone.  We have raw, open wounds.

Wounds that won’t heal. 

Band-aids, like good days, mask the wound beneath the fabric and later mask the scar behind. 

From a personal standpoint and speaking for myself alone, I thoughtfully post the good on Everly’s Facebook page…our progress, our family successes after losing her.  But I also try to be bitterly honest, too, and share our struggles.  If I am nothing else, I’m authentic and real…probably to a fault sometimes. And you know what?  I don’t care.  I’d rather shoot straight on good days AND bad ones. 

We are ALL having a tough time right now.  ALL of us.  The boys in their own way.  My dad in his and my mom in hers.  And Jimmy and I in ours.  Even, Ala has shown us moments of mourning. 

Our lives are forever changed.  I know that God will turn “this” into good.  How?  Not a clue since all we can see right now is the blur through the pain.  I just don’t doubt that He will. 

Our hearts are like something broken into so many different pieces that no matter how skilled one is at repairs, the item…like our hearts…can never be put back together.  While we have faith in our forever future, our hope for something better, we also have real pains, real hurts. 

We are hurting. 

It’s real, it’s a tangible kind of hurt.

Our cry deafening.   

Our grief palpable.   

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