It's day two. She's been gone for two days. The pictures have stopped being posted online. The condolences have stopped coming in. The phone and computer are silent. The world is still turning. People are posting pictures about end of school activities, graduations, fun times with the family, and she's only been gone two days.
My world stopped. Why didn't everyone else's?
And my sister-in-law reminded me, it's my pain that I feel. It's not everyone else's pain. Everyone else's life keeps going. The world keeps spinning. And that irritates me. It rubs me raw like sandpaper. It makes me want to get mad at people for no good reason.
And I think what's frustrating me the most at this point is my world keeps turning too. The laundry keeps piling up, the dishes keep filling the sink, the kids still have parties at school to attend, end of year performances to perform. My world keeps turning too, and it beckons me to move forward with it.
But it feels so wrong to move forward without her in it.
It hurts to try and line up another sitter for the wedding we have to attend in two weekends. The air in my throat tightens every time I think about the fact that there will be no more random text messages, tweets, or stop-in visits. She'll never come knocking on my door again and make my children squeal with delight. We will never throw our arms around each other again in this life.
And the pain singes deep and lingers. I hurt because she's gone, and there are moments when I can move on with life and clean my house and make my plans like she never existed. And then I hurt because something--a song, a smell, a memory--will remind me she did. She's only been gone two days! And the tears surge and pour again, just when I thought I had run dry. And it hurts. It hurts that I can even think about moving on, but it hurts to not try as well.
And then I get mad because she wouldn't want me to be acting this way. She would want me to keep moving on, to keep moving forward, to live life. Because she loved to live life! And she'd be mad I was trying to stop it on account of her. And that anger hurts.
And then, then I feel ashamed. Because she's not my child, not literally. And my heart reaches out to her family, and I want to wrap them in bubble wrap and protect them from all these emotions because if mine are overwhelming theirs have got to be five times as penetrating.
And then, the peace of God will flood my being, and He will remind me of His command to me, to pour out my heart to Him. To let Him be my refuge. And so despite the hesitancy to put word to paper, despite the fact that it seems more prudent to stay inside my head, I can't. If I do, I'll sink.
Faith in God keeps us from sinking like Peter walking on the water. Keep your eyes on Him. Take every thought captive. Never take the spiritual eyes of your heart off of Christ. He will keep you on top of the water. Looking at the waves of emotion instead of Him will only cause you to sink.
The truth is God IS my refuge. The truth is God is good. The truth is God is just. The truth is God does right by His people. The truth is the starting point for my emotions. The truth is from where my emotions should stem, not the other way around. But to think this way is not normal. Normal is for your emotions to mold what you believe to be true, but that's not God's way. He says I AM the truth and the life. So if I start there, and believe that, and sink my anchor on Him, my emotions cannot carry me away. They cannot sink me into the darkness. That's an unchangeable fact.
So, life moves on. I have to move on. And to move forward, I have to let go. I feel guilty and wrong for letting go. My emotions tell me I am letting her down. I feel deep sadness every time I realize an hour has gone by, and I didn't mourn her passing. I can never forget her, but I've been down this road of loss before. You never forget, but their presence in your life begins to fade, and time soothes the wound, and healing begins.
It's just at this point, two days later, I'm not ready to feel the healing. Isn't that silly? I want to stop time, stop my world, sit and do nothing but think about her because if I think about her and dwell on her, then she's still here. The pain makes her life seem real. The tears seem to keep her alive. I feel like if I begin to heal, then I'm dishonoring her, I'm dishonoring her family, I'm not holding her memory in esteem. Because when I stop feeling the hurt, then she's really gone. So it's almost like you make yourself hurt. You make yourself dwell on thoughts that continually reopen the wound to keep it fresh.
But that's not good. That's how scars happen.
You see, the wound has already been treated with the healing ointment of God's presence and truth. It has been covered with the powerful protection of prayer. It may only be two days later, but it's already beginning to heal, and that's not a bad thing. That's a good thing. That's God's design. We need to allow the healing and stop picking at the scab.
And today every emotion just makes me want to pick the scab, so I'm pouring out my heart to my God, the One True God, the God who made heaven and earth, who knit me in my mother's womb, who ordained my days here on earth before I was ever born, who did the same for my sweet girl I miss so much. That is truth. And in Truth I can find my strength. I will see her again.
Life moves on, and I guess--after sitting to write all this--I am overwhelmed by my Heavenly Father telling me, "That's ok. Healing is a good thing. Let Me heal your heart. Stop picking at the scab."
So I will rejoice, for He has made me glad. Even just two days later, He is making me glad. I think that would make her glad too.