It’s been a month since Winnie died.
Maybe you’re tired of hearing about that. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about black people getting shot by the police. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about a savior who died on a cross for your sins.
I get it. I’m tired too. So very tired.
It’s so easy to become numb because the alternative is so horrifying. Either we let the pain of this world soak into our bones and change us in an uncomfortable way, or we push it away and go about our business.
And so we…
And I get it. Life happens, I had to go to work today too. Rachel even vacuumed our house (which she hates doing). But after we spent all day Adulting we came home and sat down and starting prying into the part of us that felt so uncomfortably numb. And under that numbness is (surprise) a deep well of pain, and even scratching that surface this evening was exhausting.
The past month has been hard, but we’ve also been walking through a fog of shock. When Clive passed we had 10 days of seeing his body waste away and to say goodbye to him and to begin the impossible work of preparing our hearts. We didn’t get that with Winnie, and I think we’re just not waking up the huge difference that makes. We still haven’t been able to prepare our hearts to say goodbye in this life. The difficulty is that preparing your heart in such a way takes time, energy, and a soft heart.
The time part is out of our hands and as much as we hate it, it keeps ticking away the seconds. As for energy, we haven’t had it. And as for soft hearts, we’re working our way through the scarred minefield that was Clive’s passing. Mostly we don’t have the energy. But when we do muster up the energy and start to “clear a soft spot” in our hearts to start processing our grief and our daughter we find so much debris that has to be cleared away first. And by the time we clear away 1 or 2 stones we are left exhausted and have barely begun the work. I feel like this analogy fails, but it’s the best one that comes to mind at the moment (I’m tired remember).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’ve barely begun the work and there’s a long way to go. We both feel quite confident in the fact that the hardest part still lies ahead. We’re just not sure what that looks like yet. In a way, we do. We’ve become well acquainted with this road of grief. But it’s a tricky road and there are a lot of places where even those who think they know the way can get lost. Or rather, you take a turn and expect to see a familiar sight, and instead the trees are taller and darker, the landscape is not what you remembered… everything is different and wrong and off-putting.
I’m not sure what I’m saying… so I can be quite sure you’re not sure what I’m saying.
I forgive you if you go back to being numb. I’m not sure I can offer a compelling argument for the alternative.
What I can say is that my own numbness has been a reproach to me. I prayed that it might leave me so I could cry and mourn my daughter in peace. Tonight, a month after losing my second child, I felt it lift a bit. It scared me to see what was under it, but it also comforted me to see underneath was simply a dad grieving his kids…. Which is to be human…. Or perhaps to be more like our God.