This morning we went to the building next door for breakfast with Audrey’s two new friends- Ben and Becket. Audrey had a lot of fun playing with their toys and didn’t want to go home. I don’t blame her- it’s just me and her here…I wish it was the three of us again.
I think my brief reprieve from the acute pain might already be ending. Wasn’t long enough- not at all. But I’ll take what I can get I suppose.
As I was walking outside back to our building- I just kept seeing you Dan. I saw you with your head cocked to the side smiling when you saw us…walking towards us from the parking lot. I felt so comforted. And then so much pain.
Audrey pulled the little suitcase along on the curb that you got her in London. She’d filled it with toys to share with Becket and Ben. A small child’s amazing development is just too quick for grief. In that way it is unmerciful- relentless. She is already so different than when you saw her. You’d be amazed. But then I think about how much is still the same- she’s still wearing the sneakers you and I picked out together. She still sleeps in the same pajamas- but soon- soon her wardrobe will change for Fall- and she’ll be up a size in her shoes and clothes. You won’t have seen any of the things she wears. Me- I’ll still be wearing the same stuff you always saw me in. Her car seat will be facing forward- she’ll be in a booster instead of her high chair- and hopefully not wearing diapers much longer. I am scared for all the changes that will take place- that will take us so much further from you. It is perhaps the most frightening thing.
This morning my “grief email” said something like, “Just repeat this to yourself all day- ‘I will focus on you Jesus. I will focus on you.’ ” This doesn’t seem helpful to me at all. What does it mean, I’ve often wondered to focus on an invisible “God” that you can’t conceptualize really- and have never met. Are you really focusing on him or just focusing on focusing on something- a form of meditation? This makes me think I’d like to reread JD Salinger’s lesser known work: Franny and Zoey- in it they keep repeating a mantra like this…
These days you are really gone to me- I don’t feel you looking over my shoulder much anymore. I wonder- if I think I’ll feel you- do I feel you? And if I think I won’t- do I not? Is it all just in the power of our heads? Many will say, “Of course.” I want something completely outside of myself. I want something “other” the way you were to me.
And as I was walking back to our building and Audrey was running up and down the little hill in our complex saying, “Up, up up” and “Down, down, down!” I was thinking, “Dan, you really let me down…you really did.” It’s funny how these kinds of thoughts seem integral to the grieving process- I see them on the forums all the time. I don’t know why I’d think that since I don’t blame you for your death- something so unforeseen for all of us- something you never would’ve done on purpose. But I do- I feel you’ve let me down. I want you to see us and see me- going on here. It’s so important to me that you see…
And I thought this morning how unfair it is again- another staple of the grieving process. Even if it’s true that where you are is so much better than we could imagine…won’t I be going there one day too? Don’t many get to experience both- this life AND the afterlife? So, you still got cheated no? Or doesn’t this life count for anything?