We are adapting. We still speak of him constantly as if he is just in the other room instead of in heaven. He is so intertwined into who each of us are…and we like it that way. We have hit the really/reality phase.
He “really” isn’t going to walk back through the door.
He “really” isn’t going to be there when I roll over in bed.
He “really” isn’t here to help our son prepare his golf clubs and bag for the season.
I “really” didn’t have his input as I sold vehicles and purchased their replacement.
So our reality is now that he really isn’t just in the other room; but we still feel as if he is near.
It is a weird balancing act. I feel as though we are tight-roping high above our life and teetering between the realms of reality and dreams. I’m sure it sounds peculiar to you if you haven’t experienced it, and I don’t have the words to correctly describe it. But I am tip-toeing along, trying to stay balanced and to top it off, I find myself a juggler too! Trying desperately to keep all the balls in the air (and truth be told, slowly choosing which ones I need to allow myself to drop!). When suddenly, I get the air knocked out of me and I find myself grasping at every ounce of resolve I have to not collapse into a puddle of tears and plummet to the darkness below.
It is the little things now.
The huge crisis is over.
Life continues. This truthfully also, at times stinks (the fact that it goes on without a main character seems so wrong). We are living, and functioning, and continuing, and doing our best to somehow exist with this gaping hole but not allow it to swallow us up. It’s not that we desire to forget Tim (NEVER gonna happen), we just don’t want to be paralyzed by our grief and sorrow; so we forge ahead. We press forward knowing he is missing from every step we take, but somehow not making that the focus of our direction…and then WHAM! reality slaps a cold, hard, palm across our cheeks.
Last Thursday evening our daughter had basketball league evaluations. I stood with other parents filling out the registration forms. No big deal, right? Filled out “student athlete” portion, the “home” portion, the “mom” portion, and then uh oh…..you guessed it, the “dad” portion was staring me in the face and my eyes suddenly began swimming with tears, my breathing temporarily stopped and my heart ached with each labored beat.
I was there to register my child; my thoughts were consumed with the task at hand. I was not in “grieving widow” mode. And yet, I am learning that I am never really out of “grieving widow” mode. I can still see the form clearly in my mind, along with my scrawled answer.
OUCH! That hurt far more than I could have ever imagined or prepared myself for.
Maybe that’s the problem though, now that I think about it. I can’t prepare myself for every little thing that will trigger the intensive paralyzing grief that the kids and I will experience. I am finding that sometimes the littlest things are the hardest. I like to be prepared. I crave organization and precision. It is who God created me to be. Sometimes it is what leads me to my biggest sins, too. Sadly, relinquishing control is not a skill I gracefully possess. The times that I am obedient in this area don’t always look so much like a sweet, respectful child; but more closely resemble stubborn temper tantrum surrender…not one of my finer qualities! God is so very patient with me as He takes me back through the remedial classes on this topic time and time again. To be fair to myself, I have grown in this area over the past 5 years. (That doesn’t mean I am anywhere near where I need to be, it just reveals how much more horrible I was before. [haha] I am so grateful for His loving kindness!)
So, if you are one of the people who interact with the three of us daily, please be patient with us when we freak out over seemingly minor things. Our emotions are still a bit wonky as we walk this tightrope between full-blown, paralytic, grief and the life we are expected (and called) to live with thankfulness and joy.
And let’s be real here, thank goodness the gentleman who was my third call in a row this past Friday asking for Tim was the last call like that of the day. I’m not sure I could have extended grace
It’s the little things. Praise God, for He cares about the big things AND the little things! He cares and He knows…and He never leaves us alone on the tightrope!
After all, HE IS IN CONTROL. Amen.