Passage of Grief

Hello, blog.

A few days ago my mother-in-law died unexpectedly.

It feels like everything has changed. A mountain could’ve moved–the world feels so different. Everything I say, think, or do is post-tragedy. Post-Barb.

But it also feels like nothing has changed because I still have bills to pay and a job to go to on Monday. The boys still have school, and birthdays will still come and go.

I’m trying to come to grips with the tragedy and how to… well, not move on, but keep living. How do I put one foot in front of the other and pretend I’m okay?

I found a beautiful quote today that I feel sums up grief beautifully:

“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor of lack of faith. It is the price of love.” –author unknown

We loved her. That’s for sure.

This morning I had a tenuous grasp on my emotions with a constant prick of tears at the back of my eyes and lump in my throat. But I had a good game face until we had all four kids strapped into the van ready to go to town and…

The van wouldn’t start.

We took the kids inside, and I marched info my bedroom, planted my face into my pillow, and unraveled.

My husband came to check on me and said, “I didn’t know you were still hurting this bad.”

And I’m thinking, “When does it get better?” We’re in the point in our passage of grief where the tunnel is still so dark–nearly pitch black as we grope our way through, unsure of our footing. It’s a path I’ve never trod. I don’t know the way. Maybe no one does.

But there is hope.

In our darkest hour in that hospital when we had just lost Barb and our grief was nearly suffocating, something happened. We sat in the critical care waiting room wiping tears from our eyes, and the stupid television was still on playing some meaningless series. I was just wishing we could turn the darn thing off when a commercial came on TV and–suddenly–there was a screaming goat.

And it was the most ridiculous thing. But then my brother-in-law was laughing. And my sister-in-law was laughing. And, darn it, I was laughing.

And even though we weren’t okay, there was a glimmer of hope that somehow we could be…? That maybe we would laugh again.

My husband sat next to me today as I tried to wade out of my grief unsuccessfully. He read me funny stories, and I laughed until I was nearly ready to cry again, but this time with joy.

And I’ve decided that even though the passage of grief will be hard, I’m going to hold onto that glimmer of hope until it shines brilliantly. I’m going to cling to the memories of love and joy and let them be my guide.

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