I just threw $8 worth of pork chops in the garbage because I just couldn’t muster the energy to open the package, throw them into a pan, turn on the oven and bake them. They’ve been sitting in the refrigerator for three days. Four Wednesdays ago, my mother was alive. Four Wednesdays ago I received the most horrible news, again, that there had been a car accident. Four Wednesdays ago, my life had hope and promise. Like spoiled pork chops thrown in the garbage, my life stinks. It’s rotten, this grief. Terribly rotten.
I wonder how many tears I have cried in the last seven years. Oh, my God. I try to convince my sisters and brothers that it’s going to be okay. It will be okay. I don’t know how, and somehow I don’t believe it myself, but I repeat it anyway, hoping that somehow the truth will sink in. People tell me they love me, but the words bounce like an echo on a racquetball court. I fear I am not okay. I tell my sister that she’s not going crazy, that this is normal for grief. I’ve been here before. I know the drill. But I can’t find my footing. I’m still drowning in the tsunami washing over me. I play back the Marco Polo video my mom sent me a week before they left on their trip. Though I hear her voice say my name, I can’t comprehend this new reality. I just can’t. But I have to accept it. I have to. We all have to.
This is grief. The guilt, the regrets, the “if onlys” and the “could’a, should’a, would’a’s” sweep over us, my siblings and me. My mother’s death has forced us into a new reality. It’s a reality we’re all struggling to accept and process. Four weeks? How can anyone process this kind of loss in just four weeks? I keep asking for prayer. I keep going through the motions of life, hoping that somehow my brain and body will “fake it ‘til you make it,” that somehow they will catch up, accept this new reality. Am I trying hard enough? I don’t know. I just know I’m exhausted. Sleepless. I ate yogurt again for dinner. I fed my kids McDonalds. Again. So many fast food meals. So much guilt.
I know there are things to be thankful for. I know, for I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful that I can rest, not in my strength, but in God’s. I am thankful I am secure in Him. I am thankful for the love and support of so many. I am thankful for His word that lifts me, comforts me, and instructs me. I am thankful for the prayers of strangers and friends and for the intercession of the Holy Spirit on our behalf. I am thankful for my sisters and brothers, both blood-related and Christ-related. I am thankful. And I am grieving. This is grief.
In grief and gratitude,