The past several days have been difficult, but necessary. All the things have been done, and business is managed. Days are no longer filled with paperworks and phone calls and endless driving around being all official and doing of important tasks. A while back I kind of griped about all that stuff, because there was no time to mourn.
Now there’s time, and I am thankful for it, even though it hurts. There is time to sit and remember 30 years of a relationship, with moves and house renovations and arguments and hurt feelings and making up and delight in each other. There’s time to remember how many times he called me beautiful and I called him handsome. So many times he would come home with a new dress he saw in a store window, because he knew I would never buy it. So many times I encouraged him to get that power tool and make that cabinet. I have been looking at pictures from beach trips with tiny children and car washed and weddings. All of them cause joy, for the memories, and 30 years of life with this wonderful man. They also cause sorrow, for the loss of 30 more years, and the what-might-have-beens. All of this, every emotion, is so necessary. I need to feel all of it.
We shove sadness away, don’t we, in this culture. Sad people are told to CHEER UP. Sorrow is viewed with concern and sad people are avoided, in case it’s contagious. Sometimes (often) I wish we had the mourning customs of Ethiopia, with it’s head shaving and many people in the house and so much noise. Get it all out! Don’t hold it in and pretend to be strong!
I hear that so much…”You’re so strong!” and such like. I guess because I am keeping it private. Sort of…this isn’t so private, but whatever. Public displays of anything aren’t really my way. But, this sorrow, the tears and remembering and heartache, it is so incredibly important. It feels deeply necessary.
It’s not despair, don’t think that. It’s not self pity or fear for Himself’s afterlife, or anything like that. It’s…missing him. The shortest verse in the bible is “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). He is crying because he feels the sorrow of the loss of his dear friend Lazarus, and sympathy for Mary and Martha. (read the whole chapter for context). Nowhere in the Bible are we told that feeling sorrow is bad. Jesus felt loss, I feel loss. He wept. I weep. It’s fine. It hurts, but so do many things that are good for us. It is a comfort beyond words that God knows precisely what I am going through.
It’s important, this grieving process. I can’t tell you exactly WHY, because I am still in the middle of it, but I can tell you that it is RIGHT. I am still going to do it in private, because that’s how I roll, but be assured that I am certainly going to do it, for as long as it takes. I want my children to do it, and Himself’s family, and all the people who feel the loss in their lives. And I am going to always thank God for the 30 years we knew each other, and that Himself is in God’s presence, singing (in tune!) and probably making furniture with Jesus, the other Great Carpenter.
I think all the busy work and paper stuff and hoopla that has taken place, keeping me from grief and such, was a good thing. The shock of it has worn off, and the grief can happen peacefully, with order and I can mix the joy in with it.
There’s no telling how long this is going to last. I don’t really care. It will last as long as it takes.