I’ve made a point of being pretty open here. Not just because it helps me, but because others have told me it’s helped them- they see what it’s like, or can relate and appreciate knowing they aren’t the only ones feeling stuff. It’s not always easy, because writing this stuff out makes me deal with it, look it straight in the eyes and really see it. I’m the sort who compartmentalizes. It might be the sort of day where The Sad is enormous, but something really important needs doing (like, say, a final exam) and I can’t use a foggy excuse like The Sad to get out of it. I’m not special…and it is not reasonable to ask the instructor to postpone just for me, just because I’m surrounded by existential fog.
Here’s a thing (ok, laying it out here…)…I miss having A Person. Sometimes, I’m at church and there’s a couple in front of me, who’ve been married forever and he has his arm around her, or they’re holding hands or something…so comfortable in their relationship and kind of being each other’s second skin. It hurts tremendously to realize there isn’t anyone with whom I will share the moments of…getting the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree for $3…or roofing the carport before the hurricane hit…renovating a couple of houses…shooting at clay pigeons…RAISING 4 CHILDREN…..30 years of growing up. No one to share that with hurts.
Oh sure, I hear all the time (and read, etc) “Christ is your Heavenly Husband” and I get that! There is a lot of comfort in it and that knowledge sees me through some real angst. But, He isn’t HERE, tasting the soup and telling me it’s delicious (or needs more garlic). He’s not out in the shop, happily making sawdust and noise or taking up the entire dining table cleaning his guns. At this point much of the time I can set all that aside and deal with the here-and-now, but sometimes…sometimes I can’t. I just can’t. Sometimes those memories and all leak through the tough and resilient (that’s what someone called me but they don’t see me at times like these) facade and I feel like I’ve cracked apart.
There is this method of pottery repair called Kintsugi, that’s used in Japan, where the broken pieces are put back together with a lacquer mixed with gold powder. The result is something beautiful, that incorporates the repair instead of disguising it. Maybe this is what can happen to a person who’s gone through grief. Is it possible to use the experience to grow into something more useful, different and possibly better, than what was there before? I don’t know. Maybe. As with any serious growth it hurts…a lot…but holding onto the assurance (this is based on experience…past growth hurt a lot too, but always turned into something useful and good…also always brought me closer to God and that’s a good thing) that a real purpose is in there makes it possible to deal with the deep ache of loss.
Now, I don’t see being glued back together with gold, but definitely the pieces have been picked up and are getting fit together…though a giant hunk was ground into powder and is irretrievable…but I am confident somehow I’ll be useful. I don’t know how, but the door was opened for school and that is going VERY well, so something will come out of it, that is part of The Plan God Has For Me. I don’t know if it’s actual employment using the skills I’m being taught, or if it’s something else…I’m trying to be open to whatever.
But in the meantime, and probably (according to the experiences of others who’ve been through similar stuff) for the rest of this earthly life, I’ll have The Sads now and then…and I’m ok with that. But it still hurts, I still have trouble with seeing people long married. At this moment, however, I need to compartmentalize. I have a final exam in a couple of hours and it would be wise to be able to see through the fog and review some notes.