I think maybe I got a handle on this grief thing. Maybe I’ve moved on quicker than I was supposed to, I thought to myself recently.
And then a gigantic wave crashed into my somewhat stable status and left me completely certain that I was nowhere near okay. Even the little waves knock me over right now.
The last month or two I could easily look at my dad’s pictures and think fondly about him with no tears, just some sadness. Maybe I can hold so much in and then I reach a point when I start bulging at the seams and it just can’t help but spill out everywhere. Or perhaps, and more likely, I just shove the feelings deep inside and it appears on the outside–and even to me–that I’m on the upside of my loss. I’ve moved on to the no-more-tears stage and I now have only fond memories of my dad.
Um, no. I realized in the last week or so it was because my thoughts have been only surface deep. I allowed myself to only tap the crust of grief–careful to never break through–so to not be left with the oozing, overwhelming sorrow and pain. I can go weeks like this, I realized. And I very mistakenly thought I was somehow over losing my dad.
This past Sunday was harder than I imagined.
The last song of the morning service was What A Day That Will Be. It was the song my family sang at my dad’s funeral service. (Wow, funeral service. Just saying it my head and seeing it written down quickly and briefly picked me up and slammed me back into the shock stage.) I did manage to make it dry-eyed through the song (I’m sure only because I was playing my flute and not singing), but as the prayer afterward began, the tears began as well.
Ever since then I have been crying off and on. Sobbing at times. Telling God, “This isn’t fair.” Yep, I’m back there again.
I don’t usually think too much about dad’s funeral. I actually hid it deep inside and then buried a ton of other memories on top of it. I think a lot about his last thirty days in the hospital. Some scenes play like movies in my head, even rethinking what I should’ve said and should’ve done. And also his attitude, his perspective, his patience and kindness, despite his grim earthly future. And, now that I think about it, I also block the last few hours of his life from my mind as well.
Life is easier this way, I lie to myself.
Attending the memorial service on Sunday afternoon, however, forced me to poke and prod at those memories I subconsciously worked so carefully to hide. I sobbed at the service. I knew the dear lady only a few short years; she loved watching my boys in the nursery, and she’d stop by just to talk to us. But I didn’t cry for her (because she is with her Savior in Glory!); I cried for her family and the pain her death causes them–because I understand grief better than I ever did before. But mostly I cried because my wounds–though I mistakenly thought they may have started to scab over–are surprisingly still very fresh and even bleeding.
And at times bleeding profusely.