Good evening from my patio, I feel like this is the nightcap version of Penny Thoughts since I pretty much always post in the mornings. I’ll paint you a picture of my moment so that you can feel like you’re across the table from me. It’s all the way dark outside and the moon is on the other side of the house so you can’t see it. The stars are out and the oil rig just beyond our wooden fence is squeaky and annoying. We are trying to tune it out. There is a beautiful breeze blowing through the rose bushes and some used sidewalk chalk nubbins scattered beneath our feet. There, now you feel like you’re right here with me.
I am sitting here with some wine and I decided to write after another attempt at getting into Anita Shreve’s “Sea Glass” failed. I usually like her stuff but this one is slow and it’s not hooking my interest. So I put it down, partly because I don’t love it and partly because I feel like God has something bigger for me out here, something I need to hear or maybe smell. No, not smell, I have sniffed several times and I can’t smell anything significant.
I have been scrambling for perspective this week and I still don’t have a firm grasp on it. I have been desperately wanting to be fine with my Mom’s death but as the anniversary of it gets closer the events of last October get brighter and more vivid. ALmost like it is here all over again. I think about the unpleasant details a lot, the nuts and bolts of her death. I wish I didn’t, I wish that I could make this season pass unobserved but something about it demands action. So I bought a plane ticket home today, and I will be leaving a week from tomorrow to navigate my way through this gray anniversary with my family and friends back home. I want to be with those who knew my Mom directly. It will be a comfort to go through this side by side.
A few days ago I was finishing a kitchen rug project when I snipped the tip of my finger with my sharp fabric scissor. It was the tiniest snip but it left a small hole on the top of my left pinkie. If I look very close I can still see the scab, but for the most part it has already healed up. Are you ever just astounded at the human body’s ability to heal? I didn’t have to do anything about that cut. I just went about life as usual and it scabbed over and mended, soon to be indistinguishable from the rest of my finger tips.
I really wish that emotional pain was that simple. There is a lot of truth in the fact that time heals emotional wounds, it plays an unarguably important role. However, if you have ever experienced pain, tragedy or loss. If your life has ever suddenly been altered for the poorer, you will know that you have to move through the pain almost tangibly. You have to do more than just allow time to pass. You have to shed tears, talk through feelings, put up pictures and perhaps go to counseling. Sifting through deep pain is some of the hardest work on the planet. It is exhausting on every level. However, I truly believe that if you don’t grieve you can’t heal fully. You have to “do grief.” There is no easy band-aid, believe me I wish I could tell you that there is.
So tonight finds me coming to the stark realization that I will have to find ways to continue healing over these next two weeks. Two weeks from right now, almost exactly, will be the one year anniversary of my Mom’s suicide. I have to deal with that. It will make me think through who I am as her daughter, as my children’s mother, and as a woman dealing with life on this earth. I will continue to reject the dangerous lie that I will share her exact path. I will not. I am my mother’s daughter, but I am not my mother.
I don’t want to face this milestone, but the hard part is, if wholeness and freedom is my goal, then dealing with it is my only option. Pray for me, and if you are facing something hard that you wish that you weren’t facing, talk about it with your support people. They love you and that love will be there for you as you deal with your junk. Don’t deal with your burdens alone, I’m not going to and neither should you. Heavy things were made to be carried by a team.