Grief: noun. Deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death.
Today is Sunday and I'm slowly climbing out this pit of grief that I've lived in since Friday. I can't pinpoint exactly what caused me to go to that place where despair and misery live but I did. I went, made a bed and slept the whole weekend in it. I don't like living there constantly because it makes me feel like I'm dying a slow death and no one can help me. I can try all day to make you, the reader, understand how bad it is but unless you've lived here, you wouldn't be able to grasp how ugly grief can get. Nor would I even want you to. I still struggle with making sense of it all and I've been through this before.
July 27,2007 was my first experience as an adult dealing with death and grief. My mother went to sleep in the apartment she and I shared one morning. When I went to wake to her up a few hours later, she was cold to the touch. Cardiac arrest is what her death certificate states as cause of death. During that time, me and all my siblings (its 7 of us total, 2 boys and 5 girls. Mama wasn't playing around. Ha!) formed this super tight connection along with my grandmother. We cried together and it became the norm for us to be missing her at the same time. So we would text each other regardless of the time with our thoughts about her. Thinking about it now still brings my heart to a happy place. They were my strength and my grandmother was our go to person when it still didn't make sense. My relationship with Cedrick was in that new phase where love was all we knew. My mother's death gave our relationship a crash course in loving through death. It wasn't easy for me and it for sure wasn't easy for him to watch me grieve. He didn't have the words to comfort and to be real, I didn't want to hear them anyway. I wanted my mother! No one honestly wants to grieve forever. Its a physical pain that's indescribable and an emotional pain that's as black as the blackest, darkest, deepest hole.
This time around, things are different. I still have my siblings to call when I'm grieving except I don't. They have careers and families now. I have mine. And so we move through this grieving period focused on taking care of our children, our spouses, diving into our jobs. It takes a lot more effort to reach out now and we're trying to all figure this out in our own way.That's how we are grieving now. Its not a bad thing. It just is.
I also struggle with communicating my feelings to Cedrick. He hasn't lost anyone close to him yet so he cant relate to this world I'm in now. At least I don't think he can nor do I give him a chance too. I go into my dark world and I block out all sense of right and love. I want him and at the same time I don't. He gets frustrated and I crawl deeper into this hole, feeling worse now that I've hurt him. Its a constant. That's what grief does. It doesn't just affect me. It affects all those around me, including my husband. Yesterday as I laid on the couch covered in tears, Caleb looked at me and with the deepest concern in his eyes, he asked "Mommy why are you always so sad?" My 4 year old, too young to understand the complexities of this life but wise enough to know when mommy is "so sad." I don't remember if I ever answered him. Cedrick took him to get out the house because my grief was caving in on everything I designed our space to not be.
Get out that apartment is what Chetoria said. I did I replied back. We went to our favorite pie shop in The Woodlands, shared some warm pie and ice cream. We walked around and laughed. We held hands, all 3 of us. We skipped to the learning center and took turns buying fake toys as Caleb pretended to ring us up at the cash register. But then we came home and grief was waiting for me, reminding me of my losses instead of my gains. And I went back there again last night against my wishes. Its like I was kidnapped and dragged there. As I cried, Cedrick sat at the edge of our bed, trying to figure out his best approach to this woman he does not recognize as his wife. When I pushed him too far and he knew his encouragement wouldn't be enough, he caved and he went to sleep in the safe zone. And I was left alone, to try to figure out who I am without my mother and now, without my grandmother
Most people would think this is the sign of the devil. A lot of Christians believe anything that is not good is the act of the devil. I don't believe that. I believe God is taking me through this to make me a better person. Its challenging. Its hard and it pushes me to the edge. I question everything I am and everything I've ever done in this life. I get lost in the why. Why did you leave me knowing I needed you? Why did you take her knowing I needed her? Why didn't you tell me you were dying? God, why didn't you tell me you were taking her from me so soon? I get lost in those questions and they drive me deeper into that dark space. But I believe God to be a healer of all things, even broken hearts. I KNOW what He is doing and I'm trusting that. This pain that I am feeling right now is only temporary. It does not and will not have a permanent spot in my life. I will have a testimony when this is over.
Today I woke up and told myself that today I would get out of bed. Get dressed. Put my hair up and go love on my son and my husband. I will not let death steal my joy. Today I am making a decision to be happy. I am giving myself permission to smile and to embrace the wind against my skin.
"Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge." Psalms 62:5-8