I am great today! Or so I thought. I was going along fine, when a conversation triggered all these emotions I didn’t even realize were just hanging out. They were waiting for the perfect moment to pop up. I spent the better part of the day finally attacking the piles that have accumulated around the perimeter of my room. Since the death of my husband every room in my house was getting these mystery piles. (Clearly I was in the beginning stages of hoarding) I tackled the front room, kitchen and living room now it was time for my bedroom. I just about finished almost all of it. What was left was Donald’s t-shirts. I took them out of the closet a year ago and folded them but yet still they remain. I think getting rid of Donald’s things just seems to finalize that he’s really gone. I asked my daughter to come in and help me sort them. The plan is to make quilts out of them for the family.
I watched my daughter sort the t-shirts. Each shirt held a special memory for her. She explained why she wanted the shirts she was picking and then why her brother would want the ones she put aside for him. This memory lane walk started a long conversation. Somehow we got on the subject of the week right after Donald died. She told me she just felt so alone. She recalled standing at the end of my bed watching me cry while my friends were comforting me. She wanted to help me but didn’t know what to do. She shared how she just started saying the most inappropriate things out of a desperate need to connect to me. I don’t even remember that. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose your father at the age of 14. How she must have felt when the one person she needed to comfort her was having to be taken care of herself. She continued with the story explaining how her friends that should have been there to comfort her were almost making a party of the situation.
That’s when the emotion hit me. She must have felt so alone in those early days of losing her daddy. Her friends were too young to understand what she needed. Her brother was in the same shape I was in. My heart was breaking at that moment. I wanted to break down and cry so bad but I didn’t want to upset my daughter. After a few big gulps I managed to stop the inevitable tears. I just had to get through a few more minutes. She finally left. As soon as the door shut behind her – I had my cry. This cry of grief was not for the loss of a husband. I was grieving the loss of a moment. A moment I wished I could have been there for her. I felt so much guilt. Logically I know that I shouldn’t feel that way…I just lost my husband for goodness sake. All you moms know we are in constant guilt for not being “all” the mom we should be.
It’s ok to grieve lost moments. We all go there thinking about our past. The key is to give yourself permission to grieve over it. Then lay it down at the foot of the cross. Most importantly we need to forgive ourselves. Instead of leaving this mess piled on the floor where we have to look at it everyday. Where we have to relive the same guilt and the same loss over and over. This is where WE choose to clean it up and give it away. Live in this moment. Live in this day. My plan is to not focus on what was but to focus and enjoy the now.
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24
Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the Godly to slip and fall. Psalms 55:22