I wanted to write a short blog to just try to make some sense out of some of the feelings that I have experienced over the weekend. This weekend was full of extreme highs and extreme lows. I wanted to share with you, because I know that many reading this have experienced grief and maybe you feel guilty or ashamed for feeling some of the ways that I have felt, but I want to let you know that I am finding out that it is ok to feel these things.
My extreme highs for the weekend, was that close friend that I have known for 8 years came to visit me and was here to help me during the weekend. Also another close friend that has recently moved to NC was a big help too. Another high was that my family and Curtis's family came to the boys' birthday party and it was so good to see everyone. I love my family and his family so much and it is always a blessing to get everyone together. Another positive thing is that my friends and I went to the botanical gardens near my home and being out in God's beautiful creation was good.
The lows were mainly trying to plan the boys birthday party and get it carried out. Knowing my boys were missing their dad so much, and knowing that this was their first birthday without him was very hard. I was frazzled all day, I was moody, I was forgetful. I forgot to invite some of Alex' friends that I never forget to invite. I forgot the hotdogs.... sigh... I was a mess. I think that it must have been so evident because everyone at the party was so helpful, without all my friends and family, the party may have been a flop. Right at the end of the party, a huge thunderstorm crashed on us. Usually I do ok with storms, but that one almost did me in. Finally got home and my front yard was flooding from all the run off water from the streets. But I took some deep breaths and asked God for help, and the rain soon stopped.
Another low was that I was mad at Curtis.. I was mad because 2 weeks before we went to Florida before Curtis passed away, I felt like I was supposed to buy birthday cards for the kids for the year and help Curtis fill them out. I brought them to Florida, and when I suggested to him that it would be good if he could sign them and write something on them. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said " you think I am going to die don't you?" It broke my heart and I tried to explain that I was believing for a miracle, and if he signed the cards then it would be more of a testimony, and on the other hand if he didn't make it then the kids would have something from him. Needless to say, he never filled the cards out, so I was mad that I didn't have cards for the boys from their dad. I had to ask God to forgive me for being mad at Curtis.
I am learning that grief is by no means just crying. It is feeling the searing pain that comes from the huge hole in my heart when I hear a song that reminds me of him. It is feeling the anger and experiencing it in a positive way. Grief is crying and laughing at the memories - good and bad. Grief is letting the hurt wash over your heart but not drowning it. I really had never thought about what grief was or was not before, but now, I am facing grief head on. But I am moving forward in my grief. I can see positive steps forward, even when it is one step forward and two steps back. Progressive. Sometimes the pace is as I said before, snails could pass me up. But the important thing that I am finding is that I have to keep moving. Staying stationary for too long begins to make me feel like I am walking through sludge, mentally and physically. If I don't move forward, then the pain over takes me and threatens to pull me into the raging waves. Grief is not meant to be a stopping place where we camp out and stay for years. It is a process that we work through with God's help and with the help of our friends and support system that is a much needed process but one that has to be moving.
Yeah, I get stuck in the rut so many times. Birthdays, holidays, special times have a tendency to make me feel like I want to just sit down and camp out for a while. But I cannot do that. I cannot become a slave to grief. Walking through the process yes, but not enslaved to it.
So highs and lows... part of everyone's life. Birthdays come and go, but they will never be the same without Curtis. If you have lost someone those special times will not be the same, but I have to trust God that He will help me to create new memories and that we will be ok.