Gone are the days of lying on the kitchen floor with tears and snot mixed together and smeared across my face while I can barely breathe between wailing and crying for my dear baby girl.
Gone are the sounds that emitted from my mouth as it stretched into a shape I couldn't recognize.
I am beginning to realize that no matter how much I have 'good grief'. No matter how much I 'heal' from losing Eva. No matter how much I talk about her or help someone else with their grief I will never get her back, this side of Heaven. There will be no miraculous puff of smoke and she will never, somehow, magically re-appear.
I guess I'm at the 'stage' of grief that is called acceptance. Acceptance is such a crap word. How can I accept that she is dead? How can I accept that my daughter is ashes on my bookshelf? No, not acceptance of her death but knowing in my bones that she will never come to me again, until my dying day. Acceptance of the permanency of death.
I am beginning to realize that this is just the shape our family is now. It sucks but this is the shape it is. I wish it were another shape. A shape that included a living Eva, but it's not. And it sucks, but this is the shape it is. If I could draw the shape of our family it would be a heart with a big crack in it. The main part of the heart would be red and the crack would be black. In the shape of lightning. The crack would be filled in black and the wound would be jagged but it would be filled. In the dark,dark days after Eva died when I was in my darkest moments that crack would have been a sucking hole that was razor sharp. If you went too close to it you would get severely wounded. Now the crack is filled but it's still there, you know, a huge crack in the shape our family was meant to be. Our family was not meant to have such a huge crack in it. But our family is not completely broken after 10 months and 25 days of grieving. It is cracked but not broken. Hooray for us.
I have been walking this hard road of grief intensely for the past 10 months and 25 days. I have been criticized and rebuked for mourning my daughter in the way that I need to. I have been amazed how some people have come out of the woodwork just to tell me how I was doing it wrong and also amazed by some people who 'get it'. Those people who 'get it' have given me the gift of understanding and compassion. Without them, the road would have been much, much darker, and the light much harder to find. And, honestly, I could have done without the criticism, but whatever, one day those other people might understand. I digress...
These past few days I went to acupuncture for my emotions. It really calmed and centered me and when I left, I felt strange. I felt peaceful. It was such a weird feeling. A feeling I haven't felt in many many moons. This goodish, peaceful, non-angry feeling has followed me since Thursday (with one minor setback at soccer).
I was in church on Sunday and I actually looked people in the eye and smiled at them. I felt like a huge faker, but I did it. My companion, grief, was right below the surface and I felt very much like I was one of those dipped cones from Dairy Queen. The chocolate exterior was very thin and it would take only the slightest pressure for the chocolate to crack and all the messy goop to come oozing out, but still. I surprised myself, I must say.
I realized that I haven't looked at much other than the carpet at church for the past almost 11 months. The carpet is not very pretty in our church. An odd grey colour with specks. Last Sunday I looked up. And the view wasn't too bad.
Our Christmas prayer last year was for a peace that surpasses all understanding. This week I have had some insight into this verse:
...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
The peace of God is not having an amazing peaceful feeling about life or decisions, but rather, it's having even a little bit of peace in a situation that seems unacceptable and completely unfathomable to be able to have any peace about.
Thank you God for a a little peace that surpasses all understanding.
Even if the peace lasts only a little while, it is good to have this feeling to remember when the darkness comes swirling back in grasping at my ankles and my heart.