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Remind Me Not

I walk around the corner, glance to the right, flip the channel, check my newsfeed, and get stabbed in the heart. My eyes bleed tears that burn my cheeks. Throat clamped shut I cannot breathe, cannot speak, cannot understand how the gangly, awkward teen with the thick purple plastic framed glasses who just wanted to grow up able to walk tall through the day has morphed into a Mother Who Has Lost.

It takes me by surprise each and every time. I feel like a fool. How can my hurt be so acute, so crippling, and yet I find myself checking through the doorway to see if her Sunday School class has let out. I stop myself short before reminding Matt that he should make sure her bike tires are pumped full of air. I foolishly suggest something I know she would love. And each time it hits me: she is not here.

My soul is not mine.

At least, it doesn't feel like mine, doesn't fit like mine. I once took a sweatshirt that wasn't mine home from a college party. I could never wear it because each time I put it on I knew it didn't rightfully belong to me. I wasn't meant to wear it; it wasn't mine. I try to fight, arms flailing, back arching, head ducking -- and yet someone insists this wounded soul is mine to wear. I don't want it. Take it back! TAKE IT BACK!

I struggle with normalcy... or what others perceive as normal because I don't think complaining about overcooked steak deserves anger and rage and I don't think the middle finger deserves to be flipped because someone didn't realize it was their turn at a four way stop and I don't think people of power show be purposefully demeaning to others. Instead I only want to walk in the sun and attempt to plant purple calla lilies and leave sliced apples for squirrels and laugh too loud at the wit others share. I want to paint my bedroom bright and I want flowers to replace my grass. I want music to accompany the wind and good food to be found in great abundance. I think if I try super hard to paint my world light that light will flow to others around me and once I'm surrounded by light and love then I will never hurt again.

Except I will.

Because that's what grief is. The reminder that she is never coming home. And sometimes that reminder comes at church during a song about blessings and sometimes that reminder comes as I'm folding laundry because she would always come and sit with me. Sometimes that reminder comes when I try to picture a vacation and sometimes that reminder comes when I turn out the light. It happens when I'm grocery shopping and cleaning the bathroom and walking into the library and backing out of the driveway and painting my fingernails and watching the Brewer's play and flipping through a magazine and waiting for a table at a restaurant... my soul whispers, "she is not here."

And it'll be that way every single day until God calls me home.


Chiconky said…
I can only pray that in time it becomes less of a shock to your soul, so that you aren't constantly having to consciously remind yourself of what happened to Avery. I can't imagine how hard that must be for you. *hugs*
gradydoctor said…
I am hugging you and thanking you. This ministered to my soul today. No, I am not a mother who lost. But I am the daughter of one who lost. I am also a sister who lost. I relate to a lot of what you said. But I also know from looking into my own mother's eyes that a mother's grief is a different animal altogether. I'm sorry you have to fight against that sweatshirt. I so am.
angie said…
Praying you through. If all of our combined grief could just lift yours for a moment ... oh, that would be my prayer. My tears are flowing for your loss. My thoughts are never far from you and your family. Praying you through. Praying you through. Praying you through.
Becca said…
Heartbreaking. So many hugs for you.
Getrealmommy said…
I'm just so sorry.
Allison said…
I wish, with every part of my heart, that I could take some tiny part of your pain away. Thinking of you always... xo
Mandy_Fish said…
Heartbreaking. Beautifully written. I am so sorry you are going through this.
Hey you. You are going to be OK. OK? You will be. It won't be the same. I know. Of course not. But you will be OK. You will even be good sometimes. And then you will be good a lot of times because you are stronger. Stronger because she is with you now in a much deeper sense. And because you are stronger you will live your truth which is everything you listed about painting your room bright and waving somebody ahead at a 4 way stop. And that will make you happy. And that will be OK. It will be OK to be happy because you will find peace... just not yet.

6 months is forever and no time at all. It's such a long, unwanted journey through your grief. I am so sorry and I hope you know that I still think of you every. single. day. My warm, healing, positive, thoughts are blasting through the frigid midwest air to you.

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