*****I was cutting watermelon the night my grandfather died. I quickly set the knife down on the counter and met most of my family in the hallway as Nana let out wails of grief. I stayed close to her side as the hospice worker and later the funeral employees came for his body. When I finally made it back to the watermelon, it was still half uncut, its juices spread across the countertop and dripping on the floor. It's strange the images that stay with a person. I found this post below that I wrote only a couple of weeks after Bubba passed away last summer. I kept it private because it felt too raw, too transparent, too real in the moment. These words are a snapshot into my own grieving. It's been exactly one year and we have lived many firsts; the first thanksgiving, the first christmas, new years, anniversaries... we talk about Bubba often. His things, his presence still permeate this house. Today will be hard, but that's what loving someone does to you....*****
July 24, 2013
I don't pretend to know very much about grief. I have been to more funerals on staff at Saint Joseph, than I had ever attended before....My first open casket was day four on the job...
Last week everything seemed a little foggy. I was forgetful, thinking I had done things, forgetting other things....taking lots of time to rest. I kept my apartment dimly lit and spent hours watching episodes of the old CW show, Roswell. It seemed the little reminders were everywhere. I unpacked shoes to find grass from the cemetery still stuck to the heel. The shell casing for the 21 gun salute was still clanking around in my purse.
And this week things seemed better. I had friends over on Sunday night so I wasn't by myself as the two week mark came slightly after 9pm. I've turned more lights on, moved a little more clearly. And then I got to Bible study tonight.
Tina was looking for a debate. She was raised in a church, but there's a hardness to her... spiritually speaking. She had a habit of leaning all the way back in her chair, speaking softly, but always with a argumentative edge. "Why do we talk so much about the resurrection?" she asked, "Why not about the other stuff Jesus did?"
Later she asked if anyone had seen miracles. We talked around it for a while and then I spoke up,
"I have this relationship with Christ that the deeper I get to know him... the more I see him working. I went home two weeks ago for a normal vacation and my grandfather passed away, he had been ill for some time. You might say that because he died we didn't get our miracle, but I would say that God led us to all be together for that time, to cry together and to bury my grandfather together. You can't tell me that's not a miracle. And I know that God works intimately in my life and because of that, I see miracles all the time."
I sat back as my words lingered in the air. My heart was pounding and my breath became short and I felt tears threatening to form. It was like all the emotion of my soul had been vomited out on the carpet and I didn't even know it was about to come up.
I am thankful for that little community who thanked me for sharing, who spoke a few more thoughts and then Tina nonchalantly asked Aaron if he would pray so she could go home.
I walked the sidewalk back to my apartment only a few buildings down and spent the late evening cooking, my hands and mind and heart needing the busyness, the distraction.