18-months (give or take a week or two.) Sometimes I still stand in my kitchen while washing dishes and wonder, is this really my life? Did I really survive this last year and a half?
I have gotten caught up in the busyness of 4 boys, and I haven’t stopped lately to let the grief come again, because honestly, it always comes. It has become like an arthritic knee, an ache I can count on to drop in unexpectedly and just make itself comfortable.
I ran across my TO DO list from the funeral home yesterday. I was cleaning out my old day-planner and there the list was, tucked right into some pages. I just held it for a minute, and then tucked it back into the pages. I am not quite ready to let that piece of paper go. The graphite, mixed with tears. Such a painful reminder of what cruelty this life can hold.
The second item on the list, is what caught the breath in my chest. “Someone to carry the casket to the grave. (1 or 2 people.) Her casket was so tiny, that it only took one person to lift it from the hearse. There is something so ugly about those words. Casket, grave….not for a child.
My dad and Kevin’s dad, carried her to her place beneath the trees. Two grandpa’s, completing the ultimate act of service. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shut my eyes, and not see them bent low to the ground, dirt on their knees and hands as they put a tiny white casket into the frozen ground. Surreal. Almost like a dream. Almost.
Because he tells me in Isaiah 58:
My life will begin to glow in the darkness, my shadowed life will be bathed in sunlight. He will always show me where to go. He will give me a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. I’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. I’ll use the old rubble of my past life to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of my past.
I hold to that, that my life will glow from this dark season. That I will be strengthened and begin to thrive again.