I Get It Now
261 days but who’s counting? That’s 375,840 minutes for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Obviously my compulsive tendencies take me right down that road, but all roads lead to the fact that my dad is still gone. This is one of the longer trips he’s taken in my life. Growing up he was gone away a lot on business (fixing massive computers in the dawn on the computer era, covering six western states in the U.S., puts you on the road a lot), and then after he became a full time missionary he frequently went abroad for a few weeks at a time, but this trip is definitely longer than those.
So while the battle rages within between the voice that says, “He’s just on a mission trip–he’ll be back next week” and the counter voice that says, “Hey Smarty Pants! Wake up and smell the coffee! He’s really gone. Like, gone, gone and you’re not going to see him ever again this side of heaven”, there have been some things my deep inner self has been awakening to. (I think that voice is a bit harsh too, but there she is, blunt as always) Here’s that list in no particular order:
The things I “get” now:
*How people go round the bend. Lose their minds. Start blending fantasy with reality. I get it. I now get how people can end up in a rocking chair for hours and hours, maybe days and just check out of reality.
*Ya know on tv when they’ll sometimes show someone who’s gone, suddenly appear to a loved one? Ya, I get that too. Turns out there is some reality in tv.
*How people never give/throw things away from someone who’s passed. At the same time I completely understand how people do get rid of things. There’s no timeline. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or concrete reason. I now get that. I might have fished some seemingly meaningless things out of the trash the other day. They’re not taking up much space and I can’t bear the thought of throwing them away.
*I get that sometimes you actually don’t believe that the person is gone. Like your brain just isn’t comprehending it all. Even 261 days and 375,840 minutes later. Is that some dark endless crevasse of denial? If so, I get it now.
*How people can walk around in a fog
*I get how you feel like a complete and total traitor, like you’re the worst person who ever lived because you continue to live. Because you have to live, because you have to pay bills, because you have to buy groceries, and go to the bank, and buy cat food. But I now get that inner war. The battle rages on.
*I get how using something someone wanted you to have makes you feel horrible and wonderful at the same time.
*What it means to cry “at the drop of a hat.” I live there now.
*I get that you don’t want to make plans for the future, certainly not anything enjoyable, because you can’t imagine ever enjoying anything ever again. And then I get that you feel ever so slightly guilty when you do enjoy yourself, as if you’re not supposed to, but you know deep in your heart of hearts you’re absolutely supposed to enjoy living and continue to live and continue to thrive. But at the same time you don’t even know if you have the strength to do it.
*I get that you can truly thank God for His timing, because it’s the ONLY thing you prayed for and at the same time be shattered by the reality of it.
*I get how doing just one or two “hard things” (going through paperwork, going through clothes, making hard phone calls, talking to attorneys or accountants, etc…..) in one day wipes you out.
*I get how you can only hang out with one or two people now. This is a completely foreign feeling to me as I’ve always been an extrovert who loves to be with lots and lots of people having lots and fun all the time. But now the thought of hoards of people isn’t so enticing. But I do love people, and I do still love meeting new people, just maybe not everyone all at once.
*I get how you can completely hopeful about your future but at the same time feel blank.
*I get that when a parent dies you feel like you’re six years old and a 106 all at the same time, every minute of the day.
*I get how you now look at people in your life who have lost loved ones years ago and you see how they’ve somehow survived, they’re living, they’re laughing, they’re doing fine and you want to believe it for yourself but there’s a part of you that just can’t imagine it.
*I get how people talk to their person who is now “gone” like they’re in the room with them. Like you’re totally losing your marbles but you just. Don’t. Care.
*Mainly I get that I’m not alone. I’ve joined a worldwide club with millions of reluctant members. I get that the world does go on…..260 days now, and it’ll probably go on tomorrow. I get that the human spirit is stronger than we think it is in the middle of our agony. I get that God really DOES comfort us and that we might be certifiably insane, but He still loves us and He IS seeing us through the stuff we think we’ll never survive.
- Posted in: children with disabilities