My second mom, my beloved Gran had cancer. The really bad kind.
The tears came, but there was hope.
Surgery after surgery, treatment after treatment, heartbreak after heartbreak.
And now we are here.
The final weeks. The final days.
I'd like to be one of those people that say, "Oh, I know God is in control" or maybe "But, God has a plan and it'll all be okay" I do say those things sometimes, but more often I think, "This sucks."
Because, it does.
Generally speaking, I am pretty optimistic, pretty joyful, and pretty resilient.
However, grief is hard.
It's hard when every day you aren't sure what the next phone call will bring. It's hard to imagine life without her, but at the same time you long to see her free from the pain of this life. My mind is racing all the time. Sleep evades me many nights, but in the middle of the day, I wish I could sleep the day away instead of doing anything else. It's hard when every time I get an update it peels the scab off the old wound of losing my dad, to cancer, 15 years ago. I thought that wound had healed. Its hard to not be there to help, but if I were sincere I would say that it is also a relief to not have to bear that burden. I'm broken. For the first time in my life I googled "natural treatment for depression". It would be foolish of me not to recognize that possibility in my life right now. It would be foolish to think that a year long roller coaster ride of hope and disappointment wouldn't give me some sort of mild depression. Grief is hard, especially when you are grieving a person who is still here.
I don't have the answers. I don't need any pity.
For now I look for grace.
Sufficient grace for each moment from the One who I know is near even in this valley.
Grace with myself when I'm exhausted, but accomplished nothing.
Grace to say "no", because right now, I'm not quite myself and grace to accept that.
And grace from my sweet friends who hold me in prayer, ask me how I am, and accept that most of the time I don't want to talk about it. I just want to make it through.
I'm not mad, or bitter, or angry. I'm just sad.
I'm not hopeless or despondent. I am just weary.
When you see me smiling and laughing, I'm not being fake. It is just a moment where the goodness of life has distracted me from that rain cloud over my head that keeps following me. So let me relish in it.
In my mind I continue to repeat the words of Solomon (and the Mama's and the Papa's)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up,a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate,a time for war and a time for peace.
I am totally ready for the next season. I'm ready for spring. I'm ready for sunshine. I'm ready to rejoice. I'm ready for unabashed joy. I'm ready to stop fighting the fear and anxiety that are banging on my door - bringing up the "what if's".
So, for now I will fight to hope, because I know the Light that shines even in the darkness.
I will cling to the simplest of truths:
Jesus loves me.
Heaven is legit.
This isn't my home.
And, I will soldier on, in love.
Thanks to all of you who tenderly soldier on beside me.
(This song is another Shauna Niequist recommendation)
P.S. For those of you who may have stumbled upon here that are dealing with your own grief. Please, check out Levi Lusko's blog as he soldiers on through a heartbreak that I hope I will never have to face.