I’m realizing I have a lot of fear.
I’m afraid of letting other people down. I’m afraid of being let down. I’m afraid of forgetting. I’m afraid of life moving too fast. I’m afraid of not honoring Caleb enough. I’m afraid of not balancing my time wisely. I’m afraid the kids will either resent me for not keeping his memory alive or for devoting too much time to it. I’m afraid there’s another shoe waiting to drop. I’m afraid of things being calm in life because it always seems to precede the storm and I don’t think I can handle another storm right now (as the thunder rumbles outside). I’m afraid of failing.
Brig has been traveling a lot for work and we have a lot of house projects we’re trying to finish before winter. It’s back to school season and I’m organizing this fundraiser for Caleb’s foundation. I love the busy schedule, I’m just so worried about failing. I have high expectations for myself, I know. Sometimes it really works to my advantage. What it really boils down to, I think, is a bit of avoidance.
I wanted so badly to simply be able to spend a few weeks in bed after Caleb died. I wanted to lay here and not have anyone bother me. I wanted to cry when and how I wanted to and not function if I didn’t feel like it. I wanted to have time to process and really feel everything that happened.
I just didn’t have time.
It was Christmas, New Year’s, and then back to school for the kids and Brig went right back to work. They all needed the routine, the normalcy. That was good for them. L2 was even in 5 day a week preschool and she loved it.
I had no normalcy. It was my off season for photography and I don’t think I could have picked up my camera anyway. I did need to get the kids off to school, pick them up, run them to their activities, cook, clean, and keep the house running. I just had to do it all without Caleb. There was no part of my life that he wasn’t infused with him before. Then, he was just gone.
I really feel like I’m doing pretty well. I just occasionally feel like I may be one day away from not getting out of bed for a week. One more thing going wrong, one more life stresser….one more job change, car problem, broken appliance.
Here’s the thing though. This is all part of life. Everyone struggles with life, grieving or not. The issue when trying to really live while grieving is the urgency. When you know firsthand that nature doesn’t follow the natural order of things, when you know that there are little caskets made everyday and one of them holds your child’s body, everything becomes more urgent. Not because things have changed, but the way you approach them has. You want to cherish every moment of everyday because you really understand that it could be your last…or theirs. You want to make everything special, but you just can’t.
We’re human. We get tired, cranky, annoyed, short tempered, and at the end of the day, we feel like a failure. What if this bedtime is the last one I have with her? What a terrible night it was! What if this meal is the last I make him. That was far too simple and not made with love! No, you can’t leave the house annoyed with anyone! Everyone needs to get along. All. The. Time.
Yet, we grieving people, grieving parents, know it can’t always be like that. We have to come to terms with the humanity of life and all that comes with it. Especially death and the life that lives on. I suppose I’m a piece of impatient sea glass. Eventually, the waves and sand will make me smooth and even stronger, but for now, I still have some rough edges to work out.
My little herd will soon start back to school and Brig will continue to travel for work. With all of them in school full time this year, the house will be oddly quiet.
So, here’s to being shaped and smoothed by the waves of life. I only pray to stay faithfully in the thick of it, that I may be made smooth in the Master’s hands.