I really hate when it is time to sleep and that is when my thoughts turn to Scott. Sometimes the only way to get the thoughts to stop is to get up and write them out – so that is what I am doing now.
I have been thinking a lot lately of when I had to tell Jaelyn that her daddy had died. That was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Those few words just tore apart life as she had known it. I remember the inadequacy of words and not really knowing now to say it. The difficulty of pushing those words through my lips is something I will never forget. I still cry when I think of that moment.
When I think back to the hours after Scott’s death, I’m amazed at how together I was, getting through and doing what needed done. Calling friends to break the news and hearing the disbelief and shock on the other end of the phone and I struggled to keep myself together. Talking with the funeral home was concrete and something that I actually knew what to expect because of participating in that same meeting for my brother nine years before – although it still seemed surreal. I found myself making sure everyone around me was okay. It was only in the quiet and dark of night that my tattered emotions and scattered thoughts overflowed.
There was a handful of friends and family who just stepped in and did what needed done and were there supporting and encouraging us as we grieved. I can remember thinking that I just wanted to be through the grief and come out the other side, even though I knew that there is no real end to grief. Grief is so intangible with no clear right way to go or length of time it lasts. For someone who has experienced the loss of control in a loved one’s death, the tendency is to control everything else that can be controlled. Well, let me be the first to tell you, grief cannot be controlled. It was overwhelming in the beginning as grief just loomed over us like this insurmountable mountain. It was hard to face waking up day after day facing this mountain. The closer you get to it, the larger you realize that it is. There is no sense of perspective. And not only did I have my own insurmountable mountain that I wasn’t sure how best to climb, but I also needed to figure out how best to help Jaelyn climb her own mountain.
There were days when I couldn’t sense God’s presence. Those were the days that I tried to look back for the evidence of God’s presence. And it was there – without fail. It was present in the ways God provided for us, encouragement at just the right time, and special people coming into our lives at just the right moments. It was there in all the little cards and notes that we received. It was there in friends just pushing a box of tissues across the table and the words, “I have plenty of tissues, go ahead and cry.” It was there in new friendships developed and old friendships rekindled. It was there in every moment of friendship, love, support, and understanding. God’s presence was there overall, even when I couldn’t see it in the moment.