Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quiet

I've been quiet lately. Most days I feel like I have nothing to say that I have not already said. Words don't come easily any longer. It seems like when the strong tides of grief stopped pulling me under, they washed the constant flow of words away with them. Noah has always been my only reason for writing and for quite some time he has seemed extremely far away. It is hard to write when there is no muse.

My days now are full and mostly fulfilled. There is a joyful and constant string of sound that surrounds me. 2 children living beautifully healthy and very noisy lives. Animals at home and at work that are always in need of my personal or professional attention. Endless to do lists and want to do lists. A husband that is extremely busy and yet holds us all together like glue. Great friendships and family gatherings galore. My grief is often silent in the midst of daily life. It doesn't come on as hard sobs or even quiet whimpers anymore. Tears are few and far between. When they do come they genuinely surprise me and often knock the breath out of me. Missing Noah is like white noise in the background... continuous and somehow comforting but completely jarring when I stop to focus on it.

I see empty spaces all around me. I hear silence as loudly as I hear noise. I can feel the void as well as I can feel a physical embrace. One empty chair at every table. One empty space in the back seat of my car. My eyes immediately find the space where he should be in pictures and in our day to day life. I wonder if I'll ever stop wondering who he would have been. If I'll ever be able to fully appreciate all that I have now without always seeing what I do not.

I have come to a place of acceptance. It is only rarely that I blame myself or let myself believe that I could have changed something and in turn kept my Noah alive. However, my mind still continually tries to rearrange the pieces. It is always looking for a way to have the dominoes fall differently. Each scenario leads to a place where he is still alive... sometimes he is healthy, sometimes he is not. Sometimes he is trapped in a hospital room because he is so ill. Sometimes congenital heart disease took him away from me again in an entirely different scenario and stage of life. All of them are make believe.

I am struggling to let go of the idea of what our life should have been. I believe that the Lord numbered his days before there were any at all. I believe He knew each moment of Noah's 109 days down to his very last breath. I believe that if he was supposed to be here then he would be here. It's just difficult when your heart and your mind are not on the same terms. Strangely it seems like it's easier for my heart to let go than it is for my mind to. My heart hopes in and trusts in Jesus... in his plan... good or bad, my heart knows that He is for me. The mind on the other hand is a tricky place that holds on to the belief that we have some sort of control here over matters of life and death.

Though my grief has quieted temporarily, it is present in new ways. I am very easily shaken. Every day life overwhelms me. Barking dogs, screaming children, and the demands of each day while they are the biggest blessings are often difficult to process during the chaos. I equate it to what I would imagine an overstimulated baby feels like. I manage it all really well until I feel like I'm going to scream. Stressful situations lead to shaky hands, a harsh tone, words yelled, and a whole lot of guilt. Coming to a place of acceptance and understanding that I was not in control of Noah's life incites a chain reaction of reminders that I'm not in control of much. I feel frazzled, I feel angry, and I feel guilty for not just enjoying every moment of my life. When you live under the weight of truly knowing that every moment matters and that the next is not guaranteed, I think it can either free you or hold you captive.

I hope that this phase is brief. I am much more comfortable with the raw emotion and searing pain of losing Noah than I am with this. I'd rather fill a bathtub with tears than feel so overwhelmed that I could throw something. I thoroughly cherish the moments when my soul is calm. When one of my sweet babies is nestled up against me, resting peacefully, breathing softly in the dark, I breathe deeply and I find peace. I find peace in the blessing of being their mother. I find peace in the blessing of being Noah's mom. I find peace in the knowing that God stills my wandering soul when my flesh does all it can to fight against Him. I breathe in and exhale his sovereignty. I am thankful... for what was and for what is.

Grief is often likened to waves... I can attest to that truth. The calmest water can quickly turn into something tumultuous... the beauty is that it can just as quickly return to something peaceful. Usually it is a dance between the two. One thing I know for certain is that it is much easier to ride the wave than it is to fight it.







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