Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I haven't been sleeping well lately.

Nights are hard, even when the days aren't. Life has limped forward and there are things to think about and do during the day, but after my husband falls asleep at night I am wakeful in a heavy sort of loneliness.

Sometimes I simply can't sleep– no hope, no chance. And generally that's when the sick feeling has moved into my tummy, that physical feeling that is the herald of mental numbness when nothing seems real and nothing seems to matter except the memories of my daughters.

Sometimes I simply have to turn the car around and drive home and go straight to our bedroom and climb in bed to cuddle my girls' bears. My friend was gracious when I texted her today, five minutes before I was supposed to arrive at her house, to tell her I wasn't coming. When you don't make time and space for grief, it will force its way in one way or another. I came home and I lay with the bears and cried, and then I went and looked at all the pictures on my laptop and cried some more.

Oh my girls. My girls. 

Sometimes I am light-hearted. That's different from joy, I know– joy is something I'm still looking for. But light-heartedness is still a small mercy; I am reminded that so very rarely are awful things 100% awful 100% of the time. I read today something about darkness being a backdrop on which God spatters bits of light.

Sometimes nothing seems real except my grief. Nothing feels as if it has meaning except the times I sit down and mourn my daughters through writing or crying or making beauty. It feels as if the most important part of my life is already over.

Sometimes my grief is elusive– it goes into hiding and after a few days I start feeling worried. Where has it gone? Is this it? Is it over? Am I such a heartless mother, then? Why haven't I cried? How can I be acting so normal? Am I forgetting my girls? And then, when grief returns, I greet it almost with relief. It feels like it is my link to my daughters.

Sometimes I am angry with God. Sometimes I am not. I picture the spiritual dimension of my grieving as a snowball rolling down a mountainside. I keep cycling through the same emotions and struggles– anger, depression, hope, fear, raw sadness, waiting. But as I come back to each one, my experience grows a little deeper; wrestling through each one over and over adds more and more layers, just as the snowball grows bigger and bigger rolling down the mountain.

Life is limping, but I guess that's better than when it was crawling. When I was at my worst (so far!), the closest to outright despair I have ever gotten, my dearest Blythe strengthened my sickening soul when she said that all I had to do was to put one miserable foot in front of the other. Limp, stagger, crawl– it is miserable, but it is possible, even when I would rather it was impossible. It is hard work and it is excruciatingly messy– I have never experienced anything so messy as grief– but it is better than the alternative. And so I crawl, stagger, and limp. And sometimes...

Sometimes I can believe that someday my miserable feet will dance again.

1 comment:

  1. I love how well you share your heart and how vulnerable you are with us!! I love your term "limping" along. While I totally understand what you're saying about your fear of your grief being gone, I also know you well enough to know that the depths of your grief for L&L will be present until you are reunited with them, even if you have a quiver full of children before then. I've rarely seen such a passionate, tender, protective, and deep expression of motherhood as I've seen in you, and one thing I've come to look forward to is seeing that in action when you are joined with the twins (I am assuming I will see them first and can be witness to your reunion!). What a powerful moment that will be. Thank you, once again, for sharing your heart with us. I love you. <3