So, this has happened every “day after” for the past 3 years. You would think I would be prepared for it. But, no. I don’t think to be prepared for the day after.
I work so hard preparing myself for the difficult days I know are coming – his birthday, the holidays, the anniversary of his passing – that I don’t think too much about the day after those important days. For three years now, though, they have turned out to be the more difficult day, comparatively speaking.
My husband described it well for me yesterday, during one of the times he comforted me through a crying spell: “It’s back to work.”
Yes, it is back to work. Grief is work. It is hard work. And it is exhausting and relentless. It is unforgiving in its demands that I be honest and live authentically.
I have to remind myself that this is how this journey is – up and down. And, up and down again. Over and over and over again. It never stops. I have a good day, and I think I’m on my way to always having good days again. Not so much. I’m just having a good day.
I think one of the reasons the day after is so hard for me is that I’m still struggling to believe that he really isn’t going to come back. I still hold out hope, against all logic, that I will hear his motorcycle roaring down my road, slow down at my driveway, shut off when he is parked, and I will look out my kitchen window, see him and head out to greet him. All that was a fairly normal occurrence before 3 years ago happened. Now, I just hope against hope.
I’ve cried and cried and cried for the past 3 days, ever since I made it through another anniversary of my middle son’s death. It always feels like I’ve accomplished something momentous when I make it through that day, so when the next day still comes, just like every other day for the past 3 years, it is a major let-down. There is nothing amazing about making it through a difficult day if the next day (and the day after, and the day after that) are still full of the sorrow of knowing I will never again see a person I brought into this world, this side of heaven.
Today, though…….actually just this afternoon, as the morning was still a major struggle for me……….I am feeling hope – real hope – arise in my heart again.
The hope that I can hold onto.
The only hope I know is secure.
The knowledge that God is still God.
That Jesus is still my savior.
That the blessed Holy Spirit is still with me and in me, leading me and teaching me of His ways.
That my eternal position in Christ is forever secure.
I’m holding onto the horns of the altar, crying out to my loving Heavenly Father to give me grace to hold on to Him through the storm.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
“People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:16-20