We are home from our vacation and the kids have started school.  Elijah is at “Joel’s school.” A fact he proudly declares to anyone who will listen.  He has Joel’s teachers. Sometimes he seems confused that Joel isn’t at the school with him, and asks me where Joel’s school is, he never seems upset about it, but I do wonder what he was expecting all summer when he wanted to go to “Joel’s school!”

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Zoe is growing like a weed.  All my other children were at the bottom of the growth charts, often falling down to the 3rd or 4th percentile in weight and causing some concern, until they could start solid food and bulk up.  Zoe, on the other hand is in the 96th percentile for height and 64th percentile for weight. She already looks as big as my other babies did at a year old, and she is just 4 months old.

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We get asked a lot how we are doing.  It seems like such an odd question to answer.  I sometimes wonder what people are hoping to hear, “Terrific?”  ”Horrible?” There is no right answer.  What would it mean to be doing well, now? What are the parameters to check off the list that would mean we were successfully grieving? I always tell them that I think we’re doing well.  We have good weeks and bad days that sometimes stretch into a week.  We are mostly very happy and then things happen that make us sad.  We’ve learned to be sad together, to talk about Joel and cry together and not avoid the hard feelings.  Initially the kids wanted to avoid talking about anything that made them sad, but now it’s just part of what we do, and I think it’s good.  Sometimes facebook is hard, because I can scroll back just a few months, not even a year, and there we all are, and Joel is happy and healthy.  With a swipe of my finger he is back and we are not broken, and then I have  a long, hard cry because I realize it really hasn’t been that long at all, and that season of my life is over so concretely that it’s hard to remember that it was just six months ago that he left us.

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So many times since Joel died, I will be driving with the kids in the car, or out at an event, and have the thought, “Do I have all the kids?” I will instantly do the headcount, come up with four, and try to relax, but somehow it just feels off. It feels like I don’t have everyone, and of course, I don’t. It doesn’t feel like they are all here, because they’re not. It’s challenging because I suspect I had these little moments before Joel died too. I think every mom with more than one kid has these double-check alarms go off in their head, but they never meant anything to me before.  Now they are a reminder that something is missing and always will be.

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I’m not angry anymore. God has become bigger and bigger in my theology, because the answers to most of my frustrated questions could only be found in expanding my view of God and focusing more on the vastness of eternity. There are no specific answers, just the reality that God is too big to be contained by my feelings about how things should have gone.  Expanding my understanding of God not being understood within my parameters has diminished the intimacy I feel with God, but given me peace, and I trust that intimacy will return with time.

Comments

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  1. alaina on September 7, 2014 8:27 pm

    I love reading ur stuff you should wirte in here jog offten. I love when I look and there is something no to read I feel like I bust got a present that I have always wanted. So keep writing herr.

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