I am living in the aftermath. The adrenaline has faded, the events are over, and I'm now in the process of re-entering "normal" life. There are many moments of this journey that I have not looked forward to, and this re-creation of a new normal was at the top of that list. However, even though I realize I'm only a few days into it, I am doing well, and just like everything else we have faced, God is taking care of me. It's hard, but I'm making it.
I was telling Nathan last night that there is a profound weirdness in walking around in a store, knowing that I just had a baby last week, yet realizing that not a single person I pass by has any idea. When Marianna was born, I could hardly walk through a store without getting stopped by half a dozen people who wanted to look at her, comment on her, and ask how I was feeling. The absence of all of that is tough. I haven't yet broken down in the middle of Target or dissolved into tears as I've tried to finish my Christmas shopping, but the reminder of the loss is with me nonetheless. It hurts when I dwell on it, and I know that I could become consumed if I allowed my focus to linger each moment on what things would look like if she were still here, so I have chosen not to allow myself to go there.
My desire is not to suppress my grief, because I believe that grieving Poppy's loss is an absolute necessity for a healthy healing process. But at the same time I know that I can choose to submerge myself in something very unhealthy if my grief becomes something I begin to cling to, refusing to give it over to God to allow Him to take away the hurt in His time. Just as some people hold on to bitterness, anger, and addiction even with the knowledge that it is consuming their souls, I know some hang on to sorrow like a pit bull, refusing to pry open their jaws to allow it to leave. I guess it's just plain old fear that puts that desire into each and every heart that has experienced loss. There is fear that if the sorrow leaves, the memory will leave as well. That if healing is allowed to take place, it will in some way diminish the value of the loss. I know these are lies that Satan plants into each of our hearts, and I am praying, asking God not to let this false reasoning take root in my heart. This is where I am right now.
Because of my surgery, I am not able to lift Marianna or drive for another week, so Nathan is staying home with me this week to help. I am so grateful to have his physical presence for another few days. He has been a rock for me the entire time since we have known, but most especially over the past 10 days. I continue to be blown away by him. I want to share with you the words that he spoke at Poppy's memorial service; they touched me deeply and I hope they will do the same for you.