The day comes and goes. Like the year comes and goes.
I try not to think about how I sat on that isolated beach along the cliffs of Lion’s Head a year ago and choked out a goodbye over the phone.
And how there was no response on the other end.
I try not to think about the following week, gasping for air in the driver’s seat, doubting everything about our relationship. What right do I have to be this devastated? She was my grandmother, not my mother.
He dives into work, acts like nothing has changed. I want to lash out at him. How can you grieve this way?
I’m angry that grief is personal. I’m angry that it’s universal.
A month after the funeral, I call her after the sun goes out, and tell her what I wasn’t brave enough to tell anyone else. “I almost didn’t go see her–when she called. I almost didn’t go see her that last time.” I probably had laundry to do.
It takes me longer to tell her that I can’t drive home to see my parents. The more distance I create between us, the less it will hurt when they’re gone.
“How is it going with that now, Kate? Grieving, I mean.” It’s eight months later.
“Much better!” I say, because I’m anxious to be done with it.
Yet. Grief exposes me.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
I try to hold it in, but it splits me down the middle.
Until it’s a door for the kingdom.
Until I’m so broken, I don’t care about the awkward silences we share over dinner. And he doesn’t seem to care about holding back the words ‘I love you’ anymore. We both miss her and it’s enough in common.
Until I’m not awkward and afraid when she calls to talk about her grief. Because loss is a language we share.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Until my words are simpler when I pray because my bravado is gone.
But His touch is more obvious because my vulnerability has grown.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
And the constant ache of grief is a constant reminder that it won’t last forever.
Because Jesus felt it too, hanging from the cross, forsaken by His Father.
Because it’s hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
But grief is a gateway.
I read it weeks after she’s gone and the words blur.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying of pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4