Today, I am numb. And in my ceaselessly analyzing mind, I have battled with that fact. I do not believe that numbness, at least not extended periods of it, is healthy. I have worked hard to disallow numbness in my life. Worked hard to feel my true feelings, as difficult as it has been.
I believe in crying. In talking. In writing. I believe in mourning the loss of my children wholeheartedly and honestly, to the best of my ability. Following the loss of my first son, I threw myself passionately into the work of grieving well, believing that was one way in which I could honour his memory. I knew that my little sweetheart in heaven would want his mommy to be healthy and well. And that the only way that was possible was to be mindful and intentional in the way that I faced my grief. And as strange as it may sound, I am proud of the work I have done and continue to do in grieving the loss of my first baby boy. And I know he is proud of me too.
But then I lost my second baby boy. And his loss was so vastly different. So traumatic. So un-final. And though my experience with grief did help in many ways (what a strange thing to ever have to say), there is no such thing as a road map for grief. Every journey is different. And mine have certainly been. In this second journey, there have been more moments of numbness. More moments of burying memories, avoiding pain, and stifling tears. It has been, in part, because of the different nature of this loss. And it has been, in part, because of my need for survival. My need for normalcy in a life that has of late taken sharp turns away from normal.
Today was an anniversary day. The anniversary of a day I will never forget, regardless of the pain of those memories. And though all week I have fought waves of grief, today I clung to numbness. I know that as time progresses, I will continue this work of grief. But for today, I will give myself permission to be as I need to be. I know the tears will come. But perhaps not today. For this moment, I am numb.
And as I write, even through numbness, God is still gracious and He still speaks. And as I write, I am reminded of His constancy. His never-ending presence in the midst of my grief. Through my tears. Through my trauma. And even through the moments when I long to just shut it all out, shut myself down, and be numb…Still He is there. I do not understand the mind of God, or His purpose in allowing such heartbreak in my life. All that I know is that He has never left me, even in those moments I could not feel Him there. I am so grateful to serve a God who is so gracious and so forgiving. Who loves me in my times of utter weakness. Who holds on to me in the moments I can no longer cling to Him. He has walked with me through the fire and prevented me from drowning. He holds me, even when I am numb.
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10)