I stood staring at the scale and calculated the extra pounds only slightly recognizing a need to lose it. I knew exactly how it had happened, too.
In the first few days after Oliver died, I refused to look down at my stomach which had not only betrayed me when carrying my son, but now suspiciously betrayed any indication that he had been growing there.
So I ate. I ate to numb the pain, but I also ate to bring back the soft sweet pooch that had let even strangers know something great was coming. How would they know, now? So I ate. How would they know that someone was missing? And I ate. How could I ever look again at that place where he grew without contempt? And I ate some more.
There I stood three years past that point still sporting the pounds I put on in those first months (plus a little extra from the 10 pound baby I birthed a little over a year a later. But Praise God for his perfect gift of our second son!)
My point is, no one talks about the aftermath of grief. No one talks about the coping mechanisms which become habits. No one talks about getting to the other side of the fog, only to realize there is a whole new fog. A whole new learning curve of unlearning those nasty habits which in the early days saved your life.
But it is a very real, very scary part of the grief process. To look at this person who has changed and grown and ask “which of these traits do I carry with me?”
I cried and cried every time my husband would say “I miss you. I miss the silly, carefree, goofy side of you.” I cried because I wasn’t sure I knew how to get to that part of me anymore.
I wasn’t carefree anymore. I was jaded. Hurt. Angry. How could I be goofy and silly when my heart had been broken and the pieces had been put back together blindfolded?
Praise God for his perfect gift of our daughter who kept me sane in those early days by being silly. And Praise God for two new friends two years later who made being silly and goofy finally feel natural again.
I learned early on that the “stages of grief” are bologna. The emotions of each are valid and true, but grief is too fluid for “stages”. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the length.
We just celebrated Oliver’s 3rd heavenly birthday and some days I am still blindsided by my grief. I only just got any motivation back to really exercise and feel healthy again. It’s not quite been a year since I first experienced how naturally being a goofball would come back to me.
I am continually blown away at how my timing is not the Lord’s timing. As quickly and suddenly as my life went sideways, the road to discovering this new yet familiar version of myself has been exponentially longer.
I have learned things about myself and about who my God is and what I really know to be true about Him. What I know to be true about what He thinks of me. It has been hard but it has been sweet.