April 3, 2011

Found and Lost and Found

We endlessly swing back and forth, from grief over Margot to fighting for Kari's health, blown by the winds of bodily pain and baby reminders, neither one being easy, both frightening and unpredictable. It seems we oscillate between these two forces almost moment by moment, never letting one take too much precedence over the other, but never allowing us to fully engage with each emotion either. For when we're focused on getting better, on walking and hydrating and resting, Margot is there. And when we're remembering Margot, Kari's pain and bruises and immobility hangs thick in the air. This is our predicament, the reality of this new story we find ourselves living in.

On the one front, today was the kind of day we needed. We laughed more, smiled more, felt like ourselves more. We shared a meal with friends, wrestled and sang with Stella, spent time laughing with our families and went an entire day without the stay-in-your-bed nausea that has consumed most of our other days. We took long walks around the fourth floor of our building, stopping in a certain window to let the sun drench over us. We shared intimate cheek-to-cheek hugs and tender forehead kisses, moments nearly impossible to have with all of the tubes, pain and nausea that have dominated the past ten days. We spoke of hope and the future and began scratching the surface of what this new story might look like.

But I also lacked emotions today. My eyes were dry, my heart confused. I wanted to join Kari in tears when we spoke of what we were going to do with the tiny room we created for Margot in our bedroom closet. I wanted to cry when Stella innocently asked where Margot was. But there were no tears and few words, leaving my heart in a state of confusion. Where did the gratifying, therapeutic tears go? Why did these emotions, which were always on the edge of my heart and on the tip of my mind, suddenly seem distant and removed?

These are the thoughts and questions I have tonight. They stream back and forth tirelessly from my head to my heart and back again. I search for clues and look for meaning.

If I find solace in anything about today, it's this: whatever we're going through, whatever we're thinking, whatever emotion is dominant, whatever we may feel or not feel, however the day plays out...this is our grief. There are no easy answers, no wrong or right way to grieve, no expected formula. This grief is complicated and simple, creeps in slowly and harshly and manifests itself in many forms. I guess in these early days, I'm learning to embrace griefs tricky, soul soothing complexities, from one day to the next.


Amanda said...

Thanks for this beautifully raw glimpse into your new reality. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Unknown said...

Josh, I first loved you because Kari loved you but now I love you because you share your heart and soul. I will never know your grief of losing a child but I have known grief. You are right there is no right or wrong way to grieve but I've learned that sharing that grief with those that love you makes it much lighter. Letting others help you carry your load puts it in a better light. Thank you for sharing your heart!

SHARLENE said...

Ah, Josh, you write so eloquently it makes a soul hurt to read its rawness. But it's so, so good that you can do this, that you can express what it feels like to be in your dark, lonely spot. Your grief will come and go in spurts; one day you will wonder why you can't cry, and the next you will wish the tears would stop their unexpected gushes. It's just the way grief works. I think God designed us so that we don't bear grief's sharp, painful edges every minute of the day. There are times to let it go and times to pick it back up again. At your weakest, God carries you - even though you may not be aware.

Continuing to pray in earnest for you and Kari and especially for Kari's return of good health.

Love and bounteous hugs...

Elizabeth Turner said...

Knew Kari at college. Praying for you both...

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