His absence is a dissonant reverberation in the very heart of my soul. Always there, always droning. I realize it’s song is one with me now. Not in me, but part of me. The thick wires of the instrument vibrating continuously. Sometimes a low hum, other times a pounding orchestration of missing, anger, confusion, pain, shame, fear and longing that thrashes and shreds from within. How terribly awful the proof of one’s unconditional love can be. Ceaseless crazy love.
Something like that woke me this morning. It was not the usual beeping of the bus at the corner.
It was a singing bird.
A springtime bird, whose delicate song struck a chord in my chest before my consciousness even arose. It’s fragile tune snapping and grabbing at the strings with a force so contrary to what it’s tiny frame is capable of.
My eyes blinked open and my breath stopped, the thrashing alive in my innards. Grief’s heavy boot pressed hard on my throat as I sat up to get my bearings. It was clear why, when I heard the chirping again.
I don’t need consciousness to know this- what’s transcribed on my bones.
The season that marks the end of “before” is close. It’s here. I close my eyes to lay back down and let that sink in. I’ve done this twice now, I know what’s coming. I don’t beg and plead for it not to be so anymore. I will quietly re-live it a million more times, dream of it with more frequency and feel it in me like the abiding curse that it is. I don’t ask when the pain is going to stop anymore, because I know now it can’t- no more than my love for him can stop. And so I’ve become a compliant child to griefs overbearing hand. I understand;
Like then is happening again now.
I’ve done this one more year?
Nature, my healing space, my most reverent evidence of Him, will not be welcoming for a while. The air, the warmth of the sun, the sounds- the only tangible comfort I feel from Him, cannot be my comfort now. This winter felt more cruel than usual, I’m worn and in need of the refreshment I get from His creation. I need to get out, to bathe in the only place that feels like My Father’s House to me. But I retreat back in for the sake of my heart. Not yet.
I’m relieved at the thought of being in the woods and mountains soon, of old leaves and needles crunching underfoot. The heaviness lifts a bit knowing that soon the sound of boat motors and voices echoing across the lake will be our background noise. I fight to keep my thoughts on those good things, those lovely things- my garden, my fountain, the searing heat of summer and weekends on the lake with friends. It’s coming, thank you Lord, it’s coming.
But until then.
Everything around me will set the stage of this most profound loss once again. The orchestra of birds and the sounds of kids in the streets will perform the score. The white blossoms of the Bradford Pears and the pink bursts on the Crabapple trees will frame the main stage of green-ing grass and blue-ing skies. This theater even comes with natures perfume and spring air wafting by to ensure a full dress for remembrance. To make sure every sense is brought back. There is no exit door for this and the orchestra is warming up as the little bird reminded me this morning.
Get ready, He sang.
I want to scream “Don’t sing to me of spring you birds! Not now. How dare you keep singing and carrying on! How dare those blossoms burst again with their putrid stench.How I HATE that smell!”
And I do.
But the earth does not listen.
The earth betrays me in Spring
and keeps on singing.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Rom 1:20
So many times I’ve wanted to delete this blog. With every click of the “publish” button, I get sick in my stomach, feeling exposed and embarrassed. Why do I do this?? I’ve felt like it does not do at all what I heard God tell me it would do. Yet, EVERY time I get close, I get an email, a facebook message or I am literally stopped by a stranger who somehow knows me and tells me they read it or their wife reads it or they have sent it to people who are also enduring this loss. They tell me it helps them even though they have not lost a child. So the God I so rarely “hear” continues to tell me to keep doing this. So please, if you know someone who is suffering loss, please forward this, share this, help someone know their thoughts, struggles, experiences and pain is shared. -Jennifer