Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two years ago today...

That's my big girl.  In her swing for the first time.  Barefoot in green grass.  With chocolate on her face.  Just like she is today.  Only today, two years later, instead of being carried and being cradled,  that child is racing in the green grass of Heaven with her beautiful perfect body that works just like God meant it to (only she may not have the chocolate on her chin). 

Heavenly Grass by Tennessee Williams...
My feet took a walk in heavenly grass.
All day while the sky shone clear as glass.
My feet took a walk in heavenly grass,
All night while the lonesome stars rolled past.
Then my feet come down to walk on earth,
And my mother cried when she give me birth.
Now my feet walk far and my feet walk fast,
But they still got an itch for heavenly grass.

But they still got an itch for heavenly grass. 
I miss her so much...

I read this really wonderful article by a man named Steven Kalas.  He tries to answer the question "How do I get over this?"  this loss of a child, this living on without them.  And he says...

"You don't get over it. Getting over it is an inappropriate goal. An unreasonable hope. The loss of a child changes you. It changes your marriage. It changes the way birds sing. It changes the way the sun rises and sets. You are forever different.

 You don't want to get over it. Don't act surprised. As awful a burden as grief is, you know intuitively that it matters, that it is profoundly important to be grieving. Your grief plays a crucial part in staying connected to your child's life. To give up your grief would mean losing your child yet again. If I had the power to take your grief away, you'd fight me to keep it. Your grief is awful, but it is also holy. And somewhere inside you, you know that.

The goal is not to get over it. The goal is to get on with it.

Profound grief is like being in a stage play wherein suddenly the stagehands push a huge grand piano into the middle of the set. The piano paralyzes the play. It dominates the stage. No matter where you move, it impedes your sight lines, your blocking, your ability to interact with the other players. You keep banging into it, surprised each time that it's still there. It takes all your concentration to work around it, this at a time when you have little ability or desire to concentrate on anything.

The piano changes everything. The entire play must be rewritten around it.

But over time the piano is pushed to stage left. Then to upper stage left. You are the playwright, and slowly, surely, you begin to find the impetus and wherewithal to stop reacting to the intrusive piano. Instead, you engage it. Instead of writing every scene around the piano, you begin to write the piano into each scene, into the story of your life.

You learn to play that piano. You're surprised to find that you want to play, that it's meaningful, even peaceful to play it. At first your songs are filled with pain, bitterness, even despair. But later you find your songs contain beauty, peace, a greater capacity for love and compassion. You and grief -- together -- begin to compose hope. Who'da thought?

Your grief becomes an intimate treasure, though the spaces between the grief lengthen. You no longer need to play the piano every day, or even every month. But later, when you're 84, staring out your kitchen window on a random Tuesday morning, you welcome the sigh, the tears, the wistful pain that moves through your heart and reminds you that your child's life mattered.

You wipe the dust off the piano and sit down to play."

She was here, her life mattered.  It's been nearly two years but she is still a part of me and who I am and I don't want to let go of that.  We write her into the story everyday.  Sarah looks at her pictures every day.  We talk about her every day.  She is our second born, the dark haired one.  The one that was the Daddy's Girl.  The stubborn one, the bossy one.  She is the missing stair step in this band of daughters.  She is in everything that I do and in my thoughts, still, all day long.

Two years ago she was here, and she was happy that day.  And we are so blessed in that and I so grateful to God for letting us have her.  She was happy and that brings me more joy than words can say.


1 comment:

Clarissa said...

she is a blessing and so blessed to have you all to love her like you do! she matters to us too... and will always be a part of us. i love the pictures! so beautiful... so carefree... so joyful.

loved that article. so true.