An Unexpected Journey

2 weeks ago, Thursday we laid my grandfather down beside his parents to sleep. Longest. day. ever…

My family went down the day before but I stayed back because I just wasn’t ready yet. Wasn’t ready to face all that sympathy – because it made our pain so real. Wasn’t ready for all those words that would rest on the surface – because the truth is that, although every word people spoke was probably true, my heart didn’t want to hear how he was in a better place and all that; it wanted to hear him chuckle at me like he did the night i stayed with him at the hospital because i was soo sooo sleepy but I was determined to stay awake with him and keep him company til he fell asleep. I just really wasn’t ready…

This loss has taken me down a different road. Not just in knowing how our family dynamic is changed or in seeing my grandmother’s loneliness or the rest of my family’s pain. It’s been different because it has taken my down a road in my own heart that I have very studiously avoided most of my life:NEED.

I have needed great support; i really struggled. Because really, in the line of all else that I’m still not quite right from, God adds this big huge thing on top then says, “keep living in the face of the pain. I know how badly this hurts, but you must move forward now into your new life.”

My mind got it. My heart? Not so much.

BFF. She has been a trooper, there every step of the way in any way possible to make this better for me. Needing a sister-friend, this was ok. This is where i’m comfy. Right here in that zone…

But me and honey. We have never walked this road of significant loss together. Figured early that I would need him in a whole new way. And then promptly tried to push that set of feelings away… Except, he wouldn’t let me – and even if he would’ve, I couldn’t do it. He left town for just an overnight trip and I was so wound up – because i didn’t know how i’d react when my PaPa slipped away; i just knew that the only set of arms i wanted to feel would be his. I have never in my life been so glad he was home again… Even the night before I left to go be with my family; i just needed to feel safe for a little while before I had to figure out how to start processing all that was happening…

It’s been busy and those little moments have been fewer than we like lately, but as all this has unfolded, God has restored something deep inside me for this man that I’ve loved for so long now. Slowly slowly slowly walls have come tumbling down, and finally vulnerability (the real sort) with him doesn’t make me wanna run away – instead it invites me to give him more. And he’s giving it back in return.

It amazes me that even in the face of loss, we are finding new life. It amazes me that what I feared would tear us apart seems to be a catalyst to really put us back together again…

I have not grieved yet. I think I’m still in emotional shock. It’s all still pretty surreal to me. But I know there will come a day when I finally feel it – really feel it – and I’ll need to be loved and comforted in a significant way. It’s a comfort to know that the one who holds my heart understands this part of me. He understands my need to talk. He understands my need to be busy. He understands my need to be left alone. He understands my need to get lost in something other than my own thoughts… he gets it. because he gets me. Such a huge huge blessing.

Needing, inviting, accepting,it’s all part of this new road I’ve just started walking. And I’m not real sure how it looks, but I’m real glad I don’t have to go it alone…

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