11.06.2013

When words are not enough



This Saturday marks 3 years since Jeremy took his last breath.
How can that possibly be?

Every year, I am in awe of how crazy it seems that so much time has passed, and yet how far away it seems when so much life has been lived in between. I have truly experienced more in the past 3 years than most people do in a lifetime. Since Jer died, I've bought 2 houses, purchased a new vehicle, traveled all over the country, lost and gained friends, dated and remarried, blended a large family, moved out of state, had a baby without his daddy, and am preparing to have another child with another man. Surely these things couldn't possibly describe MY life...

And yet, no matter how much life has been lived since I've seen Jeremy, the weight of the hole he has left in my life is still so evident, and still a very painful reality I face daily. The last several weeks have been especially hard for me. Part of it is because I now grieve so far away from his family and friends, far away from the life I shared with him, and far away from where I can feel his presence. I feel so far removed. I ache to hold on to pieces of him during this season. Part of it also is from the fact that the closer I get to delivering, the more terrified I feel. Pregnancy hormones alone could do me in, but the sleepless nights remembering a piece of my grief that I never thought I'd have to face again is sometimes too much. My anxiety level is high, to say the least.

I was texting with a friend this weekend just about how crazy it is that it's already been 3 years. And I realized how much I ached just to talk to someone about it. To let it out. To have someone actually ask me. She had no idea how much that filled my heart up. I confessed that it's been hard to feel like I have no outlet lately. She asked me if writing was no longer an outlet. I had to think about that for a minute....

Writing has always been my way of expressing emotion. Words are my ally and my weapon of choice. They help me sort through my own head when things don't make sense. And being able to write about my grief journey has brought me more healing than I could have ever imagined. But I found myself at a crossroads of guilt. Guilt for feeling like I couldn't talk about the depths of my pain without somehow sounding ungrateful for the life I have now and the blessings that come with it. And guilt for being too grateful for the life I have now and feeling like people think it means I'm just ok and don't need to talk about Jeremy anymore. I also just don't like feeling like I'm seeking out attention. Writing makes people think they know me and therefore the personal connections are lacking because they think they know where I'm at. They can watch from a distance.

The truth is that words sometimes are not enough. Most of the time, I really don't have much NEW to say. I've run out of ways to express how much I miss Jeremy, how much my heart longs for him, how hard it is to watch my kids grow up without knowing him.......it really never changes, just evolves. I want to scream from the top of my lungs just how much grief sucks still sometimes. I want the world to know what an incredible husband I have now, and that how deeply I cherish him has no impact on the amount of grief I have and will continue to carry through the rest of this life. I wish I could find the right words....words that connect with everyone. But, I can't reach everyone. All I can do is write what I know, what I am living.

I keep going back to an analogy I heard shortly after Jeremy died, I think in a book I read somewhere. It painted a picture of train tracks, one track representing grief and one representing joy: both running side by side on the same path. They both exist together.

This week, I don't have the right words. Just a jumbled mess of emotions that seem to represent my heart these days. My words are not enough. But just remembering to put one foot in front of the other is sometimes all I need to do.


6 comments:

Jennifer Hoppins said...

There is so much in this post that I connected with, although I have not yet experienced a loss so deep. Thank you for your brave heart to write it, to live it, to keep going anyway. Thank you for showing me something that I have been living with but have been unable to articulate; that sense of disconnection to people who read my posts and who also know me in person...who look on silently from a distance. That is a truth I have been muddling through...often I don't tell new friends that I write or that I'm on social media, just so I can have the chance to know someone from the spontaneous conversations that dialogue produces. When you write, we as readers are reminded that often a friend might be wrestling with the hardest challenge, a challenge that cannot be erased with words. Here is pain that keeps on bearing down alongside all the joy. In this post there is a brilliant recognition of the duality between the constant grief of a tragic loss and a family's happy, busy active love.

Tammie Lewis said...

Jennifer's last sentance says it all. I have followed your blog for a couple of years now and am guilty of feeling like "I know you", however, I do realize that I do not. It does make me wish we lived in the same town so I could KNOW you and your family. You are a remarkably strong woman. You are someone, who if in the same town, I would most definately seek out for friendship. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, good luck and many blessings on you as you finsih our your last few weeks of your pregnancy. ~ Tammie

Tammie Lewis said...

Jennifer's last sentance says it all. I have followed your blog for a couple of years now and am guilty of feeling like "I know you". In my defense, I do feel a little drawn because Jermey died on the same day that is my daughter's birthday. I feel so conflicted that what could be the happiest day for me could also be the worst day for someone. However, I do realize that I do not "know" you at all. It does make me wish we lived in the same town so I could KNOW you and your family. You are a remarkably strong woman. You are someone, who if in the same town, I would most definately seek out for friendship. I will keep you and your family in my prayers this weekend. Good luck and many blessings on you as you finsih our your last few weeks of your pregnancy. ~ Tammie

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you have to live with this grief. I have not had a loss such as yours, but I relate as a mom and wife. The new baby will bring much joy to your family. You should be very proud of yourself for accomplishing all that you have! You are tougher than you think. And I wish I could give you a Xanax, maybe afetr you deliver? :)

carrieg said...

i love the train track analogy--how true that is.i've been following your blog sinc just after jeremy's death and it's inspiring to see the growth and changes youve experienced. thank you for sharing you story and congratulatons on your baby to come!

Jess Hover said...

I woke up this morning thinking about you, not realizing that this weekend was so significant for you guys. I so appreciate your willingness to write and am praying for the Lord to both comfort you and encourage your heart this weekend. You have been an inspiration in my life and I am grateful for your vulnerability. It is an honor to know you, even just a little bit, and a privilege to have met Jeremy the few times that I did. He continues to be a hero here, even three years after he went to be with Jesus. What an incredible legacy. God bless you and your sweet family. With sincere love, Jess

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