Originally posted March 9, 2016
Colin’s Medical Examiner’s Report arrived in the mail last week and I was shocked at the overpowering sorrow that flooded me. The past 7 months have been full of unimaginable burdens, and I keep trusting that it will get easier, but it doesn’t. And it surprises me.
How naïve I have been to the process of losing my husband and my daughter. I have hoped that my strength and resolve would aid me as I step through this valley of the shadow of death, but it cannot change what is ahead of me. And it can’t lessen the pain that is here or the pain that is yet to come.
The more I consider my loss and how profound it is, the more I realize my naïveté to what grief really is. I want to do everything right, face everything head on and get through this tough patch. But grief is this eternal vehicle that will not be hurried, and yet can’t be stopped. It is slow and steady and unavoidable. It takes its time, it is not efficient and it never lets you miss a stop for good behaviour.
It changes constantly, almost like it is keeping you from figuring out the system. Forcing you to stand guard for each new facet that it brings. When it is fresh and new and everything you know is different. Or when the numbness and shock fade and there is no buffer for the constant pain that it brings. Or when the barrage of sorrow is so constant you can barely stand from exhaustion.
I am confident, beyond hopeful, that one day I will look back and see how far I have come through this. Not to a place of understanding or happiness at losing Colin and Madeline, but the knowledge of God’s faithfulness. But my reality now is that I am here, and that hopeful point is in the far distance. There is no way to gauge how much time and suffering and pain I must endure to get from A to B. This is the overwhelming part.
As I sat crying over every bruise, laceration, and broken bone documented on Colin’s body, and read the the final words written about his death; I felt weak. And my fragility scared me; it made me want to have an excuse for that moment. Lack of sleep, hormones, a bad day… And that is when it hit me. Colin died. Madeline died in my arms. That is my excuse.
It is part of our human nature to be weak and fragile. It is ok to cry months after you lose a loved one. We are allowed to fall apart, not be strong, and ache for what once was. There are responsibilities, two very important ones, but I am still just a woman who lost her husband, and mother who lost her daughter. And there will be moments when that is all I can be.