I’ve heard that love and grief are two sides of the same coin. It must be so. It might be wise for me to remember this each day as I sometimes become impatient with my grief. After all, my grief should be monumental because my love for Jake is. It’s been six weeks since he left this world which seems in one sense like a short period of time but in another sense, extremely long. Maybe it’s because the days move so slowly. There was a time beyond six weeks ago when at the end of the day I had frustration in accomplishing so little, especially on the days my chronic illnesses weren’t cooperating toward accomplishment. Now, just getting dinner made is a complete and full day. I have days that are less teary but even when my pain improves, I’m aware that I’ve lost my membership in “normal” society.  I feel I don’t belong as I once did. I feel as if have a new membership in a secret society of mourners and no matter how badly I don’t want to belong, my dues have been paid. I’m here and I have to be a part of it. Even if I could tell others about our secret grieving society, I would get a sad, “sorry”, but there is no way they could ever really understand that we exist. I am still a bit shocked when the postal worker or grocery clerk asks, “How are you”? It actually surprises me. If I gave a truthful answer, they might feels sad or tell me how sorry they are, but they would never truly understand because they are not likely cardholders. There are so few, and even though I am buying groceries, I am acutely aware of the inexplicable separation between me and the other shoppers. Without my conscious permission, I am on my own.

I think back at the dinner given after we laid Jake to rest. I was sitting next to my father and I thought how odd that he had no words of advice or comfort. He seemed a bit lost and as I scanned the room, I realized that I was the only one there who had ever buried a child. This loss is so rare, yet I had never realized it before. The Lord needed my sweet boy. Not the children of these people, at least not yet, but He needed mine. For some reason, He needed my young son of 21, young and just beginning his life. I could ask, “Why?”, but what’s the point? My ways are not His ways, my needs are not His needs, but my son is His son. So I am left without anger and without any significant questions, but with a broken heart and what seems like the inability to live in a world without Jake. Will I ever feel a part of life around me again? Will I ever belong to the normal society again, and actually feel as if I am a part of this world?

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