Fish Faces

It's an odd feeling, not having anywhere to be. For the past 7 weeks my schedule was insane. Up at 5:00am to get to work to work a few hours. Leaving work to go to the hospital by 10:30. Sitting in the hospital 7 or 8 hours then racing home to spend time with my son before he went to bed. Now I have nowhere to be, my schedule is empty as is my heart. It's too quiet around our home. I took this week off of work because I knew I wasn't ready to go back yet. In the last almost 2 months there has rarely been a day where I spent more than an hour or two at the most with my son. I tried hard to get a little bit of time with him each evening but my main focus was always my husband. I'm now trying to spend this week spending time and reconnecting with my son. He's grown up so much in the last 2 months. Since we do not want to spend much time at our home we got out with family today and took a small road trip to the aquarium. I loved seeing the joy on Milo's face but my mind was somewhere else. Joel should be with us. He would have loved seeing Milo in such happiness and making his fish face all day. It was joy mixed with sadness. That is how I think our life will forever be. I adore my son. He is literally the only thing that is keeping me moving forward these days. If it weren't for him I'd be laying in bed sobbing all day long. But with a child you can't do that. I have to not only take care of him but I have to be brave for him and not let him see his Mama fall apart. There's many moments where I still do and my son always comes over to check on me and give me kisses-just like his Daddy would do. He is such a gift.

I'll be really candid and say I don't even know how to make it through this pain. In many ways I feel paralyzed. I don't want to live my life without my husband. My heart aches for him every minute of every day. It still is unfathomable to me that I will never see his face on this earth ever again.

A woman who is also a widow contacted me recently to tell me that she was praying for me. We started to talk back and forth about the loss of a husband and about living day by day and moment by moment with grief. She sent me a quote I will also share with you.

"There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it.

At first, that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. To the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled, one remains connected to the other person through it.

It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it, but much more, leaves it precisely unfilled, and thus helps preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship.

One bears what was lovely in the past, not as a thorn, but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain."

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I love how it says leaving the pain unfilled helps preserve, even in pain, the authentic relationship. And that someday that pain will turn into a gift. So we continue to take each day a second at a time, a minute at a time, an hour at a time, moving forward, going through the motions-missing him. But as for today I celebrate the joy of a day with a little boy and his fish faces.