Grief is like a constant companion. It's always with you. Sometimes I get to take a break and laugh and joke around and be obnoxious, but the ache is still there. There are different kinds of grief. The stabbing shocking tearing loss of having a child ripped from your life. Then there is the dull sweet ache of looking at your dad's chair and knowing he'll never sit there again. The ache that lays there as I look at the snow and know my dad won't come shovel me out. That he wasn't much of a conversationalist but that he would do things like that to shout I love you at us.
I think one day I'll hide it more, even from myself, but I also know it will never completely leave me. It's kind of like when you are a kid and realize your heroes are flawed or that Santa isn't real. You're never the same again. When Andrea's mom died, I told her I felt like I was losing part of my best friend too, because the sadness would change who she was. I had no idea I'd be missing myself so soon after. I'll never be that person. It's like I have this secret knowledge that not everyone knows and that I didn't want to learn. I know now that the worst thing imaginable could happen any second. No Bible no optimism no army can protect me from pain.
I'm supposed to feel better because of heaven. I try to. I believe in it - I do. The problem is I believe in it, but I don't want to see Jace and my dad someday on a golden street or in a house with many rooms when I'm 83, because women in my family never seem to die. I want them now. I want to hear them laugh and sing. I don't know much about heaven, but I know it will never be like it was. Like what I miss so much. I suppose it will be better, but I can't picture it. I can't imagine it. I don't know how to fathom a place without time or bathrooms.
I'm not alone. Plenty of other people are in this club. They understand what it means to be sad. To be in this shadow. Sometimes we reach out to each other, but a million words or hugs don't change who I am now. I know I'm not alone, it just feels so much like I am.
In the end there's only one thing to do. Keep walking.