“If you are going through hell, keep on going.” ~ Winston Churchill
Shock is an elusive thing. Mostly because at the time it is happening to you, you don’t know it at all. At least I didn’t. I suppose that is because it is a state of suspended animation. And suspensed time. But most of all, it is like the suspension of the beating of one’s very heart. A protective, misty sheath of numbness between us and the hell we suddenly find ourselves in. A loving Hand has placed us into a ziplock like leftover food, sealed it tightly and put it away in the back of the fridge.
I think everyone reacts differently to loss. Some people are smart enough and kind enough to themselves to stay in that safe place and rest until they are ready to come out. Until they have privately allowed themselves to do what they need to do. Smart enough to surround themselves with people who will be totally okay with whatever that is. Or maybe they choose to be alone for however long they need to be.
I, unfortunately, was not one of those smart people. Luckily, Steve and Heather were. But I immediately rebelled against being zipped up and staying safe anywhere. Like every one else, I had 2 choices: to stay safely in shock for awhile – or to choose to begin the arduous, yet necessary task of grief. But I didn’t want to do either.
I have always been a rebel. And a fighter. For some reason my first response seems to be pushback. And a feeling that rules don’t apply to me. I hate rules. Whether or not I am even aware I am doing this, I still often think “rules are for other people and they are helpful for those who need them.” But I can’t (or, more likely, won’t) follow them. I should know better by now.
To be totally honest, I guess I think I can figure out a way to circumvent the usual pathway and invent my own way. It tends to be what I think is a shortcut to a hidden back door I am convinced no one else has found. I sometimes find the key. If I do, I convince myself if I open the door, I will end up in the same successful place. I don’t seem to notice that I am rock climbing while I could be walking on the peaceful pathway provided for me. That is, until I have completely and unnecessary exhausted myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. This should be obvious to me — but somehow I end up in a place, by God’s grace, that works for me. A place of my own. I can’t say what anyone else should or should not do. I may be my own worst enemy. But it works for me…sometimes. Maybe even usually.
But this time it didn’t.
For Who Will be the Judge of Grief
Quietly sailing through the night sky
The lights are scattered near and far
Over patches of sea
Climbing the peaks of snow
Its beauty and relentless mind never ceases
To carry what others cannot
I stumble and stagger with pain
No amount of riches can fix it
The stained blood is already seen
I fight silently
But few know the pain of sleepless nights
The judge and the jury no one knows
For many prejudices they carry
~ Heather Woodworth 12/22/16