A year ago, I published my first blog post. I wrote out of the desperate need to tell my story, to share my grief after the death of my husband.
I wrote about how there’s something deeply human about imagining worst case scenarios.
A year later, in this 3rd year since Chris passed, I haven’t stopped imagining. And yet, that initial grief has shifted. What once tore me apart on the inside and made it hard to breathe has since calmed itself.
It lingers like a scar.
Missing Chris is a profound part of me. But it is not the whole of me. I’ve found that it coexists with joy and faith, gratitude and new love for life.
And yet, traumatic grief like this plays tricks on your brain. I sit here joyful yet uneasy. I wonder and wait for the other shoe to drop. Some part of me anticipates future tragedies, ongoing heartbreak, more crushing grief.
It eats steadily away at my soul, and I instinctively brace myself. But deep down, I know no measure of self-protection will ever be enough. It simply serves to lull me into a false sense of control.
But control is an illusion.
A friend recently told me that she’d heard a group of older men tell her husband that the biggest lesson you learn as you grow older is just how little control you have over things in your life.
I listened to her tell me this, and I wondered, how, then, can we bear it?
How can we love again when we know what it feels like to have that love ripped violently from our grasp?
How can we send our children out into the world when we know what despair and horror exists in it?
How can we hope to make an impact after we comprehend just how small our lives are in the history of humanity?
I haven’t found the answers to these questions, but I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m not supposed to. Instead, I’ve found an unlikely faith that I always imagined impossible. I’ve found that the opposite of control isn’t lack of control; it’s hope and it’s trust and it’s truth.
And once I fully realized that I wasn’t in control, I was unexpectedly free. That doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with feeling like I need to be in control. I have to re-realize this often, even daily.
But in that freedom is joy.
In that freedom is love.
“In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing.”
The Magician’s Nephew ~ C.S. Lewis