Monday, May 23, 2011

Drifting ...

I pretty much just drifted through the next few weeks.  Where I remember every detail of the week of Eddie's death, these weeks are a blur to me.  One day ran into the next, and the nights seemed to last forever.  I slept very little, maybe a couple of hours off and on each night.  I was exhausted during the day, but when I tried to sleep my mind wouldn't "turn off".  I know I had phone calls, cards, and visits from friends and family during this time.  My friends from school checked on me often, brought me meals, took me out to eat, or invited me to their house.  I went because I didn't want to be rude, and I knew I needed to get out of the house.  I really appreciated their efforts, but I was just going through the motions.  Whenever we would go to a restaurant after a short time I would start to feel as if the crowd and the walls were closing in on me.  I wanted to ask the people around me how they could be sitting there talking, laughing, and enjoying their meals.  I couldn't believe the world was going on as if nothing had happened ... my life had stopped, so why hadn't everyone else's?

I remember falling into a daily routine during this time.  I was still getting many sympathy cards, so I would go to the mailbox each day, then take the cards to the front porch.  There I would sit in the rocking chair and read the cards over and over.  It brought me a small sense of comfort to read the words people wrote to me about Eddie.  After reading the cards, I would try to read the newspaper or work the crossword puzzle in it while I sat on the porch.  It always seemed to help a little to be outside, so I would put off going back in as long as I could.  Unfortunately, I was never able to concentrate on what I was reading, so the paper proved to be a waste of time.  Then I would go inside and turn on the television, but I had the same problem - I couldn't concentrate.  I could sit and stare at a program for 30 minutes but not have any idea what was going on.  My plans for getting through the next three stages of the grief process had disappeared.

I also spent a lot of time at the cemetery during these weeks.  Each day that I drove through those gates I had that same tightness in my chest, and it would be hard to breathe for a few minutes.  I spent my time sitting by Eddie's grave alternating between crying (yes the tears had finally come), praying, and talking to him.  I asked him repeatedly why he had chosen to leave us, but I never got any answers.  I asked God why He had allowed this to happen, but again I never got any answers.  Somtimes I just sat and watched the other people coming and going in the cemetery, and I wondered if they felt as lost and confused as I did.  Every time I left the cemetery I felt like I was leaving a part of myself there too.

"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.  You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy."  John 16:20

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