Friday, January 27, 2012

Peaks and Valleys

Emily came up to me yesterday, tucked herself in the crook of my arm and told me that she misses Ava. I asked her if she had anything she regretted. Of course, I then had to describe what "regret" is to my 7 year old. She told me that she wished she could reach into her "Ava Book" and wrap her arms around her sister.

She's been really going through the fire lately. There is a new level of understanding and concept of loss that she is processing and trying to organize. With it comes a new level of pain and sorrow. Professionally, I know that as a child's ability to think on different levels expands, that child will have to grieve on a different level and in a new way all over again. As the mom of a child walking the walk it catches me off guard each time.

I realized that my sweet child is not afraid to miss her sister. She's not afraid to let her arms ache to hold her, to smell her, to remember how she was really here. Guess what? Through December and most of January I hit a wall. Early in December I got a stress fracture in my leg. I have yet to run since 12/2/12. I was in a great deal of pain until a couple weeks ago. I was trying to muddle through the "festivities" of the season. I was spent. I didn't want to do anything, my body hurt and my soul was broken and sad. For some reason the complexities of all that Allan and I personally LOST was all I could ruminate upon.

My daughters are amazing. They are allowing themselves to feel the loss. I have been afraid to allow that. I prefer to focus on what we've gained through the loss. It's easier that way. But we have to focus on the actual hole that Ava left in our lives. I think it's the only way to keep it from burrowing deeper into my soul.

After Eric died, I did FEEL the achy, empty arms, the loss of a future, the pain of dreams doused. With Ava...sometimes...I can't. It's just so hard to allow that feeling to develop and manifest itself. So there was the wall at Christmas. The black, painful pit. The one with the mud walls so there is nowhere to grasp. There was nowhere to hide. I couldn't pound out the thoughts in my mind through running. Instead, I had to sit still and let the pain in my leg become the precipitous to that which was trapped in my heart.

Sometimes, I think God allows you to feel that way so that you remember to cling to Him more. In throes of the bleak days I wonder where He really is. I know He is there, but I feel like I'm slipping. Really I think that He is helping me along. He allows me to feel the pain and ache so that I can reach a higher peak.

I get frustrated having to be "on" and guiding my children through this emotional maze they are trapped in. I am glad I can do it. But it gets old. Really really old. Then there is a sweet child, wriggling herself into the crook of my arm, seeking comfort. I then notice that she in fact helps me. I wish I could be as brave as she.