24 Jun mind vs. heart, and epiphanies
Mind vs. Heart, and Epiphanies
I want to die, let me just put that on the table. I want to exit this world with a quickness, and enter into eternity without a backward glance. I want to be where my son is… I want to hug him, squeeze him, love on him, kiss him, shake him, laugh with him, and kiss him some more. I want more time with him, more conversations, more moments. I want the future I foolishly thought I was guaranteed.
I could write about that for hours. I could fill pages with the things I want more of… but the sad truth is, no amount of ‘wanting’ is going to force the universe to return my son . No amount of writing is going to turn back the clock. Nothing I say, nothing you do, can ever give me all those things I will forever want. My mind understands that completely… but my heart couldn’t care less about limitations of space and time, the finality of death, or the new reality in which I live. My heart wants my boy back, and it won’t listen to reason.
Grief hits me in waves. I’ve lost track of days. Much of my time is spent in a daze. I’ve cried and sobbed and ached and wailed… until I am spent, and my cries fade to small moans. There is no one in my house to hear me, and grief ain’t polite anyway. So I wail. When the waves crash over me, and my gut hurts, and my skin burns, and the tears flow… I want to die. I beg God to take me, knowing full well He won’t. He’s proven to me many times over that He doesn’t take orders from lil ole me. Then the wave passes, and I feel almost normal again. I actually swam in my pool and laughed with a friend this weekend. Hard to imagine, but it’s true. We had a nice day… but I’d still like to go to sleep tonight and wake up in eternity with Mason.
I’ve been thinking about things lately that I’ve never considered before and thought I’d share a little of my perspective. Just some random thoughts, if you’re so inclined to read them… let’s call them epiphanies.
Epiphany #1: Things that once mattered and consumed your mind and energy fall off your radar and end up in the bucket of ‘things I can’t be bothered with.’ Things that irritated you before now seem so insignificant. So small. In fact, everything becomes less important, and all you can do is go through the motions until your own heart stops beating. Nothing matters. No one knows. There are no words to describe it, and you don’t even have the energy to try.
You struggle with mind and heart as opposing forces within you, neither agrees on anything. Mind says “I will live. I will make a difference. I will serve others.” Heart says “I want Mason baaaaaaack. I hate myself. Nothing matters. I. Want. To. Die.” Mind says “Get busy. Plant those flowers. Send thank you notes. Go back to work.” Heart says “How long do I have to live? When can I see him again? Please take me, Lord.” And on and on it goes, back and forth, with no end, every single day.
Epiphany #2: People don’t know what to do when someone dies. It’s funny, actually. You see the strongest person turn into blubbering mess, and the shyest person turn into a military commander barking orders left and right. People ask the wrong questions, they ignore the situation, they delve too deep, and they get weird. People say things they shouldn’t, they talk about things they have no information on, and they worry about their role in this when they really don’t even have one in your life. Friends try to shield you from other friends, everyone wants to be your special person, and no one has a clue about what to do or say.
Then there are those who drop every single thing in their own life, just to be by your side. They laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. They do the dishes while you weep. They make you a plate of food at every meal time, and they take the plate away when you’ve finished not eating. They remind you that you have to go to the bathroom when you keep forgetting. They let you know when you start to smell and encourage you to take a shower. They talk amongst themselves while you sit in a daze, but they never miss a word that comes out of your mouth (“hey, remind me to thank that person… “ or “let’s make sure we donate some funds to…”)and as you fall back into your own thoughts, you can rest assured that little thought you just had is already being handled by someone who loves you.
I am known for having an entourage and inviting anyone and everyone into my life. People who have no real family are always welcomed, and those who don’t have a group to call their own find comfort and new friendships in my circle. However, in the past three weeks, my capacity to handle life has been greatly diminished. The smallest task seems overwhelming, and more than 2 people a time just exhausts me. There have been a consistent handful of people in my immediate circle who have taken care of everything for me, but I know there are many, many more who would gladly jump into the rotation if only I would let them. I am so thankful for that… one day, your phone might ring and it will be me asking you for something so huge to me yet so small to you. Thanks in advance for your help.
Epiphany #3: People show you who they are. Again and again. Some who haven’t been a part of your life re-enter with their own agenda-of-sorts. Some sincerely want to be supportive. They want you to know they loved you then and they love you now, regardless of time and distance. I can’t even count how many people I have been reconnected with through this life-changing event. Old friends approached me at the memorial service wondering if I would even remember them. For me, it was a wonderful surprise and only added to the love I felt. It was amazing to hug old friends and feel their support. Others, though, had their own agenda. People who abandoned Mason, who never cultivated a relationship with either of us, showed up at the memorial service… for what? Some expressed a sincere desire to be supportive, even though our relationship ended on bad terms. Some brought letters of apology for their actions, however long ago. Some just brought a hug and quietly slipped away, no explanation, no words, no expectation of future interaction. And of course, some brought drama and tried to make themselves a victim… rest assured, they found no audience for their performances. I cannot help but be amazed at people. The good, the bad, the ugly… one thing I know, I’ve seen more good, more beauty, more kindness, more generosity in the last 3 weeks than I have experienced in my entire life.
Amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. Fourteen years can pass in a flash! Today marks three weeks since… well, you know. It feels like it’s been three years. Time drags, days are long, motivation escapes me, and nothing matters. That’s how I feel every other minute. Yesterday, I planted flowers with a friend, and managed to fill the empty hours and forget to count the minutes. Today, I haven’t managed to shower or brush my teeth or eat or get dressed…
In moments like these, I take comfort in knowing you’re out there. Ready to help, willing to listen, and interested in reading my words. Thank you. My mind knows you’re there, and is oh-so-grateful. My heart has turned her face away, is consumed with someone else, and is grappling with the realization that even though you’re out there, really it’s just me.