I find that my days are days of constant ebb and flow. I find that the pendulum that swings from joy to grief isn't as exhausting as the early days of grief. Overwhelming sadness and sorrow has been replaced with a dull ache in my heart, that honestly, I don't think will ever go away.
Just this weekend, Shane and I ran into some friends that we haven't seen for over 2 years. The last time we really connected with them, was right after Joshua died. Back then, I struggled with the question, "How are you doing?" I never wanted to hide my grief, but I also didn't want to make conversations awkward or depressing. It was a constant battle within myself to maintain real and authentic without depressing everyone around me.
However, when we saw these friends just briefly over the weekend, they asked how we are doing. Without hesitation I was able to answer, "We are doing really really well. God has provided for us in mighty ways and life is really good." There was no faking it. There was no hesitation trying to find the right words. There was no fear of making a seemingly normal conversation extremely awkward. In that moment, my answer brought tears of joy and peace to my eyes as well as to the eyes of my friend.
Once again, I was reminded, through that conversation how incredibly faithful God has been to our family. He has healed us. He has taken the depths of grief and sorrow and turned them into something truly beautiful. It is a place, in all honesty, that I thought I would never reach. But here we are, experiencing a peace that passes all understanding.
That's not to say that the pain isn't still there. Just last night, I fell asleep crying. The literal ache in my heart that Joshua's death left, will always be there. As I fell asleep, I thought about the morning that he died. The pain and despair that I felt. Holding him as the last tiny puffs of air left his lungs. Carrying him on my lap on the way home. I saw his beautiful little face and remembered what his tiny chest scar felt like. I remembered what hope we had for his life. What painful, painful memories. They will always be there. I will always grieve. But the pain isn't overwhelming. Peace and joy has replaced sorrow and mourning.
The ebb and flow is something that I am used to now. In a way, I'm thankful for it. It allows me to remember my son. It allows me to experience my love for him. It keeps me from forgetting where we have been but at the same time reminds me of where we are now.