The Stuff You Don’t See

I sometimes write about grieving now; I’m embracing that.  Even though I don’t think of this as a personal blog per se, it’s still bound to be a reflection of myself, just because I’m the writer.  Plus, I’m personally of the opinion that a blog is only as good as it is authentic.

Recently, several people have commented that I really seem ok, overall, or that they’re surprised how I seem to be this pulled together.  They are not saying it with any sort of value judgement attached to it.  It’s not bad or good; they’re just observing.

I’ve begun to wonder, is that true?  Am I keeping it together?  Am I doing ok?

Yes.

And no.

Then yes sometimes, and no again.  And that’s ok.

I do think I’m more composed in public and in groups.  I become less so in individual conversations.  But then, there is the stuff you don’t see.

Everyone has their own version of the stuff you don’t see.  It’s where we keep our fears or our silliness, our insecurities or our doubts.  Where you can’t see is where I hide my vulnerable self, and I bet you hide your vulnerable self where I can’t see.

Here is some of the stuff you don’t see.

When I drive alone, and everything that’s happened is really under my skin, I pray by talking out loud, so I look a little kooky to anyone who passes me.  With hands-free laws, I hope people assume I’m on the phone.

I also cry a lot when I drive alone.  Unless I really am on the phone, which I sometimes am because I just don’t want to cry this time.

Other mommas say that hormones make you weepy a couple weeks out anyway.  This is comforting.  It’s not that I mind crying.  I don’t.  But sometimes if feels like it’s being imposed upon me by some outside force.

Apparently that force has a name:  hormones.

Every morning it takes me at least 20 minutes to get dressed for work.  Not to get ready.  Not to do my makeup or blow dry my hair.  Just to get dressed.  I stand at my closet and stare, because literally not one pair of pants in there fits me right now.  And I don’t want to put on my maternity clothes again, but eventually I suck it up and do it.

Our dishes get done about once every 7-9 days.  We manage to load the dishwasher just fine, but the hand wash stuff just sits on the counter and piles up.  Something about the dishes just isn’t clicking, and neither myself nor my husband can muster the energy for them.

The first thing I say when I wake up in the morning is “Lord, I am so sad and I hurt so badly.  You’re my only hope here so please help me get through today.”  Every morning.

So if for a while I am ok or pulled together, it’s because God is faithful and kind and God is answering that last prayer.  (Or perhaps God is answering other people’s prayers on our behalf.)  The ok times are like a place to rest on a long, wearying journey.  Also a rest?  Letting people see.

6 thoughts on “The Stuff You Don’t See

  1. we go to work because we have bills that we have to pay, we cook dinner because we have to eat…we keep on functioning. somedays just fakeing our way through it and some days we get through fine and some days we cry in the car or the shower. no one knew how difficult each step was because they didn’t see the sleepless nights, the waterfall of tears, or how difficult something as simple as getting dressed was everyday. they didn’t see the daily reminders of my loss.

  2. i would get so angry when people would tell me how brave i was or how well i was “handeling” things…i thought they were all crazy or full of @%<#. couldn't they see what a mess i was? then i began to wonder if this was just one of those things people say that is supposed to make you feel better, but doesn't…or do they really not see the tears that were always just at the surface or distracted look…or maybe they just expeccted me to not function at all after my baby died. but we do function,

  3. Billy Crystal writes in 700 Sundays about that feeling of “otherness” and carrying around the “boulder” of grief….you get through the days, but everything is so much harder because you have to carry around this boulder every where you go…. I just remember what a great metaphor that was for that process of grief…… It takes a long time, then one day you notice you don’t have to carry it everywhere….Love you guys…

  4. Meredith, grief has no time table. Healing will come, not just because time passes but because the Lord continues to show up. I continue to pray for you. And crying is good.

  5. I love you. I love your authenticity. I’m glad you cry in your car. It’s a good place to cry. Still praying for you. Prayed for you today actually. I’m not stopping any time soon.

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