I have discovered grief is born much like a baby. My grief was born on a beautiful September morning, the labor was unexpected...fast...excruciating. No drugs were available to ease my pain. I wept uncontrollably, my hands shook, and adrenaline rushed through my whole body as I watched my sweet Jonah leave me and I received grief into my broken heart. There has never been a more sacred moment.
My family came to see my grief, for it was a new part of our family. They wept. My mother held it tenderly, and spoke softly. My neighbors brought casseroles and bread to sustain us. My friends asked about it and shared their tips for bearing grief.
Taking care of my newborn grief is demanding. It wakes me up in the middle of the night. I carry it with me everywhere. I long for a simpler time when my heart was not burdened by so much responsibility.
I measure the life of my grief in the same way I measured Jonah's life. At first I counted every minute he was with me... then each hour. As time passed each hour became less significant and I measured more generally by days, then weeks. I hear a sad echo of my former self saying "It has been 3 days...It has been 2 weeks....now 6 weeks", and then I wonder how I have survived for any length of time without him.
I know that there will be milestones, holidays, special occasions. I will watch my grief change, and transform. Maybe I will be impressed by the things it can do, maybe I will be more exhausted than ever. People say in time I will forget the sharpness of the pain I experienced that day. That seems impossible to believe right now.
I do believe that there is opposition in all things. Our pain magnifies our joy. For now, I desperately long for, hope for, and have faith in future moments when new joy will be born to match my grief.