Our Clutter, Our Grief

I’ve been avoiding clutter in our life in more ways than the physical and to be honest I thought it was all unorganized because life is busy and I don’t have time: time to sit and go through it all, time to figure out what to hold on to and what to let go of.

But it isn’t the clutter I’ve been avoiding, I’ve been avoiding pain. Each year since we’ve lost Eisley, it’s gotten worse, too. Not in our home but deep within me, within us. WELP. Here’s the thing we’re learning about grief firsthand, with Ted’s panic and anxiety and with my hidden-to-the-world anger, grief is still triggered and we react, just maybe not in the way we should or that’s healthy. It’s still ever-present.

This weekend and again this week we decided to brave it, and went through things that evoked a lot of emotions.

I heard this said dialogue on This Is Us (one of those things I couldn’t actually watch until recently, because talk about evoking emotions ;)) where one character is speaking with another and says, “I’m sorry you lost your father.” The other guys quickly states, “Oh yeah.. it was a long time ago. To which the main guy responded:  “It’s a funny thing, time. Someone was just sharing a story with me and it reminded me of my own kids for a moment: their messy hair, matching jammies, all of it. I swear I could reach out and touch them. …In my experience there is no such thing as “a long time ago”. There are only memories that mean something and those that don’t.”

As cheesy as it seems, this really hit home with me. It’s been 7.5 year since we lost her and I really feel like both guys (what is wrong with me ;)) distant yet I know deep down this is true: there’s no such thing as a long time ago, especially with grief. I’ve decided not in a 3 steps to grieve healthily but more along the lines of being gracious with ourselves and that as we’re feeling things, let’s try to roll with them.

This year, I’m committing to slowly “unboxing” and sifting through it all and feeling what needs to be felt when the waves of grief hit. It’s a crazy world because truth be told even though we’ve walked through losing a child, I have close to no idea what to say or to do for others grieving. And I almost don’t want to ask because each walk is different and grief is rather… messy, but maybe there’s someone out there who has found something that helps and you could message me or even write here for others. I told Ted to snap this photo, I knew it may get me a lot of flack, I don’t really care (well maybe a little #peoplepleaser) because here’s the thing I do know about grief. Feeling alone while grieving is indescribably painful. It’s why I sometimes share my own very personal (but not all the beans, let me tell you) journey.

Maybe, like me, you’ve maintained a constant state of busy because you feel if you actually sit, rest, “de-clutter”… the pain will overcome you. I feel this way too. But what if instead we let it do just that, let it overcome us and we FEEL, for once, the unavoidable that we’ve actually been feeling and living with all along. And what if we find healing – not in the “time heals all wounds” kind of healing we’ve probably heard a million times, but deep healing that helps us to learn to carry them like the e.e. cummings quote “I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart): grieving them, loving them forever and “carrying” them with us, remembering them, in a healthier way.

Two things I know, we will always ache and we will always have hope.

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