Things I forgot

I forgot all this.

I forgot that grief is not a linear experience.  I forgot that just as you think you’re at the finish line you’re really just at another starting line.

It goes round and round and some days in month 3 you wake up and find yourself in day one.  And everyone else in all the world works in a normal timeline where month 3 means month 3.  And it’s so exhausting and confusing: to try to understand how everyone can be okay when everything is so not okay.

And you feel left behind.Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 10.37.33 AM

And I forgot that too.  I forgot the horrible panic of anticipating expiring grace and patience.  Which maybe isn’t even real, but in your own heart, you know that it has to be just around the corner.  Because sooner or later you have to stop asking your friends to cater to the version of you who contributes nothing.  And there’s the haunting reminder that there are people breathing who feel this hurt even more deeply than you, and how is that possible?  How will they survive?  

I forgot that grief makes a liar out of you.  How can I  possibly answer the question ‘how are things going?‘ honestly?  The truth would hijack every conversation.  So, sometimes I just offer a bright smile and move on with the truth burning inside but aware that it’s not the right time for it to come out.

And even when I do try to communicate honestly, how can I be sure that I am being honest?  The feelings change too fast and the darkness inside of my heart is so blinding that no one could discern the truth.

I forgot too, how good the good news is when you need it.

I forgot what it feels to be desperate for a Savior – not to get me out of this – but just to get me through this day.  I forgot what it feels like to cling to Him – not as a back up plan – but as my only hope.

I forgot how much, in grief, the Bible becomes an anchor to the soul.  His Word is the only thing that keeps me from just floating away and evaporating into a world of lies.  In these moments it is so obvious to me that digging into the Scriptures, memorizing them – these disciplines – are NOT things we do so that we can get a gold star from God.  They are preparation for a very real and very dangerous war.  They matter more than you could ever dream.  In these moments, in this battle, my familiarity  and expertise with the sword in my hand has very real implications.

I forgot what it means that Jesus is my friend.  I forgot what a comfort that is: to have a Person who can walk through every detail of this with me, who will never leave me, who doesn’t need me to explain to Him what I’m feeling, because He has felt it all.  A Person who doesn’t need me to stand up so that He can fix me, but who just lays down with me and weeps and does surgery on me all at the same time. A Person who doesn’t ask me to tell Him what I need.  He knows I have absolutely no idea, but that’s okay because He intercedes for me, which He can do because He knows my mind better than I do.

I’m remembering now.

11 thoughts on “Things I forgot

  1. Still praying for you, friend.

    At Christmastime, there were some lines in O Holy Night that jumped out at me as if I’d never heard them before: “In all our trials, born to be our friend. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.” I thought of them again when I read this just now. Praying that comfort for you.

  2. My Father died two years ago this past Tuesday. I also forgot how hard it is until it hit me in the face. Thank you for this post, Fabs.

  3. I’m a reader who found your blog through The Gospel Coalition. Thank you for this. I’ve saved it because it so eloquently describes feelings I have had while grieving, and it is a good reminder for me when I am loving friends who are grieving, and for me also when I am grieving and I am afraid my experience is unique. Praying for you and all those grieving your friend.

  4. Printing this out… so I can journal a few lines that seemed to come straight from my heart instead of yours. Thank you.

  5. I have stumbled on this blog post at least 20 times. And yet, I didn’t actually read it until today… the very day I needed it so very badly! With tears I had hopped on the internet, trying to distract myself from my painful grief. Up popped your blog post, so I decided to actually read it. Oh. My. It spoke so very deeply to the very core of my grief. Thank you, dear sister!

  6. It’s been over 5 years since I said goodbye to my newborn son and this post says it all. Every word of it my heart echos. “I forgot the horrible panic of anticipating expiring grace and patience.” Oh so true. “I forgot what it feels like to cling to Him – not as a back up plan – but as my only hope.” But just as equally true!

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