Two Years and One Day Ago
The home made kombucha bottle exploded. One of the 10 bottles of the homemade brew my girls and I have become experts in producing. Broken glass scattered into pieces and sticky bubbling liquid splashed everywhere from the walls to the floor of my garage, dripping from the middle shelf over a bunch of boxes, tools and camping gear stored on the lower shelves.
It was late afternoon, I still had to cook dinner and get the girls to their youth group, but now I have to clean this mess before it dries up. I am weary and I would rather not have to deal with this now. Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of Jason’s passing. I had been so determined to launch my blog that I had to force myself to not give in to the urge to lay down in my bed and cry all day. All that tension from restraining my emotions has left me tired and fidgety.
Removing everything from the metal shelves and laying it all on the floor, I get on with the drying, moping and wiping. The garage floor now a crowded mess with no space to move around. As I shuffle the shelves to clean the back wall my ring finger gets pinched hard by the metal shelf and I yell in pain.
And then it comes… a mighty wave of grief, fear, frustration, anger spilling out from inside of me with the force of a thousand tons of water bursting through a cracked dam, and I hear myself crying out “Why did you have to die? Why did you have to die? Why did you leave me?"
I can’t control the sobs or the yelling.
It’s the first time in these two years I asked WHY. Before this moment, I didn’t concern myself with WHY. I know WHY Jason died. He died because that is what happens in life. People are born, they live and then they die. As a Christian, I believe one day God will make all things right and there will be no more death, no more grief. I don’t know when or how, but I believe God will restore all things, and we will get to be reunited with our loved ones again. For some, my faith is nothing more than a fairytale. For me, it's an anchor of hope and a source of comfort and strength.
So until this moment, at least consciously, I haven’t asked WHY. What I have asked and continue to ask is HOW - HOW do I carry on without Jason? HOW do I parent my children on my own? HOW can I provide financially for myself and my kids on a single part-time income? HOW do I deal with the ordinary day to day chores? HOW can I continue to pursue my career without his support and encouragement? HOW do I face another day without my best friend, my prayer partner, my lover by my side?
I surprise myself, not only with the force of the question but with the question itself. WHY did you leave me? Am I asking him or myself? Do I believe, deep down, that he chose to leave, or that he somehow had a choice in dying or living?
It sounds ridiculous. I fell ridiculous.
Two years and one day ago I laid on top of my husband’s lifeless body and called him back to me. I begged, I ordered, I insisted he came back to me. The first time I called him to me and he didn’t answer. There was no answer then. There is no answer now. Not from him, not for any of the questions burning in my mind.
I look at my garage feeling dismayed and weary, knowing that the mess around me reflects the mess inside of me. Something exploded inside of me on that night two years and one day ago, slashing and dripping over every nook and cranny of my life. I have been trying to clean the mess inside of me ever since that night two years and one day ago, I just can’t seem to ever be able to wipe away the shards of the loss, to mop my thoughts and emotions clean, to dry the pain leaking out of me. In my feeble attempt to remove the shrapnels I am constantly re-wounding myself.
I can’t do this anymore. But what is the alternative? I must do this.
I get up, wipe my tears, pick up the mop and get back to cleaning. I may never know WHY, but I am finding my HOW.