This somewhat neglected blog has been on my mind—the same mind that struggles to hold a thought, but then occasionally grabs onto a disconcerting idea and clutches it with a death grip. That’s how my brain seems to be working as I continue the grief voyage.
Anyway, the blog. It’s kind of being ignored. Not intentionally, but I’m still trudging slowly and ineffectively along this prickly path. The daily living parts of my life are so much easier now, but emotionally I am dragging a great weight. I just don’t see any quick exit from this heavy process. I don’t think grief and healing work that way.
Yesterday after a day of church, my church calling responsibilities, and children/autism, I felt like I was going to crumble from exhaustion, breaking apart with a hiss of toxic steam.
Just living is wearing me out.
On the other hand, when I am busy with other things, I’m not worrying about Jack and I feel fairly calm. But when I check in on him and hear about the ongoing issues—the struggles that I am no longer able to help with—despondency and helplessness settle in.
People ask me how Jack is doing. We all want to hear that things in his new home are going perfectly, that the change has solved everything. But the reality is that he still has behavior problems and aggression at times (at this moment, much of the time). There is no such thing as a perfect day, behaviorwise, I am convinced. At least not until the resurrection.
The behavior issues remain. The change of setting didn’t eliminate them, at least not yet. The real, quantifiable change in Jack’s care is in the ongoing, rotating staff who stay and help for a shift, and who then leave the behaviors at work and go out to live the other parts of their lives. When they return, they are fresh and ready to engage with Jack again. For their efforts, I am utterly, unspeakably grateful.
When Jack lived at home, I did not have this luxury. Jeff and I had no break, nor were we able to focus our complete efforts solely on Jack. It simply wasn’t possible, nor sustainable. Hindsight tells me that we would have self-destructed if we had continued on as we were.
I can’t see Jack’s future. I don’t know how he will behave, going forward. I don’t know how he will do at his new school. I’m quite disconnected from the daily decisions and the constant troubleshooting that characterizes life as Jack’s caregiver.
I see this as the next step in facing my grief: this further letting go of Jack from my mother arms.
It has been such a raw test of my faith to turn Jack’s life over to his Heavenly Father. It hurts me. Even though I know what God wants for Jack because he has literally guided us to each successive step, I still struggle to accept it. I know God loves Jack and me and our family. I know Jesus is giving us strength. Knowing this, and coping with the everyday change of complete separation does not mean that the two are in perfect synchronicity, however.
I continue to hope that my faith in God’s plan for Jack and my acceptance of His will, somehow, eventually will be in perfect harmony.