It’s been six weeks since Jack left our home.
Is it getting easier? Yes, in some ways, except when I worry about him and wonder if he is sad or feeling unloved and then I have a cry-fest.
The true answer is that the dynamic of our home is completely different, so just living is definitely easier. Family life is vastly calmer. It’s utterly manageable, in a way I haven’t experienced since before Jack’s birth. There is far less panic, stress, anxiety, and weariness. There is far more serenity.
As far as how Jeff and I are coping, it’s not always that simple. We know this move was divinely driven, but we still feel unsettled and adrift at times.
It’s a real challenge to let go of the picture in one’s head of how one thought one’s life would proceed.
I’m still working on accepting God’s will for Jack and for me. I suppose this is the perpetual trial of humanity for all Christianity.
Now that some time has passed, I’m starting to feel hunger again. I’m sleeping normal amounts instead of vacillating between too little and too much sleep. I have enough energy to work out a few times a week, which is a vast improvement from zero times a week that was the norm during The Transition. We’ve started moving forward on our first project of Mission: Fix-the-Destroyed-Parts-of-the-House. The fact that I can even think about taking on a project tells me that emotional healing is starting to happen.
The grief and grief recovery of the last six weeks have made me reflect on all that transpired outside of my inner sphere of personal struggle. In other words, I keep thinking of all the things that people did for me and said to me during that time.
I once had a stockpile of thank you note cards in a drawer in my laundry room, and man did I use them. I wrote all the thank you notes, and for basically everything. My mom hammered this trait into me. I appreciate it, and probably owe her a note, ha. But in the last few years, I stopped writing notes. Maybe it’s because texting or emailing someone a word of thanks is a far simpler and superior method, which doesn’t involve finding stamps or walking to the mailbox. Maybe it’s because my life was so tightly wound I could barely creep through the essentials of the daily routine, let alone compose notes and mail them.
As I’ve thought about all the ways people in my life reached out to me in the last couple of months, I remembered my drawer full of thank you cards, and I knew that even if I still kept a whole lot of stationary in there (which I don’t), it wouldn’t be enough to send a note to every person who reached out and ministered to me in my distress.
So many people sent notes.
Facebook and Instagram comments.
Help caring for and driving around the other boys.
Anonymous deliveries on our doorstep.
My sister informed me that her love language is gift-giving, and promptly bought me a ticket to visit her in San Francisco. For real.
People I know personally and people I have never met reached out privately to offer support in a hundred different ways, all of which renewed my jaded sense of goodness in the world. In case your faith in humanity is waning, please feel free to borrow a portion of mine.
The most painful period of my life, save the times following Jack’s and Charlie’s diagnoses, showed me in a very real way that people are good. The vast majority of people are just good.
And even when people behave horribly, or are toxic, or narcissistic or mean or clueless, they are still people. And I have to believe that they’re at a low point in their life’s progression that does not represent who they really are or who they are capable of being.
There were numerous times when I felt unworthy and vastly grateful for the love that has been shown to me. This is when I would weep as I said this prayer, “Thank you, Father, for my sisters in the gospel.”
Raising Jack has taught me a lot of lessons over the years. This one was painful, but I’m glad I learned it.
People are good.
I am grateful.