When I "woke up" I could see how much I'd been missing in what was happening around me. It's hard for me to admit publicly that I wasn't holding things together as well as I wanted to believe I was. I believed I was broken. I thought I would never again feel okay, but I did my best to fake it because I had a family to take care of, and they needed me to be okay.
I pulled back from the world. I stayed home most of the time because that was easiest. I wanted my family to be home with me too, which really, wasn't fair to them, but they complied quite easily most of the time. They were and are the most important part of my life (outside of God) and I wanted the comfort they gave me. Unfortunately, they weren't getting the full part of me at home either though. Really, when you're on auto-pilot, you miss a lot. I missed a lot.
When that fog cleared, and I suddenly felt more aware, alert to what was happening in the world around me, I was ecstatic! I wasn't broken! I could be happy again! I felt hope again! The pain is still there, and always will be. I love my sister. I miss her. But I can see that I still have so much to be thankful for in my life. And I know my sister is in a better place.
Besides the shape of my house, more importantly, there was also the emotional well-being of my children I needed to address, and the relationship with my husband. They got use to the new me (foggier, reclusive, less active....well, you get the gist of it). They didn't want to burden me with their problems. And now that I was awake and wanted to jump back in, that took some adjusting to get back on track. It also took some convincing that I could handle whatever they threw at me! Something they'd never doubted before this tragedy.
It hasn't been easy to jump back into being social either. A lot of times I feel really awkward in a group, but I never regret getting out there. Being a recluse for that long is a hard habit to break though! I'm working on it....
Grief is a strange thing. I'd thought I could get through it in the same ways I've had to before. I'm not a stranger to loss. I've lost a lot, as so many have, really. But the hardest loss was my baby sister. That went beyond any pain I'd felt ever. I'd heard it would take time, but when days, weeks, months passed and I wasn't able to bounce back the way I'd been able to in the past, and eventually I was sure I never would. Oh ye of little faith......
Ultimately it was God who woke me up. I recognize His hand in so many things that made me keep going. He didn't go easy on me, He knew what I needed to get through this and He never abandoned me, even though at times I thought for sure He had. He knew I had to keep moving to move forward, and I was a resistant, stubborn,
pain in the butt at times, I'm sure!
I'm having such life-changing, faith-affirming revelations as a result of the trials of the last two years. One of those is that these are the things that make us who we are. These are the things that draw us closer together. These are the things we learn most from and help us grow.
So while I can't promise to be here daily, I can say I will try to do better. Writing has always be therapeutic for me, and I've always loved sharing what I learn in life, so there are two great reasons to be here!