I woke up just past midnight to notice my bedside clock flashing off and on, indicating the power had gone out for at least a few minutes at some point after I fell asleep.
“No worries, ” I thought as I rolled over and drifted off.
An hour or so later and the cold woke me again. No power. This time for several hours.
I snuggled deeper under the warm covers and decided to go back to sleep. Surely it’d be on by morning.
And it was.
But it set my mind thinking as I got up, turned on the light in the kitchen and plugged up the coffee pot: My morning routine would be utterly disrupted if electricity hadn’t begun flowing again.
No warm house, no warm shower, no hot coffee, no way to get online and post the blog (cell service is unavailable at my home), no handy portable phones to make necessary calls should the power also be out at our church just a mile down the road.
I could go on and on.
Of course each of these difficulties could be surmounted.
It would take extra effort and be frustrating, but I could manage to get by without coffee and plug up the old phone to make phone calls. The blog could wait. And it’s unlikely that the outage would last more than a few hours or a day and then things would be back to normal.
Imagine, though, being used to the modern convenience of electricity at the flip of a switch and then being suddenly plunged into darkness and disconnection.
Unprepared-no matches, no alternative fuel sources, no extra warm clothes for winter days and nights-just plucked from the world you knew and dropped into a world you didn’t.
That’s what it felt like when Dominic ran ahead to Heaven. No warning, no chance to think through what life might be like, what changes I would have to accommodate, how I would need to face the days, weeks, months and years of his absence.
I went to bed and expected to wake to the world I knew.
Instead I woke to a world I could never have imagined.
And just like I rarely consider the dozens and dozens of ways electricity impacts my life-makes it easier, brighter, better-until it’s unavailable; I had NO IDEA how Dominic’s leaving would touch every corner of every moment of every day.
Last night I slept through the power outage. Other than resetting my blinking clocks it will require no adjustments this morning.
I can’t sleep through child loss.
When I wake, I face it anew each day.
And it continues to require adjustments, even now.