Child loss has changed me in ways that continue to unfold even years later.
As pandemic and panic sweep the world, my heart has been both more anxious and less anxious at precisely the same moment.
I’ve experienced more generalized dread and unease fed by media frenzy, friends’ posts and comments and the other-worldly photos of empty streets in big cities and families hanging out balcony windows in Italy and Spain.
Trauma from sudden death has left its mark and societal panic is is ripping open the wound.
The thin layer that protects my heart most days is wearing thinner.
When the thing you think won’t happen DOES happen, you simply can’t find solace in platitudes or pithy prayers or puny human promises that “every little thing will be all right”.
In a perverse twist, knowing the worst HAS happened, makes me less apprehensive about the future.
I’ve given up the idea that protection is guaranteed by doing all the right things or following all the rules or obeying every law.
Oh, we still do all that!
We are washing our hands, practicing social distancing and limiting necessary trips to anywhere. But my faith is not in any of those things to necessarily keep this silent, creeping evil from my doorstep.
Some might call it defeatist.
I call it reality.
The hours of each day are filled balancing these two opposite but very much connected feelings. Sometimes I want to crawl out of my skin or run as far and as fast as I can. Sometimes I just sit, waiting for whatever might happen TO happen.
The anniversary of Dominic’s death is less than two weeks away so all THIS is layered on top of THAT.
Honestly, it’s exhausting and I wake most mornings already worn out.
Almost six years has taught me the world doesn’t stop spinning and the rising sun won’t wait.
So here I am.