"All those years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately. But what I've discovered since is that the lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; the passage of time will lessen the acuteness, but time alone, without the direct experience of grief, will not heal it." ... "I'm pretty sure that it is only by experiencing the ocean of sadness in a naked and immediate way that we come to be healed - which is to say, that we come to experience life with a real sense of presence and spaciousness and peace." (Anne Lamott from Traveling Mercies)
My life is good.
As I sat outside a beautiful house, in a beautiful garden, in beautiful Santa Barbara, with the presence of thousands of stars, with meteors splashing light across the night sky, I reflected on how good my life is. I have an amazing son, who I am able to love more deeply than before, who I take joy in, who is so fun to be around. I have deep, deep friendships with several men I can call brothers that have been growing stronger week by week. I am a part of a vibrant, alive community of faith, where people of every color and walk of life love each other and exist to include others. I am growing in my love for FOL as I give it more of my heart and receive more from them. I have parents (Midi's as well as my own) who I love deeply and who love me deeply right back. I have family that I'm growing closer to as we learn to walk together through pain. And I have some who are starting to get to know Jesus. This brings me great joy. I know Jesus as the present one, the one who is with me, who comforts me and brings me peace. I know this Jesus in ways that I did not know him before the accident.
As I sat outside mindful of how good my life is and what wonderful things are happening around me, I felt strongly in my heart that I would give it all back to have Midi and Nathan back in my life. There is something in this that seems perfectly natural - of course I'm supposed to feel this way! But as I cried and cried I wondered if there will be a point where I am able to fully embrace the blessings of my present life without comparing it to (and wanting to trade it for) my blessed life with them? And I feel guilty in saying this at this stage, but I hope there is. If the day ever comes, I cannot imagine that I can marry again or welcome another child while continuing to feel this.
I think that this is yet another example of how we must all live in the present. As much as I want to, I cannot have my past back. I can always have the love I feel for Midi and Nathan because love is organic; love is living. Love is very present. It is the life with them that I cannot have again this side of heaven. My past life with Midi and Nathan was so, so good. It was special. Though it wasn't perfect, it was perfect to me. But my present life is pretty good, too. And good things are happening all around me. I hope I can embrace the present, where God himself dwells, with completely open arms. And someday, I hope that I will accept the beauty of my past and the fact that it is gone so that I will stop feeling in my heart that I would trade the present for it.