Do you remember the feeling when you receive some type of wound, whether it be a scraped knee or elbow to a gash on your forehead, and how much it hurts at first? Depending on how severe it is, you may feel the pain for a few hours to a few days. It all depends on how much time it takes said wound to scab over so it doesn't hurt so much and can start healing.
Right now that is exactly the way I feel. I did okay over the weekend, save for some pretty serious exhaustion, but after I got home last night I really started feeling the loss of our beautiful angel. I started thinking about everything that I loved about her, particularly the sparkle in her eyes and her happy smile (both of which were missing from the body we buried yesterday), and I began to really miss it. The thought that I won't ever see it again in this life makes me feel like all the air has been squeezed from my chest, and I can't breathe properly. Inevitably this is followed by a fresh bout of tears, no matter how recently it's been since I cried.
In many ways, I feel like my heart is broken and may never mend again. I KNOW this is not the case, that it's just grief for the loss that I feel, but it's hard, so much harder than I could have imagined it would be. And the hard part is that it doesn't stop. Throughout the day, little things will remind me of Ashley, and I find myself struggling not to cry. Today it was the origin of a company that just about set me off: it was founded the same year she was born, and that made me sad all over again. I know it's silly, but I can't help it.
I just had the opportunity to say good-bye to her this weekend and to attend a wonderful service in her honor, but in many ways I feel worse now than I did before. I don't know if it was because I had steeled myself for all of that or if I was given strength to make it through, but somehow I did. Now I'm left to struggle through the emotions left behind.
I know that my grief won't last forever, which is why I'm holding out hope for when things start to get a little easier, when I don't feel so sad all the time. I know the loss is fresh and vibrant right now, but it won't always be that way.
The kicker is that I have felt the Comforter so strongly in the last week, more so than I think I've ever felt it before. (Hmmm, I'm sure that has nothing to do with all the people who are praying for my family and me during this time.) I know that I am not alone and in many ways I am at peace. But even that warm feeling can't take away the sadness that I feel. I'm just trying to work through it so it won't overwhelm me. Eventually it will get easier. Eventually those memories that cause me sadness and tears right now will be something that will bring me comfort, just like the DVD my wonderful brother and sister-in-law made.
Until then I'll be waiting for the gaping wound I feel right now to scab over so it's less painful.