Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After

It's quiet now outside.  The blizzard of 2012 has passed dumping 10.5 inches of snow.

Inside, a hush.  The anticipation of the season, but a memory.  The tree underneath is bare.  The careful thought of wrapping paper and bows fill the trash.  The gifts have already found their new home and lie in wait to be played with.  The leftovers are sitting patiently for consumption.  The excitement has come and gone. 

Where laughter and playtime is the usual, this year they're spending that elsewhere.  They called in a flurry of activity telling me of presents received and fun had.  My heart swelled in delight for just a moment. 

As the call ended and stillness returned, thoughts flooded.

Of a different time.  Where love abound and partnership remained.  Where the delight in their happiness was shared.  Not communicated. 

I knew today was on the horizon.  I tried to savor every moment with them.  To bottle it up and keep it safe as a reserve to bind the wounds.  But it wasn't enough to overcome the silence.

Then guilt set in.  Because I have a tomorrow with my children.  They will return and toys will be played with.  Laughter will fill the house again. 

But some... don't have the promise of a tomorrow.  Because life was cut short.  And too many still have presents under the tree.

I will never pretend to understand the loss of a child.  But it doesn't matter if you're grieving a child or a parent.  A marriage or an illness that's taken a part of you.  A friendship or a dream... this cycle of grief is universal regardless of cause.  And can render crippling.

I used to ask if it got easier... if there would be a time when the pain didn't paralyze... if it ever just went away.  But honestly, I don't want it to.  I don't want to desensitize myself so much, I no longer feel. 

Without pain, we can not understand joy.  Without loss we can not comprehend gain.  Without the breaking, we can't rejoice in the healing. 

Immanuel.  Born on Christmas Day so many years ago.  God became flesh and dwelt among us.  He experienced life and death.  And He asked us to remember both.  Because it's in the joy and the pain that we truly find life. 

And we can lay our hurt before an all-knowing God and receive comfort from One who understands.  A salve beyond comprehension.

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