You know how you grieve after someone dies or moves away? I think it is the new normal without that person that is the most difficult but, over time, you adjust. You don’t forget, you just move on and adapt. Then, in the most unexpected moments, a flood hits you. It could be triggered by a smell or a song, a familiar scene or a tradition. Whatever causes the emotions to swim to the surface isn’t really the issue. It is the hole in your heart that surprises you with its sharp pain and loneliness.
Last night I had a moment like that which caught me completely off guard. I decided since I hadn’t seen any of the Christmas production I would watch the dress rehearsal. It was coming along nicely but at the end, when the dancers came out, I became acutely aware that Hannah was not among them. It was like a slap in my face that said life has moved on. The tears welled up and overflowed. My heart became sad and lonely. The realization that for the past 10 years she has been there on that stage expressing her passion through dance and now she is not was a boulder on my chest. Time is a task master and it forces the seasons to change whether we are ready or not. I miss seeing my graceful girl worship in such an expressive way.
I was not expecting this emotional response. It was a bit of grieving that had to take place. It felt raw. Yet I am watching her blossom at school, bed bugs and all. She is becoming her own person and I am grateful. God knows when the seasons need to change and he allows time to push our babies out of the nest. I know that I have not shed my last tear over watching them go off into the world. To embrace the pain and the joy at the same time is a challenge to say the least. However, once again God has already walked this path. He sent his son out into the world that would kill him. It had to be agony, yet he gained a world of sons and daughters. Joy and pain. Another dichotomy of the God we love. He can so relate to my tears and my hopes. If I am surprised by grief again in the future…and I probably will be…I am confident that I serve a mighty God that holds me close as the seasons change.