I met someone the other day who upon chatting about the loss of Ben started to cry for us, for me and the children and our loss. I think they were a little surprised when I said, “don’t cry, really, we are in a good place right now.”
I walked away wondering if I sounded heartless, like he didn’t matter anymore. There are just moments when I don’t want to explain our emotions and feelings to strangers. The kids and I ARE in a good place right now. It doesn’t mean we love Ben any less, or that we don’t miss him immensely, it only means that we are starting to find healing in this place.
I have learned a lot on this journey through grief… I have learned:
It’s okay to cry,
It’s okay to not be okay,
It’s okay to grieve openly or to grieve privately.
It’s okay to be angry,
It’s okay to want to be alone,
It’s okay to want to be around people,
It’s okay to be lost…
But I still struggle with answering the question, is it okay to be okay?
I don’t believe that you ever stop grieving the loss of someone you loved. They are never forgotten and like dreams lost and pain from the past, it’s always there, just hopefully in a little less painful form over time. At times I feel the guilt that one feels when they leave someone else out of the fun moments of life. I wonder if people think I shouldn’t be smiling or laughing quite so much. I wonder if we really shouldn’t be so “okay” right now.
But Psalms 30:2-5 says, “O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored my life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
I prayed for healing and restoration for Ben for years, and after he died, I prayed for healing and restoration for me and the kids. I wanted to come back out of the pit of despair and find a reason to sing and rejoice and praise His holy name. I am thankful for the joy that has come with the morning and while there is still occasional weeping, I am okay with being okay in this season!
The kids and I are learning to live life to the fullest these days, just like Ben would have wanted us to. We still grieve him. We still miss him. And at times, I still lose control of my emotions. But we are in a good place, we are finding peace and joy and happiness in the day to day, and we are thankful for the joy that comes in the morning! It’s more than okay for us to be okay, it’s an answer to our prayers.