|Papa could multi-task as well.|
I’ve always been a muti-tasker. It’s a skill that served me well in the workplace. From juggling three or four grant deadlines, to putting the finishing touches on a fund raising event as I prepared for a focus group or whatever. Juggling and organizing was the name of the game. Now, this skill is needed more than ever as I navigate my way through the grief process.
Just because I’m grieving doesn’t mean the world around me stops and waits for me to catch up. Other people’s lives go on and they still need and expect certain things from me. That is as it should be. In fact, being pulled out of my grief to focus on someone or something else is one of the tools of grief navigation. However, nobody said it would be easy.
As I write this I am with my mom for the holidays. My dad is in the hospital and we will be putting him into a nursing home in the coming weeks. Emotionally, I’m on the edge. I don’t feel all here, yet I must be. My mother needs me. My family needs me. I must be present, thoughtful and able to function in the best interest of those also in need—all the while still grieving the loss of my husband of a mere two months ago. Oh, not to mention it’s Christmas time which comes with its own emotional demands.
What I want to do is curl up into a ball with the covers over my head until spring. I want to lay low until the chill is gone, the snow melted and everyone is happy and well. But that’s fairy-tale stuff and my life is anything but a fairy tale right now. My life is gritty, painful and exhausting.
In the midst of all this emotional upheaval, why do I still feel hope fluttering in my chest, flickering like a tiny light just waiting for its cue? Why do I know that someday in the distant future, I will begin to feel normal again, sure it will be a new normal, but it will certainly be welcomed. After so much sorrow, how is it that I am able to feel the slightest little sprout of a new dream?
I have only one answer. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God says it will be so. I’m beginning to understand more and more how He works. How powerfully He loves. How little I’ve known about His nature until now. He sustains, not necessarily protects. He gives strength, not certain victory. He brings peace in the storm, but the storm may still come. In between sunrise and sunset He never leaves us. In the dark of the night, He comes closer still. While comforting, He also prepares us for battle. Talk about multi-tasking.
These are strange days for me with more strange days ahead I’m sure. As I grieve I find I must also serve. “I lift my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1