Sometimes I am still surprised that even years into a grief journey, just when things are beginning to feel normal, just when you think your heart couldn't hold another ounce of joy, it hits, a shocking wave of grief that can bring you to your knees in an instant.
We had kind of settled in here at the Bolte house, Hope is beginning to sleep and be a little more content to sit on the floor next to me while the boys help with household tasks. My house is beginning to reappear from under the piles of clutter and laundry, as I once again find my rhythm.
And yet, just the other night, grief gripped my heart so tightly that I could barely breathe. I am not sure if it is the fact that "typically" at this point in life, where things begin to ease up and the demands of a newborn are behind us, we are blessed with a new life and my body is invaded again for another nine months, and the fact that that is just not going to happen again, or if it is the fact that Isaac's birthday is next, he will be five this July.
In case you missed it, we do birthdays BIG in the Bolte house...here we have "birthday week". A week of fun designated for celebrating the ones we cherish most on this earth. We know all too well that we are never guaranteed a tomorrow and that we should cherish today and we do our best to celebrate each blessing the Lord has bestowed upon us.
I sit and wonder, what Isaac would look like at five years old. He and Luke are our two NON redheads. I wonder if he would look like Luke. I bet he and Luke would be best buds. I wonder what type of cake he would like, would it be white like his big brothers? Would it be chocolate like mama and Hope? Or, would he prefer a cheeseburger like his daddy? Would he want transformer decorations, or Hotwheels? What would his wishlist look like?
Sometimes I drive myself nuts with this stuff. I KNOW that Isaac will celebrate his fifth birthday in the most perfect place, just as he has the four birthdays prior to this and just as he will for eternity. Yet I can't help but wonder what my Isaac would be like. A mom is supposed to know her kid, I was robbed of that. Six days is not long enough, especially when you are so deep in shock that you can't see straight.
I went to bed that night teary, Howard asked what was up. I told him I was sad. He gets it. He just held me and let me cry. Sometimes a wave of grief engulfs me like a tidal wave when I least expect it. I have learned to allow myself the time to be sad instead of trying to push it away. We have to walk through it, we can't skip over it or it will bounce right back and throw us under the current again.
In a way it felt good to be sad for a while. Sometimes I think we need that reminder of where we have been so that we can embrace the grief and move forward. There is nothing wrong with revisiting your grief, but I am learning I just can't reside there. My life would not be the same if it weren't for Isaac and Asher. I would not be the same mother, wife, daughter, sister, or woman. They have forever changed me and I don't want to ever forget that. There is something sacred about revisiting the sorrow of losing something so dear, we just have to embrace it and move forward with the blessings before us. I would give just about anything to hold my boys just one more time, but I can't allow myself to miss out on the blessings of my living children because I am so deep in grief. Learning the balance is tricky and I am still trying to figure it all out.
Luke is out of school for summer, Howard will finish up this week (but will be working a summer job) and we have a lot of fun little things planned for our summer. As we enter July, the days we held and let go of our Isaac, if you think of us, please pray. Pray for our hearts, pray for balance, and pray that we always see the blessings the Lord has put directly in front of us even as we continue to grieve.
If you are also walking this grief tightrope, how do you balance it all?