Big Changes

"Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you." --John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

I am grateful for the chance I have to suffer through this pain.

That's not at all to say, thank you god for giving this to me!, because it is strongly my belief that God didn't "give this to me". It is strongly my belief that God cries with us every time we lose someone that we love. I believe that God's heart broke into a million pieces right along with me.

If I could go back in time to change any one thing in my life, it would be this. Of course it would be this! I think that anyone who has lost someone would say the same. I would stop them from getting in the car! From going out that day! From swimming in the stream! I would make them go see the doctor! I would never leave their side!

It's all still quite surreal. I'm still in the subconscious mindset that he might come back, that this was all a cruel joke or a terrible dream. I picture it sometimes. I walk outside of my Mom's house and I can picture him perfectly, the way he held and tossed his bundle of keys as he walked away from his truck towards the door, the way his hat brim is bent and his sleeves are pulled up just above his wrist and below his elbows. I hear the door open below us while we are eating dinner at my Dad's house and for a split second I always imagine it to be James coming home the way he did, while Jace ran to the gate at the top of the stairs and called out, "It's James!". I picture him walking into our house one day with his little half grin, falling asleep on our couch because he had been up since 4:00 in the morning, and then sneaking out again sometime in the middle of the night when we are all asleep.

The only difference between my imagination and reality, where I would have made a joke and said hello to him nonchalantly, like he was casual and normal and I would be seeing him again tomorrow, is that in my daydreams of him coming back I run to him and I hug him so tight that he can't breathe. I push my tear streaked face into his chest and he laughs and wraps his arms around me and I swear that I will never, ever let go. In my daydreams I always hug him. What I wouldn't give for even one more hug.

But of course these are figments of my imagination and constant reminders of a cruel reality, of living in a world that he is no longer in. Knowing that I can't go back in time and instead accepting the place I am in now, with that knowledge only, I am grateful for the chance to suffer through this kind of pain and guilt and burden. I am grateful for the experience of knowing real, terrible, heart wrenching anguish and loss, of riding through the many emotions that storm me every single day.

I am grateful for it solely because it has opened my sleeping eyes.

I am finding simplicity in my life. I am waking up at 5:00 in the morning to practice yoga and write in the quiet stillness. I am doing crossword puzzles in place of surfing the internet. I am devouring books, polishing them off like pitchers of ice cold lemonade on a midsummer day. I am letting petty things roll off my shoulders. I am forgiving easily and passing by the concerns that don't matter in life. I am loving without reserve.

We sold our house in pursuit of new adventures. I am dreaming up a cabin in the woods with a river flowing in the backyard, where we trudge to the chicken coop in the mornings for our eggs, where we cast a line in the river following an afternoon of kayaking for a dinner of fish, where we sit on our spacious deck beneath the pines while birds serenade us as we sip our morning coffee and watch the sunrise.

While we are looking for the perfect plot of woodland to grow our dreams of solitude and pine trees, we are moving into a charming 800 square foot condo. That's less than a third the size of what we have been used to for the past five years. We are only bringing the necessities with us to the condo and the simplicity that I feel already is like shedding layers of heavy waterlogged denim. I am welcoming the chance to feel what it is to live in a small space with a family of four. I am eager for the learning experience, for the humility and the sacrifice and the feat it will entail.

In place of material things, I am dreaming of traveling and adventuring. I dream of the peace that comes hand in hand with having less and doing more. They are loving sisters, peace and simplicity. They are always together, borrowing each others clothes, sharing each others food, bringing out the best in each other.

The truth is that up until this point I have felt like a robot day in and day out. I have been trying to fight through sadness to find some optimism, but it has felt like a painful battle which I was destined to lose. But now! Since these changes took place, my soul has awakened! I feel optimism. I feel my spirit stirring, an uplifting reminder that we are trudging down a new path in life and it is just the perfect path for us. I see a beacon of light on the horizon! It's all dreadfully exciting.

I am awake.

I am looking forward to change. I am looking forward to freedom. I am looking forward to experiencing so many fresh adventures while having this brand new perspective on life, on what really matters and what doesn't matter at all.

"We are music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems."
--Arthur O'Shaunessy

1 comment:

  1. SO happy for you!! What an exciting adventure you guys are embarking on! And so glad your soul is finding peace ❤️