Harder Still


I recently posted a blog entitled “Easier.” I was excited that some things seemed easier. I was excited that some events were less sad and I was relieved that maybe I wouldn’t hurt this bad forever. Because a few events had been easier, I assumed most if not all events would be from here on out.

 Of course I would think that. Want that. 




Or at least less sad. 

Yes. More of that please. 

 More is coming. Now I don’t doubt that more of that is coming. I believe it with all of my heart. But I can’t leave that “easier” post out there.

 Because right after I posted, something I had already done was very hard. It was as hard as it was the first time I did it. It was as hard as anything has ever been since she moved to heaven.
And I have absolutely no explanation for it. Why would my 3 year old’s birthday be harder than his two year old birthday was? Why would I cry harder this year when guests left than I did last year? Last year it was the first family celebration without the whole family. 

 The first family celebration since she. . . died. . . I mean went away. . . I mean moved to heaven unexpectedly. . . since I was shattered. . . gutted. . . crucified. . . poured out. . . traumatized. . . left. . . since our family had been downgraded to a table of 5 rather than 6. . . to all boys again. . . instead of three dirty little farmers and a princess. . . to this painfully incomplete group of people who are ALWAYS missing something. . . who always feel that something is not quite right. . . the energy is not quite balanced. . .and the full house is just a bit emptier than it should be. . .

Oh I have theories as to why. Perhaps it was because this is the first time we had really hosted a family celebration in our house since loss came to live here. Or perhaps seeing my friend’s toddler girl playing in the yard I will never see my daughter play in – – perhaps those two things stirred the pools of sadness from which deep grief sprang forth.

But the truth is . . . the real answer is. . . this is grief. It’s the price of how deeply you loved. And you never know when the piper will show up and demand his fee for your child. The child you won’t get back or watch grow or ever make a birthday cake for. The one who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside and who shared your body as her home. The one who was your sister soul mate. Still is but set in crystal dreams now. You thought  you were done waiting on her but it turns out that living and waiting have become the same thing.

Easier. Better. Stronger. Happier.

 These feel good. 

 They feel like me. 

 That old me before this one grew where I used to live. 

 But the truth is that Hard.  Worse. Weak. Sad. They don’t mean I’m not OK. Not healing. Not restored. They mean I am still in love with Ellis Grace. So I shouldn’t be surprised when they roost or relieved when they fly away. Although I know very well that I will be both. Surprised and Relieved.

But I shouldn’t be.

I should expect to be all of those things for a very long time. Like as long as I live and have breath. 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6


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