This whole week has been gray. When I checked the weather channel this past weekend, they were predicting sunny skies for the week. But instead of blue skies and sun-shiny days, this week has been cloudy, gray and sunless. And it fits.
There's not much more I can say about this week, about Owen, about missing him that I haven't already said in four years of blogging here.
Well, to be honest... I can think of one part of grieving that I've never explored, and it's not easy to write. Nor is it very pretty.
If you're reading this and wondering how to love on our family right now, please know how grateful we are that you care. And that you've stuck with us these past five years. We haven't always been the easiest people to love, and I, especially, haven't been the easiest person to approach.
This next part is hard to write, but I feel I have to write it...
Please know that grief changes a person, whether we like it or not. It peels back the layers of innocence much more quickly than time or age can. I've heard it said that you want to become a better person, not a bitter person because of what you go through in life. Well, I've been both. Mostly though, I've been bitter. I hid from friends who didn't seem to understand, and I felt anger and bitterness towards people who didn't seem to have any struggles. I carried the torch of unfairness high for all to see, and I intentionally shut people out of my life because they would not or could not grieve with me.
No matter how much I wanted NOT to feel what I was feeling, the truth is that I couldn't change my heart. I couldn't let go of the weight of how I felt my life was unfair... and not only that but I couldn't let go of the unfairness of people asking me to be someone I wasn't, and to feel things that I couldn't.
It was only the Holy Spirit who could change my heart, who could show me grace in the way I longed to experience. It was grace that changed my heart...
And grace that continues to add balm to my weary soul; my soul that feels misunderstood, judged and sometimes still struggles with bitterness.
Please know, especially if you've been around since the beginning, that the Lord has dealt gently with me. But that he has and continues to sanctify this broken girl. I couldn't change the bitterness deep in my heart, but he could. I couldn't make anyone understand exactly how I felt the day my son was born into this world already dead and gone, but thankfully God has been graciously giving me peace that even if I feel misunderstood until the day I die, that somehow it is okay. Somehow being understood doesn't equal love. And sometimes you can grieve differently but still love each other in our different journeys through this life.
If you've stuck around this long, please know how much that means to me. And if somewhere along the way, you've turned and walked away, please know how much you still mean to me. Because if Owen's death has taught me anything, it's that the brokenness of this world knows no boundaries and that grace still abounds all the more.