The Blue Streak. The Corkscrew. The Matterhorn. The Wild Cat. Space Mountain. Thunder Mountain. The Wild Thing. These are the names of roller coasters I can recall riding. I don’t even know how many more I have ridden, but “Emotional” is the one I’m on right now and I have a feeling it just goes on and on. There are highs and lows, slow climbs and plunging dips at record breaking speed. Dark caves and rickety curves. The only stillness occurs at the very peak but then it crashes swiftly into the next valley and the anticipation of another climb and fall awaits. Sometimes it’s fun. Other times you think you may hurl.
I’ve been wondering how I can be going along, thinking about Noah and missing him in a ‘normal’ fashion, to missing him with such intensity that my guts physically ache and I could care less if I existed on this earth. I’ve felt blind sided at times with the onslaught of emotional extremes but I have come to realize I literally am on a roller coaster, it is called life, and it does not stop until life ceases to exist. There have been some roller coasters that I have ridden and then hopped off only to run to the back of the line for another whirl. Each time I rode it I knew more and more what to expect around the next bend, yet the excitement and intensity did not lessen. I was still totally freaked out. The only problem with this roller coaster called, “Emotional”, is that though there may be events in my life with subtle similarities, I don’t get to hop on and off whenever I want and I won’t ever really know what is around the next bend or over the next hill.
The past two weeks have left me feeling like I’ve plummeted down an 89 degree drop at 100 miles an hour. Why? I don’t know. I do feel like I’m leveling out again, but boy, is this ever exhausting! One thing I shared tonight in grief counseling is that the anticipation of the one year mark on January 12th is HUGE! There will always be anniversaries, but this one forever changed my life, along with Jason’s, Em’s and obviously Noah’s.
We talked a bit about our roles tonight. The facilitator had us think back to one month prior to our child’s death and list the roles we were living. One month prior to Noah’s death I was a mom, wife, researcher, caregiver, and doctor. Today I am a wife and mom. I know during the last year I have not walked appropriately in the many other roles I purposely laid aside while Noah was sick…sister, daughter, niece, aunt, granddaughter, friend, neighbor, etc. I am not sure when or if I’ll ever fulfill those roles as I should.
Our assignment for the upcoming week is an interesting one. We are to assess the support people in our lives, people who have supported us throughout this long journey. Some questions posed are, “Who is a ‘listener’?” “Who is a ‘doer’?” “Who could you ‘do without’?” “Who have you ‘lost’ through this experience?” “Do you choose to reconnect with them?” “Why or why not?” “Who have you gained?”
As I pray throughout the week, I will share some of my heart here. I think this assignment will be easy for me, even though the losing and gaining have been difficult…