I get up and do a couple of hours of therapy on Facebook and tumblr. Processing like this helps until I can get into grief counseling which won’t be for another week. My good friend who checks in on me every morning via Facebook messaging checks in. My plan is to go for a power walk by myself, but now it’s late enough I need to check in with Ty about church. It’s Sunday and she normally wants to go. I do not normally want to go, but today I kind of feel the urge. Church doesn’t normally bring me comfort, but I’ll try anything now. I start up the stairs and right as I reach the top of the stairs, where Shayna’s room is, I just lose it. I open the door to our bedroom, walk over to Ty, lay my head on her stomach and without a word just start sobbing again. No words are needed. No questions. She just holds me while I get it out. Then, I ask her about church. No, not today. She doesn’t want to run into people who will start asking questions. Just don’t have the energy for it today.
We decide to go for a walk together and take the dogs. It’s a nice day and we take a leisurely pace as we discuss everything. I married an amazing woman. I knew she was strong then, but honestly there have been times when I have taken her for granted. She has been there for me every day since Shayna passed, without fail. We typically bicker quite a bit. Not now. We don’t have time for that. We are united. We talk about how we are processing the grief. We talk about how much we miss our baby. We talk about the feelings of guilt we have both had. What should we have done differently? We each reassure the other, we did all we could do. We took her to the doctors. We went beyond what the cardiologist recommended. We loved her lavishly. Then, why did God take her from us? We don’t know, but we do know we have to accept what is.
Upon returning from the walk, I feel the need to destroy something. Fortunately, there are two overgrown trees in the front yard that need to be hacked back. I get out my sawzall and commence to hacking. Cutting and pulling feels good. Ty re-pots some flowers and does some work outside. We have to keep busy. We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. She decides to do some work on a large order we need to get out.
Friends call. They’re going to the zoo. “Would you like to come?” It’s great to have them reach out, but we have plans for the day. We’re still sweaty from the walk. Besides, thanks, but Shayna used to work at the zoo. We’re not ready for that. They say that they almost didn’t call because of that and I stop them. No, please keep asking. I’m glad you asked. Please don’t walk on egg shells around us.
Neighbors stop by. They were out of town the day of Shayna’s celebration. They have come to pay their respects. I have to limit myself on bragging about Shayna. They probably wouldn’t think that was limited, but I could talk about Shayna all day every day for the rest of my life. I tell them how beautiful the celebration was and my delusional idea that we should do that for people while they are alive. Why do we wait until people are dead to celebrate their lives? Oh yes, there are birthday parties and if you make it to 75 maybe you’ll have a life review type of event, but we don’t tell people often enough, while they are live, how much they mean to us. We don’t look back and see all they have accomplished.
I feel like I should be crying, but the tears just aren’t there right now. Too many tears already today? Have I used my quota? So, they tell us how strong we are. If you only knew. If you knew I cry at the drop of a hat. If you knew I wake up during the night moaning and with my abdomen convulsing. If you knew the despair I feel. What you are hearing is me intellectualizing, rationalizing. What you hear is me trying to accept the unacceptable, because I simply have no choice. I would give anything, anything to have her back.
My appetite for the world is slowly returning. I watch some TV while Ty works on the order. I plan to watch the Women’s World Cup Finals since the US is in it. Kayla emerges from her room. She had been out with friends and is sleeping a lot when she is home. She was out late the night before and up early to go out with friends, so we haven’t seen her much today. We sit on the couch together and watch some TV.
Upon retiring for the night I decide to forego the Ativan and instead take a melatonin (a neighbor so thoughtfully brought). Sleep comes easily. I wake in the middle of the night to what I’m calling night terrors. It’s that moment of realization of something horrible. This time it’s the unfairness of Shayna being taken from Kayla. I don’t cry. I just moan. I’m not a praying person, but I fell to my knees before getting into bed and prayed for my family- this has hit everyone hard, including my parents who are the most rock solid people I know.
Is this moaning what Paul was talking about in Romans 8:26?
“Romans 8:26-27New International Version (NIV)
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Well, I’m definitely weak and I definitely don’t know what to pray for. And the groaning isn’t voluntary. I can’t hold it in. I try to keep it quiet to not wake Ty and Kayla, but it just has to come out.
The rest of the night I sleep well. I wake to more thoughts of Shayna. More terrifying reality of the changes in all our lives. I open my eyes and the first thing I see is a baby picture of her. More moaning and groaning. I lay my head on Ty’s stomach. I listen to her heart beat. Why are our hearts still beating and Shayna’s was stopped at 15?
I will myself to stop the moaning and get out of bed. I’m talking aloud to myself now. “Stop it Brian. Stop moaning and get up.” Today is the day I restart my T25 routine. There are orders to be packed and work to be done.