It's been a month today, since the end of one life on earth changed others forever, in the blink of an eye.
Some lives were only affected a little, what comes from hearing a tragic tale affecting a distant old friend, or someone they never even knew. How many times have I been there instead? For some it amounts to a sigh and a prayer for the suffering. And many will never know what they missed in him.
Amazing how many people, though, who have said the news stayed on their minds, heavy on their hearts for days, weeks. Now a month.
Cards have trailed off, but I'm still getting notes through other more convenient media. I haven't asked about it lately but I'm sure my parents are too. They have a big bunch of cards. I have a stack too, and so does Grandma. Notes and cards, so many thoughts and prayers. So much evidence of the love of friends and family in the Lord. I am grateful, for that and for so many blessings God has given since Clint's death.
But am I? I would trade it all in an instant to have my brother back. And I think anyone would understand that and likely do the same. But it isn't our choice to make....
Bitterness? The thought occurs to me. Hmm, I hope not. I don't usually dwell on it. But sometimes the blessings, silver linings small and also arguably great, arriving since his departure, seem a cruel mockery. It's not that I don't appreciate them. I do. But emotions are so often a mixed cup... and at the bottom of this one is that bitter taste. I think, are these things worth it? And the answer seems to be no.
Even the spiritual? I hesitate. I compare what he might have done in life, what might have happened otherwise. Though it's a complete unknown. There is no alternate reality available to me, no control group to test the hypothesis. And it's easy to invent validations in imagination.
Am I selfish? Yes. Foolish? Probably.
This is just a little thing. It isn't properly represented by dwelling on it here in paragraphs. It takes the form of passing thoughts, only occasionally more. Yet it is one of many little things which add up to weigh heavy, through each and every day, under the surface. I'll have to come to terms with each eventually. Right now, my mind is still taking a long, slow inventory of everything it runs across, trying to fully grasp the unimagined reality. I wonder how long it will take.
I wanted to post something today that I wrote today. As though it matters how long it's been.
I've had Tom Petty's "To Find a Friend" running through my head since yesterday. Odd perhaps, because so much of the song is really irrelevant, but what keeps playing over is the chorus: "And the days went by like paper in the wind. Everything changed, then changed again. It's hard to find a friend, it's hard to find a friend." Each of those sentences resonates. The last couple will make me start to tear up if I think about them. But they won't leave me alone.
I'd kind of like to just cry though. I'd like to be able to more. Not that I haven't some, or can't at all, but I haven't as much as I might have expected. Not that I ever thought much if any about how I'd respond if something like this happened before it did. But somehow I had some underlying expectations. How is that? Maybe from the movies? Who knows. But you're supposed to cry. Everybody knows that, right? Ha.
I guess I think maybe it would somehow be easier if I could just have a good long cry and get that part over with, at least for a while. I guess I'm maybe a little frustrated, although I only now realized that as I was typing. What I have instead of much crying is sort of like a continual feeling that I might be about to. Not always, but a lot. It's weird because since I usually don't cry, I know I'm not really about to most of the time. But it's something like it. It feels somewhat like I'm trying not to, except I don't think I am, at least not when I'm home and definitely not when I'm by myself. Maybe some part of me is, though, I don't know.
Enough. I'll close saying that God is my constant comfort. Even if this was His direct choice? Yes, even then. And He did allow it to happen. There's no way around that. Shall I then blame Him? That would be to proudly claim to know better than He does. I have (I hope) learned that much through previous trials. I ask why, sure, but so far even as I ask Him I don't really wonder about it the way I used to with things, with the same challenging (rebellious?) attitude I had when my first miscarriage happened, for instance. He's proven Himself trustworthy enough that I ask with the expectation that all the good He has for me will be revealed in time, or at least once time is over (Romans 8:28). This isn't the first rough spot I've been through. Is it the toughest? I guess I'm not sure, since I'm still very much in the middle of it. Has God prepared me for this? Likely. I know anything good comes from Him (James 1:17), and I want to praise Him for helping me through this far, however He's done it.