The countdown has begun.
We are almost one year into my walk with grief and losing Koda, and I have to admit it’s not the one year anniversary date that’s looming over my head, but rather the days leading up to it.
You see, that was the hardest part after the loss, looking back and realizing 3 weeks before we were playing with pumpkins in the yard, 10 days before he was taunting a gardener snake in the driveway, and one day before we had the best cuddle session we’d ever had right before bed… and I had no idea… we were counting down.
The months after have been a blur. Truly, it feels like a different life, a different person, and my time with Koda was all just a dream. And then, when I'm not on guard, that's when I am forcefully reminded of just how precious and fragile life is after a friend of mine experienced their own gutting loss.
And so continues the never ending walk with grief. Again, I find myself waking up to that familiar ache in my gut and crusty corners of my eyes. I feel the waves, ever changing in intensity and speed. I lace up my shoes and do the only thing I know how. I grab the dogs and we walk the river. My grief, and now theirs, racing through my mind. I remember how unbearable the first day is, and even more so, the first night. I play familiar hymns trying to find comfort in the music. And I think of the verses and scriptures and sayings I knew before loss. The kinds of verses that are supposed to prepare you for hard seasons. The kind you have in your back pocket and pull out when you need them.
“Remember, when you thought you couldn’t and you did? Now is the time to channel that energy,”
“You don’t understand yet the meaning of what I am doing, but soon it will be clear to you, “
“If it’s not good, God’s not done,”
And I don’t know if that would be enough for me after loss again…
I don't know if it’s enough now.
But He nudges my soul, and says “but it was.”
It was enough, and in fact, it’s the only reason I’m writing this today. Scriptural truth and worshipping Him is what put me to sleep when I couldn’t, it’s what got me in the shower when I was laying on the bathroom floor, and it’s what keeps me going right now as I write this. Because of time and space behind me to reflect on the goodness of God that is always running after me.
It’s easy to wonder, “what’s even the point?” When the news broke, I wanted to give up. I wanted to pull loved one close to me and lock them in my house. For good. There are no guarantees in life, unless you give in and always play it safe. But there is no redemption in loss, no sense of purpose. There is only my God creating beauty from ashes. And I am grateful.
So instead of giving up and giving in, I sit closer to my husband on the couch than I normally would. The dogs get daily walks no matter the weather. I notice things in my friends and community and burn them in my mind because we are all living a countdown. Leave the bed unmade if it means a cup of coffee with someone you love instead. Sit down and watch the movie instead of doing the dishes. Who cares if the house is a mess if it’s a mess made with love.
There will never be enough time. Not for anything. Not for love, family or friends, or new experiences, but there is always room to love deeper, hug harder, and linger longer, and that’s all I can offer in hope that when my countdown is run out, I hear “Well done, good and faithful one.”
To express, explain, and exclaim the lessons life continually throws at me, and my take on how to deal.