Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ponderings of Pain

Hard to write a post about joy when the world seems so void of it.  But then again, that is what set me on this journey.  And what I found along the way is despite the pain that is always present somewhere, every day there is also joy to be found.

I know a lot about pain.  Both in the physical and emotional sense.

For the past decade, I've lived in chronic pain.  Though most days I get through it, and in many ways have learned to ignore it, there are times when it shuts me down.  No matter how much I want to do, everything stops.

It is constant but also comes in pulsing waves.  Pain on top of stronger pain.  Evenings and Saturdays seem to carry the most for me.  I stay so busy during the day my body doesn't have time to send the signals of pain to my brain, I guess.  But by the time I'm home and settled, it seeps in all around me.  And Saturdays are normally my body's way of saying, "Give me a break, woman!"  The pain is usually so present somewhere that, on a rare day there isn't any, it takes me awhile to process it.

Which is a lot like grief and loss.

The loss of a child is a pain unlike any other.  It is ever-present and sometimes even physically searing.  It also comes in waves, always when you least expect it and there is little to nothing you can do to stop it.  In the moments you are alone, when the day has ended or you awake to another reality they are gone, is when you want to shut down.  A random good day feels like coming up out of water.

For a moment, you can breathe.

And just like an old injury, you will always carry the pain from child loss with you.  As the years go by, it numbs a bit but is there if you press it.  Some days, certain seasons, it flares back up, filling your eyes with tears.

I started this post at some point this month, probably after something horrific on the news.  Sad to say I don't recall which story it was.  Because there are just so many of them.  Which is why most days, I avoid the news.  I've learned that to find joy sometimes means to avoid unnecessary pain.

Search for happiness, leave sadness.

To take one day at a time.  To step slowly, especially when the pain is tender.  To forgive yourself when you can't get out of bed.  And to relish the days you can.  To smile in the midst of pain because it is a reminder of what was before.  To remember the good and laugh when you share.  To know that scars are evidence of an adventure, a life well-lived, where love once was.  And is.


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