I remember that when Ramona first got sick going to public places was confusing. I felt, especially surrounded by strangers, puzzled that the whole world hadn’t just stopped turning and seemed to be progressing pretty much unchanged. So although it was nice to get out and be “normal” for a while, I was always happy to return to my little cocoon where everyone was talking and thinking about Ramona.

I’ve been lucky to have left the cocoon a fair amount this past week. I’ve seen folks I haven’t seen in a while, met some new neighbors. But when people ask, “How’s Ramona doing?”, I find I don’t know what to say. “She’s fighting for her life, how was your day?” is a little abrupt, right? I’m adjusting to keeping it casual.

It seems like adjusting to any new big thing, good or bad, takes a while. Good things seem to me to turn and sparkle like a diamond, showing you new facets of joy as you move through them. Harder things feel more to me like a tide that sucks in and out. One day you’re on high ground, the next you’re drowning. It seems slow, mysterious and cyclical. Primal. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re anywhere close to getting a grip.

I’ve been thinking that these waves must be needed when absorbing some new grief. Taking it all at once would be a tsunami. These ebbs and flows deposit little by little both pain and wisdom. Each time I make it through a tough day or a tough week I feel stronger. But the grief sneaks up on you. And like water seeks the easiest path, my pain flows the most freely into the weakest, lowest parts of my spirit: my pride, my lonliness, and my unworthiness. So when I’m trying to keep it casual even when things are tough, I’m usually struggling with feeling offended, feeling isolated or feeling judged.

There’s no right thing to say to me today, I don’t even know where I’m at. Half the time I’m not even listening when people are talking to me. Just trying to make it through day by day. It’s 7:00pm, both the babies are sleeping. I’m glad to have this time to sit and think, glad that the sun is going down on another day in the life of our family. Grateful that Ramona has survived long enough that our grief is no longer just shock and crisis. Please pray that the changes that our family is going through will be a refining fire. That instead of being consumed by this loss, we will be edified.

Please pray also for all the families around the world who struggle with death and despair on a daily basis because of war or poverty. Their suffering makes ours look small.

Love, Jane.