(*repost from Caringbridge)
“for a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere”
Tomorrow (Thursday), Jeremy would have been celebrating post-transplant Day 100. It’s intended to be a fairly big mile-marker for one undergoing the birth of new marrow. It is said that complications dramatically decrease after this day.
Instead, Jeremy has been forever released from the risk of further complications (and what day it is doesn’t matter anymore). I had told people early on of my suspicions that unless this transplant was going to bring about a brand new body for Jeremy, his future here post-transplant was going to be one of pain and illness and hardship of greater intensity than he had known before.
And he had known much before. Too much.
Yet I was still hoping for a new body that could live here.
Jeremy is likely creating whirlwinds with his new body, while I have been living within some. The first seven weeks after Jeremy’s death, my mind was continuously spinning. My framework for life as it was, had become so quickly uprooted. There seemed to be so many decisions to make – and who to make the final call, but me alone? The magnitude of how dramatically life changed was so very intense and exhausting. I kept being advised that I ought not make any major decisions within the first year of this great loss. And my response has been, what isn’t a major decision? Everything feels weighty.
Amidst all of this processing, the boys and I have spent many days playing in the water, traveling to Roseau for our annual County Fair trip, getting together with friends, eating meals with others, packing and unpacking and packing again. It’s been fun (and distracting).
I realized over these weeks that my instinct is to keep busy. To make life feel like it’s moving forward. But my once craving for solitude has been thwarted by a constant desire to be near to others. This is both good and telling of something more. There is pain and ache deep down that I’d really rather not feel when I’m all alone. But I know I’ve been called to enter into those places, with God, in Christ.
In an effort to leave some space for grieving, I have decided not to return to school this year. Nursing will wait. Maybe the day will come (and maybe it won’t). I’ve concluded that what the boys and I need most right now is time (to rest, to play, to pray), flexibility (so I can mother them well, so we can travel to visit family and friends), and low levels of stress (yes, low levels of stress). Nursing school, and the occupation in general, would not compliment this well with the boys so young. Besides, I sat in enough sterile rooms surrounded by sickness this year. I just can’t do more of that right now.
Nor will I be finding a job quite yet. Provisions have been made. So what I hope to do this fall and into the spring is to spend time sifting through Jeremy’s writings, sermons and blogs, considering how we could best make those available to others. He also left more music for us. He had an album almost completed and in the weeks leading up to his transplant, he spent many hours in the studio recording rough tracks of several songs that he’d never recorded. He asked that we do what we could to make them available. These projects I will obviously not do alone. I hardly dare touch anything in the studio for fear that I may make it disappear. His writings, I will be able to do more with, but all of this will take a significant community effort. This will be a large part of my ambition this year.
There were many of you who asked me not to stop writing. The thing is, I’m not sure what to write about now. It was so clear before and it’s not so much now. But it’s on my mind, and if I start a blog, I’ll let you know. As well as changes to Jeremy’s website and whatever we’re able to create with his music and his words – I’ll post updates here until we can transition to something else.
In addition to these things, I’ll continue spending time with splendid people. It’s been so very good. And spending time in the Word, in prayer, and quiet moments alone while the boys are in school and I’m left facing that ache.
I lost both my father and my husband this year. You cannot tell me that God doesn’t have plans for the remaking of my heart. He must. And I will trust that it will be good. So those courts of heaven that dad and Jeremy are enjoying, I’ll be there too, from the other side.
Please continue your prayers for Aedan, Eli and Jo Isaac. My youngest most visibly grieves these days. Tonight he reached a deeper level. He cried for 45 minutes at bedtime – missing Jeremy, wanting him to “bless” him, wondering why he stopped breathing, crying out to the heavens (I brought him outside to see the stars) and telling God he wanted him back. I was so very unable to comfort him. I finally went down to the studio where I had dumped out Jeremy’s duffle bag from the hospital, grabbed one of his gray champion long sleeve shirts and gave it to Jo Isaac to cuddle. He quickly asked me if I could spray Jeremy’s cologne on it, which I did. He cuddled it on the living room floor and went to sleep in moments.
I ache several times greater when they ache.
These days, too, shall pass. But we will never be the same.
Love to you all.