Everyone handles grief in their own way. Some deny it, remembering their loss only when the moon is awake and the house is asleep; their tears join with the whispering of the wind. Others dress themselves with imaginary sackcloth; the weight on their shoulders is anything but invisible. Some busy themselves. Others merely reflect, and continue to move habitually throughout their day. Others become codependent, relying on the needs of those hurting the deepest to fill an ever-increasing void in their own hearts. I can’t explain why people die young. This is the second person I’ve known to die from pancreatic cancer. The second father, far from his year of becoming a grandfather. The second husband, still maneuvering their way through their first decade of marriage. The second person that was taken too soon, as if there is ever a time that isn’t. I often put myself in the shoes of the widowed. I try to be what I would want, all the while knowing there is nothing that could fix the now broken heart.
My daughter is going through a phase in her development where she is constantly asking what’s next. What’s second, then third Mom? Yesterday I found myself saying, “YumYum, why don’t we spend time in the present enjoying what we’re doing right now. Then later, we can enjoy what we’re doing then?”
I’ve spent my entire life preparing emotionally, physically, and spiritually for not just tomorrow, but for a decade from now, two decades from now. The one thing that death continues to teach me is that there is no day like the present. YumYum has been singing a familiar hymn incessantly since starting a new preschool last month. “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
I close my thoughts today with this famous hymn, that maybe for at least today, I will live the tune of its melody.
This is the day
This is the day that the Lord has made
That the Lord has made
Let us rejoice
Let us rejoice and be glad in it,
and be glad in it.