It’s been a long time since I’ve written; writing so much for Mundane Faithfulness, I actually thought that I would use my personal blog to process my grief over Kara’s Homecoming. But the truth is that it’s just been too hard to write. I told some friends this morning that I feel like I’m on the remedial grief track; I feel behind and like I can’t find my new normal and like the whole world is figuring out how to move forward, one foot in front of the other, while I trip and fall down.
The babies and I spent the morning at the Tippetts’. Mickey was in town this weekend, and the gals joined her for coffee. It was glorious to gather in Kara’s home and drink coffee and laugh and cry together. But then Jason tearfully asked us to undertake the task we knew was at hand: to go through Kara’s closet.
I was one of the last to climb the stairs. As I carried my daughter, I remembered helping Kara up those very stairs, even offering to carry her in her weakness. I stood in the doorway of her room. I looked at my friends crying and laughing and fingering mundane items that are now treasures.
Several times in the last month I have come close to texting Jason: Can I come over and just peek in your bedroom? I need to be sure Kara isn’t there. But I don’t do it. It’s Jason’s private space and I know Kara isn’t there. But my heart still whispers that maybe this was all a dream. Maybe I’ll walk into the bedroom and she’ll be there, waiting for me, reaching out for Von.
So I stood there today, and I couldn’t go in. This was my chance to tell my heart once and for all that Kara is Home, healed, redeemed. Instead, I made my way back downstairs. I entered the living room just in time to see some of the big kids send Von away—he was interfering in their play. Normally this wouldn’t bother him, but he melted into a puddle of tears. It was all too much for him. He had had the courage to go into that bedroom, and looking toward the bed, his eyes also missed what mine were afraid of missing. We sat and cried together.
After the shedding of many tears, we found Ella and Jason. Ella had something very special for Von—his favorite lovey blanket. When Kara was in the hospital the first time, Von asked to bring her a blanket. He had the idea that it would help her feel better. So he picked out his very favorite blankie, the first one he ever had as a baby, the one I’ve repaired over and over again. He proudly gifted Kara with it, and they snuggled together in the contentment of Von’s hope.
He remembered as soon as he saw it, and he took it carefully. I reminded him that Kara couldn’t take it with her to Jesus’ house and she wanted him to have it back. He brought it close to his face, just like Kara did the first time she held it. And he didn’t let go all morning.
These are not easy days. This is not an easy road.
While I was downstairs, my friends were selecting some things for me and put them in a fantastic bag of Kara’s. I love it. I love my friends’ thoughtfulness and compassion. I love that they gave me the freedom to have a meltdown while they did the hard work.
I keep pulling the items out of my bag and inhaling Kara’s scent. I don’t have the energy or heart for much more than that. But Grace is meeting me here. In my tears and heartbreak, God meets me. And he loves me just where I am in this brokenness.