January 24th isn't the best day to visit the cemetery. Taking time to remember or to go lay flowers gets pretty impractical when the sun sets so early in the evening. Today, I'm bringing my car to the shop, taking my daughter to the orthodontist and (surprise!) going to my son's basketball game that was rescheduled from last week. A lot of these things happen while the sun's still shining.
A lot of these things happen on days like the 24th of January because that's how life works. I have stuff I "can't cancel", when in reality I know I could, but should I? Will January 24th ever be just another day for me? It won't, but in the stream of life and living, it kinda already is.
So I don't have an answer for the questions and I'm pretty sure they don't even have "right" answers. In my mind, the bigger question is this: What to do with daylight?
Grief-guilt is crazy. It seeps through the cracks and vulnerabilities like an infestation. You start telling yourself dumb stuff like:
"You have to feel *this (specific) way.*"
"Healing takes *this* much time. (No more. No less.)"
And my least favorite:
"Make sure you have *fully grieved.*"
These thoughts can serve as pointers, but as a pattern, they're not really that helpful.
Because one year seemed easy to mark, but two feels much different. Life has moved on in every way possible and I think I've learned to be OK with that. Will there be a touch of melancholy that follows me for the rest of my life on this earth? Maybe.I don't know.
But I do know what to do with daylight.
Whatever it means to have "fully grieved" and however long the timelines are, what I've found after two years is life only happens by living it. Hook every Geiger counter up to your calamity and point every lie detector straight at your tragedy that you desire. You'll never get all the answers you want.
But if we need questions, then I've got a few more:
What happens to you when things start to get better?
Can you live your life above the shadows of your past?
Are you brave enough?
Even if you know they may never go away?
How do you feel when you figure out you've moved on?
Have you left the things you loved behind?
The love will never go away. It doesn't have to.
And would you want it to?
I'm already on the road, fresh map and all. My life isn't dominated by tragedy or sadness and there's so, so much in front of me and so much to be happy about. Healing never came to my disaster, but healing came to me. And if healing is here, how could I sit here crippled?
I won't. Another day is breaking and I know what to do.