I get this way every now and again...stay up late with too many thoughts in my head. Tonight the girl (our daughter) climbed in bed between us and was soon snoozing peacefully. I couldn't help but stay awake...watching her sleep...memorizing the roundness of her face and seeing reflections of her future. She's still such a little girl-not even five. Yet, her arms and legs are long and lean, and she's growing up too quickly. I can see the woman she is to become.
I often call her "sweet girl" - I have since she was a small baby. I vividly remember the earliest days...home from the hospital with a fresh c-section scar and leaky boobs, trying desperately to figure her out- what her different cries meant...how to breastfeed without hurting myself by positioning her just so that she wasn't resting on my incision, learning her personality. Weeping openly with the baby blues, walking her up and down the nursery floor as her cries reverberated off the ceiling and walls, begging her to please stop crying, baby, I'm trying so hard...please tell me what's wrong.
When I'm up this late, my demons often play mind-games with me. I start thinking about the most awful things...what would happen if she had some horrific terminal childhood illness? What would happen if my husband died in a car wreck on the way home from work, or had a heart attack in his sleep? How would my life be different?
Perhaps the violent change in life that death brings upon us is the basis for grief. Every time one of these thoughts pops up in my head, I'm thrown into pictures of the aftermath...I don't know if I would be paralyzed, or if I would throw myself headlong into school or work or whatever I could.
Or would I say a simple prayer of forgiveness, let out a primal scream, and be done with the outward grief? And what would people say about that? What if my husband died? How long does a 30 year old woman wear her widow's weeds? God help me, I think about how long I would have to wait to try to see other men, and what do I then call my mother in law??...but the thought of the comparison, the game I never had to play (thank you, Lord, for sending me my husband early in life, I saved a ton of money on booze and cover charges), or even worse- going to bed with another man, or marrying another man, or how long the comparison would last...would I judge on the merits or simply attempt to replace?
Then I roll over and his hand is on my arm, and I realize that there's nothing to worry about right now- he's still here and safe, and we're alright at least 'til tomorrow. Still doesn't help my sleep, at least tonight.
Death wrecks people - my mother has never gotten over my grandmother's death, and it's been 15 years.
An old friend from grammar school recently lost her husband to leukemia- we are roughly the same age and they were married but a few short years. No kids. He was a doctor. It seems like heartache befalls the best people in the world.
Horrible thoughts that make me cry into my pillow at night for no good reason. I can never tell when this is going to happen, and I don't know that it ever makes sense.