Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Full and Whole with Broken and Missing Pieces


I woke up this morning from a dream. I was lying on my back in the ocean listening for my girls and all I heard was silence. I was in the water looking up at the sky. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the sea was calm and quiet. I was content except for the silence. I kept listening hard, closing my eyes to listen, but heard nothing. Then I woke up.

When I opened my eyes I put my hand on my aching heart.

I wish you were here sweet girls. I wish I could hear your voices.

These are the confessions I make daily. These are the things I release so I can grieve them and find peace. When the longings grip me I give them a voice, even if that voice is one only my heart can hear, so healing can replace the longing and I can go on living the best life I can.

I wish I had more time with you.

I wish I could watch you grow and see who you would have become.

I wish I had your artwork on the refrigerator. 

I wish I could give you kisses and hugs.

I wish…

I wish …

I wish…

Every morning another wish.

Every morning another choice to heal.

Every morning another conversation with God to give me the strength to press on until everything gets put right again and for comfort in the meantime. This life isn’t all there is and thank God for that, but I still need hope and hugs and a way through because the pain isn’t less real just because Heaven is real.

When I put my hands over my heart I can feel the empty space inside, the two little Aubrey and Ellie shaped holes that remain since their deathes. I feel their absence, even in my dreams, when I listen for them and hear nothing except my own breath.

I have not filled these spaces and I never will, yet I live with a full heart. This is how I know I’m healing. I have fullness despite the empty spaces, wholeness despite what is missing, and peace despite longing. This duality is what makes healing from grief possible.

Joy and sadness can coexist.

From ashes can incense rise.

Healing is not the result of undoing all the pain but choosing how to respond to it. Your circumstances don’t have to change for our heart to find the healing it desperately seeks. We can choose fullness without having every nook and cranny filled; we can choose wholeness without every piece of the puzzle.

The human heart is remarkably fragile but also immeasurably resilient. And resilience is our choice, not our luck. Broken hearts still beat. Hearts with holes and dents and scars beat powerfully. My heart is stronger than it has ever been. And I wear it proudly on my sleeve, holes and all, because, honestly, it is a miracle.  It isn’t a gaping, hemorrhaging wound anymore. It is an always healing, ever-stronger, honest badge of the choice I made to heal. As long as my heart still beats I’m seeing my healing to the end without guilt or apology.

When my hand goes over my heart in the morning and I give my never-coming-true wishes a voice, my heart keeps beating. It doesn’t die with the pain. It beats again and again and again, stronger each time. It’s another chance and another and another to get up and live full and whole with broken and missing pieces.

That is my choice. Morning after morning. Day after day. Night after night.

Wholeness.

Fullness.

Life.

Healing.

I choose life, abundant life, with every beat of my less than whole, missing a few pieces heart.

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