It was the same way I've spent every Sunday afternoon beginning May 8. Sitting at my husband's grave.
Typically, I spend the time there praying, talking "to Chris", crying, singing, reading God's Word, journaling, and once I even laid down right beside his grave. Maybe that seems a bit absurd, but until you've walked in my shoes...I would hesitate to judge the absurdity.
But, today wasn't typical. At all. Today...I did nothing. I sat there. Nothing. No praying, no talking, no crying, no singing, no reading, no writing, no laying on the ground...absolutely nothing. I think I'm emotionally drained. Sure...I've cried today...several times. Just not at the grave. I've done many of these things...just not at the cemetery. I was completely numb.
Ironically, I was sitting in that cemetery in my jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt in 92 degree weather, and I felt nothing. The sun was blazing down on me, but I felt nothing.
And...it scared me.
I was scared that my grief had taken over to a place that I could no longer manage. I was scared that I would never overcome this. But, honestly...some words that I read from a book on grief that I just finished the night before started to make sense as I was sitting there. It was a chapter on coping with a traumatic death (like a suicide). The author, a Christian with years and years of experience on the subject - first-hand and through his work as a licensed therapist, shared it this way...
"A traumatic experience literally disrupts the functioning of your mind and inhibits your ability to reason. It overwhelms your coping ability.
Trauma leads to silence...
Trauma leads to isolation; no one seems to understand the experience you had.
Another way people reexperience trauma is through numbing..."
These are just a few excerpts, but they actually started to make sense to me. This is what I've been feeling for about 10 days (or so) now...an inability to reason, silence, isolation, numbness...basically...nothingness. I don't like it, but it seems to be part of this ugly new territory I find myself in. I recognize that it's temporary. But, it's still something difficult to journey. The only comfort I seem to find is that even Jesus was acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3), and the psalmists ventured paths of despair and back more times that I can count. I'm not the first, and I won't be the last.
It's just so hard, friends. Grieving is absolutely exhausting. I try to be strong for those that are looking for me to be strong. I try to be real for those that want to see real. I am both...real (what you see is what you get) and strong (but only at times). However, right now...I'm in terrible pain, and I'm simply exhausted. Hence, the nothingness.