I am not okay. As much as I try to be, appear to be, sometimes want to be - I am not. I am still a person in pain, a broken vessel pouring out tears and shattered with grief. I don't want to feel that kind of pain, it hurts - like hell. I want to be a 'strong' person, someone that I imagine doesn't cry or fall apart after a bad day. But, that kind of person also seems rather unfeeling and cold.
I have felt 'better', have spoken about my peace, my hope, my joy and it is true, but I fear that I may have deceived myself, at least in part. Because the truth is, counting blessings, finding joy, being grateful is real and it matters, but so is the pain, the loss, the grief and it also matters. Four months have not erased it, counting blessings does not take it away.
No one really wants to see it, there is no nice place to put it where it can be admired, and there is no cure that will fix the terrible wrong. So, I carry on, I move forward, I live - and some days it is really good, really, truly good. And some days, it is bad...grief so close to the surface I can't understand how everyone else can ignore it.
In spite of peace that is real, there exists sorrow that is also real. As someone in the business of evaluating and caring for the mental health of others - I get it, we want others to feel better. But, I would argue that 'better' doesn't mean the wound heals, there is not a scar, and that on occassion it doesn't rip open fresh with pain.
Ethan has been gone now for almost as long as he was with me - but just because I didn't hold him doesn't mean I mourn him less. Maybe this IS 'better', that I have a bad day that feels bad and is called bad. Tomorrow is another day and by God's grace, good or bad, He will be enough. Maybe better is being brave enough to face the pain and feel it with each tear, rather than distract, escape, or disguise it. Maybe better isn't always better...
Could it be that being real with our hearts, whether in joy or pain, even when it hurts, is better than being 'okay' all the time? I don't have a desire to be just 'okay', I don't need for my life to be better, to feel better, but it seems too few are willing to tread onto that ground. To sit in the pain, not to fix, cure, brighten, or explain, but just to let it be okay that everything is not okay.