I haven’t written in my blog in a while. I write about loss and traveling through it, but I hit a roadblock of numbness that left me unable to do more than function. The loss of a child for a parent means you not only need to care for your own needs but for the needs of your entire family. I am not sure that’s fair, but life is not fair. We still went on a family vacation, I knew we needed to even with -1 in our family. It wasn’t amazing but it was ok, and I think that is actually amazing. The things that have given our family joy in the past usually included the outdoors, so we went to Lake Tahoe to kayak the clear waters.
The first full day there was a weekend and the beaches were packed. We decided to go on a hike instead. The hike was an overlook of Tahoe and the lake next to it. Off we trudged up a dirt hillside, over 6K feet in elevation, the temperature close to 90 degrees in the shade. I have a mild autoimmune disease, it makes me photosensitive (sun sensitive) and it has taken my once bunny-like energy down to more of turtle-like energy, but I am a determined individual. As I hiked the 2 mile incline, I kept thinking how this was a comparison to the road of life, that I have to keep climbing the incline without seeing what is up ahead but spiritually going with the promise that there is something beautiful waiting for me at the end. I was walking mostly by myself, my athletic teens had trudged past me almost instantly and were a half mile ahead of me. I was thinking about being alone and the things I have to do alone on this journey of grief and life. It was brutal, I kept having to stop under any point of shade as I was trying to catch my breath with the elevation gain. I said to myself, “But am I really alone God?” As I said it to myself, the words just formed in my mind, a cool, extremely strong, blow your hat off your head, wind came at all of us. My family commented on the strong wind that just came at them. I tried to explain it came right when I had asked God if I was alone, but the moment was somewhat lost on my family as we reached the amazing viewpoint. My question had been answered though, no, I guess we are not alone in this walk.
The next day I had one of the few moments of joy I can say I have felt since I lost my daughter. I had my turn in one of our kayaks. It was early morning and the motorized boats had not started to consume the water ways yet. The water was clear blue-green and as smooth as glass. You could see 50 feet below the kayak. I paddled around the corner away from our beach to the rocky shoreline. As I sailed past the large boulders sticking out from the beach, I was struck with the sheer awe in what was just below the surface. Below my kayak, not visible unless you were floating over it, were thousands of rocks and boulders the size of houses. Schools of fish darted in and out of the shadows. It was another reminder to me that what was unseen does not mean that it is absent. It was a glorious moment floating in that beautiful setting.
Back home, I found myself surrounded again in moments of complete sadness that still either paralyzes me or steals hours from me to the point where everyday tasks seem to take three times as long. Thankfully, all the material I have read, tell me this is somewhat normal. Frustrating, but normal. (Or my new normal, as I am beginning to detest that phrase.) Though I am a shell of myself, trying to sludge up this incline, I am reminded not only that there are beautiful things up ahead in this world and the next, but more importantly, thought unseen, I am not alone.