Of all the wounds left unhealed, on my heart and on my soul, many can and will be healed by time.
But there can be no healing for the gaping wound that has been left by the passing of Everett from this life into the next. The most unnatural of wounds, with no known cure, it will forever remain open and exposed, and succeptible to flare ups of pain and tears. And this is perfectly fine with me.
The presence of pain, of sadness and of distress has become familiar, and in a peculiar way, it has become a comfort. Though Everett has no physical presence in our lives, he still has a very real and tangible presence. We feel him daily, by way of our sadness and longing, by way of memories, and by way of pain. It's not entirely melancholy, though I can see how some may see it that way. It is exactly as it was. Beautiful, but painful. Good but bad. Beautiful and ugly. And this is how it still is.
If there can be no Everett in our arms and in our lives, then his memory, and our sadness, and our grief is all there can ever be of him aside from the 20 days he was here to touch and hold and take in.
If this is all there is, then this is good.
And if this is all there is, and this is often sad and pained, then said and pained are good, and I will welcome them as manifestations of Everett come to visit, come to sit by me a while, come to make me feel. And I will welcome the presence of heart ache and the company of tears and cradle them like my baby son long gone to the arms of the Lord. I will treat them like a blessing, like a gift from above, like a small window in time, where the separation between me and Everett is as thin as cellophane, and I can practically feel how it felt to be near him, where I can feel the same emotions I felt on the last day that I held him, and that intense pang of grief will connect us once more.
There can be no healing for this eternal wound. And this is good.
The miracle lies in how time, and how God, and how life have banded together to make grief a beautiful thing, and a positive thing in my world. It could so easily have been a force of destruction. Even more miraculous, grief has born hope. Where my world burned like the surface of the sun and when it was done nothing but ash remained, God worked. God worked and from that ash grew faith and hope so strong that they could not only tolerate, but thrive alongside grief and longing and an inconsolable sadness. Miraculous.
We're always surprised when a storm hits close to home, when it devastates our lives, like these things only happen to other people. We are genuinely shocked then the sky above our own heads blacken and violent winds shake us to our cores. And we cower away and pray that God would have this storm pass us by, and when he doesn't, we shake our fists at the sky and curse him, or renounce Him, declare Him powerless or imaginary, because we had to feel a storm.
Where did that notion arise?
In truth, we all face storms. We're all shaken and rattled by raging winds. And in the end, the sky clears, and the clouds part and across the recently blackened heavens, delicate shades of red and orange, and yellow, and blue, and violet arrange themselves just so among the clouds. And we are appeased. We praise God for the rainbow, but what of the storm? Was he not equally in power then?
When hardships happen, we want to believe they are random. When rainbows dance across the sky we want to believe that God placed them there just for us. In truth, He placed the rainbow, but He also placed the storm.
The trick? To be thankful for both.