Posted by Danny
In first grade at my kids’ school, the children draw a picture of their family. It’s a school fundraiser. You can get the pic put on a magnet, coffee mug, or an apron. I think for $20 you can have it tatooed on your thigh. The options are limitless.
Our tradition is to get the art on a notecard and then frame it. We hung all three girls’ family pictures in our bathroom – over the toilet.
Last February when Lisa died, I would examine the drawings every time I stood in front of the toilet. And for me, that was often.
I especially looked at the renderings of Lisa. When I saw our family, standing there so innocent and happy, the gaping hole that was left was keenly apparent. It was as if when I saw the scene someone had taken white-out to my wife. I could see such a huge void between me and the girls.
I wondered on many occasions how long it would be before I could pee without the emotional pain of looking at those pictures. I wondered when I would go to the bathroom and not become focused on the three Lisa’s surrounding me. Would I be able to look at those pictures and not be flung into my deep place of sadness?
This afternoon I went to the bathroom and as I was finishing up, I glanced at the pictures. A smile came to my face. I realized that at some point, I’m not exactly sure when, I began to enter my bathroom without being focused on our loss. I looked at our family, zeroed in on Lisa, and thought of the woman I loved, not the one I missed.
It was a good moment.
But grief is strange. My victory in the bathroom seemed to be overshadowed by a three mile run down Ridge Road. I sobbed so hard that a lady walking her dog crossed the street to avoid the weird-o heading toward her. I think the grief hit because I didn’t cry in the bathroom. Perhaps it was guilt that I could look at her and not always feel sad. Perhaps it was the realization that I no longer expect her to be laying beside me in the bed at night. Or maybe I just missed her as I do at some point in every day.
I’m so good at grief, I can find it even in the healing! At least I excel at something.