My bedroom is a disaster. It is in exactly the same shape it was three months ago, in the wake of Faith’s death. At that point, friends and I were just trying to maintain the rest of the house and take care of our family, but the bedroom was my sanctuary. It is where I escaped to grieve. Now it is suffocating. I feel stuck. I don’t even know where to begin. But something has to happen.
There are clothes and coats waiting to go into storage piled high and falling everywhere. Same with blankets. Tissues, other random trash, and let’s not mention the dirt and dust. It’s awful. It’s embarrassing.
There’s a bit of a shrine to Faith forming. Something I never wanted. It seems a bit sacrilegious. Having her things scattered throughout the house is ok, but having one spot with everything seems wrong. I know, it sounds silly, but it’s just how my mind works. And now other things are piling up around her things too.
I feel like I’ve done well in so many other areas of grieving, but I’m having a hard time moving on in this one area. Like changing it will erase everything that happened. Will nullify all the heartache that was spent in that room. Will mean that I’m done grieving, when I know there will always be a part of me that grieves. The grief will continue to pop up unexpectedly for years to come. It will never be completely over. That’s part of what it means that she will always be a part of me, that she will live on in our hearts.
So how do I move past this road block? How do I take the plunge, the leap of faith, that cleaning up won’t erase her presence in our lives? That putting things in their right place will make our lives easier? And don’t we deserve that? I feel like it’s a job that needs to be done quickly and methodically to be done properly. If I dwell on the task for too long it will never get done. The question then becomes, how do I get it done with Little Monster and Little Miss around? So I’m not spending more time cleaning up after them than I am cleaning the room?
Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg contains a chapter called, “Do You Want To Get Well?” The scripture comes from John 5:1-14, when Jesus is by the pool of Bethesda, a place where people go to be healed. He found a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. When asked if he wanted to get well, the man responded with excuses. Was he paralyzed by fear? What would happen if he were healed and he was able to live his life and take care of himself? Jesus saw past the excuses. He responded, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was healed.
Do I want to get well? Yes. I’m ready to move past this. And when it’s all done? I need to make the room new again. I want new bedding. I want to hang pictures. I need to honor Faith by finding respectful homes for her things. I need to change it from my grieving sanctuary to make it our bedroom again.
But first – the plunge!
How do you tackle a project that seems too big for you? How do you step out in faith from the fear or hopelessness that overwhelms, that paralyzes you?
Update 6/10: I broke up everything that had to be done into seven tasks. Five and a half of them are done! We have a new mattress being delivered today, and I bought new sheets yesterday. It feels soooo good to walk into my bedroom now. I’m ready to finish the project!
See the beginning of A Journey of Faith.