Monday, February 27, 2012

The Act of Pretending

To pretend means to give a false appearance of being, possessing, or performing.

It is three years, one more year than last year, and one more year of life without Kira. One year closer to heaven for me. Frankly, for me three years means the amount of time I was blessed with her presence and the amount of time I have not been are now equal. If I were to weigh in a balance the three years...the sunshine on the right side is full of happiness and crazy times. The monster of grief on the other side is way down and feels dark and sad. Ironically though, the right side wins because it is up, even if unbalanced. Up is drawing, pulling, inviting. We envision ourselves going up to heaven. Jesus ascended upward. I want to continue to go up out of this grief, of muddling in this pit.

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13

Girding up the loins refers to the Roman people when they were about to run a race or work really hard. They tucked up their long flowing garments around them, removing any impediments to running or the tendency to trip. The final act was drawing the garment together at the waist and knotting it.

Girding up the mind is very essential in the grieving process. The balance of feeling the grief still three years later (which I am told is not very long but feels like eons) and not letting it trip up my mind is easier said than done, literally. Some days feeling grief really gets me. The way to the pit is easy...all one must do is think this is so hard. Other days I just feel sarcastic. Some days the temptation to pretend she is still here is strong. Maybe I just can't see her. As true as that may be, that thought is just a form of escape from grief. These loins of the mind: can they really be wound around my mind and tied together to help run this race?

Yes, I feel sarcastic. Could this knot take place tomorrow? I could use lots of other words to describe the frustration I feel inside, but instead I will stick with the mere word "sarcastic."

The Bible also talks about "running the race" with patience. Patience does not describe the word sarcastic, or happening tomorrow, or the temptation to use lots of other words. I am told and have experienced the desperate need for patience in the grieving process. But why does this have to be a race? And why does it have to be in the end that we see the revelation of the grace of Jesus Christ? On a more positive note I am fascinated that more grace is to be revealed in the end. God has given me immeasurable grace in the last three years.

So why do I have to pretend that is doesn't hurt anymore? Why does it matter if some days I like to pretend that she is here and I just can't see her. The fact that we pretend Kira now has her own room in our new house should really not bother me. We even pretended that Kira was here for her birthday party. Maybe I should say I did. If it is all fake, who am I to say? And if I really believe that there is more grace then God will meet me there in my sarcastic pretending too. Why pretend when God can take care of grief if we just remember to ask and admit we cannot do this on our own.

But really if this is a race, pretending has got to flee. A race requires intentional behavior. Racing requires hours of intensive training, dedication to the goal, but mostly a belief that participation will be worthwhile. If the race isn't worthwhile, why would I bother? The mystery of this fascinates me. This race we are running is largely unspoken, except for three strong defining factors. These factors have been a very strong part of my life in this race of grief. The Holy Spirit, the Bible, and the people around me. Without these three I would still be back at the graveside in total denial.

I believe all these things with my whole heart. Unfortunately I am still human and would actually like to pretend that it never happened, which would definitely erase the pain issue, and also my need for God. How boring is a life that I could run single-handedly?

As for the pretending, I simply feel a bit disconnected. My surroundings have changed and the former surroundings stimulated my thinking. These surroundings do not contain memories of Kira. In desperation to keep her memories alive my brain pretends things. Some of it is partly true; she might be doing this or that, or look this way or that way. But the honest-to-goodness ugly truth is that I do not know. I can only surmise and pretend. A child that doubles its age changes alot. Even when she would be 26, her life here stopped at three years and the rest is left to wonder.

So pretending might not really be wrong, just painfully unreal.