I might have to ban Christian radio from my car.
I know. It sounds like a pretty drastic measure and it won't actually happen, but it was the second thought that crossed my mind when You Raise Me Up by Selah came on. (The first one was Quick! Turn it off!) If you've read previous post, you may know that this is THE SONG that set off my daughter's hour-long crying spell a few months ago.
This is the song that played during the slideshow at my grandmother's funeral. The song that somehow unleashes my daughter's grief, even now, almost 3 months after her earthly body has left us. The first few notes filled the car and I quickly hit the OFF button and asked if she would like to listen to her VBS CD. No! I want to hear it! I switched it back on and looked in my rear view mirror. Her eyes went downcast. Her lip quivered. The first few tears formed. And the wail escaped.
While my oldest daughter was out of the car, ringing her friend's doorbell so to ask her for a playdate, my four-year old was having crisis. Last time, I let her cry it out, but this time I didn't. I immediately tried to distract her and divert her attention. Abby got in the car and of course asked why Hannah was crying.
She heard the song.
With that limited amount of information, Abby launched into the story of attending her great-grandmother's funeral. When she was finished, she then started animatedly discussing our trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas that happened yesterday. One mention of the log ride and Hannah jumped in the conversation.
Crisis averted. For now.
I probably wasn't right to try to gloss over her grief. I'm not sure how to go about fixing this mistake. But in all the thoughts rushing through my head right now, one stands out the most:
How will she cope with our trip to the beach?
Our annual beach trip is coming up soon and Grannie, for the first time ever, will not be there. Her absence will be felt tremendously. In fact, no words can describe how much her presence will be missed. I can picture Hannah, walking into the door of the cottage and upon not seeing Grannie perched on the couch, dissolving into a puddle of tears. Even though she is only four, she will know not to ask, Where is Grannie? She understands that Grannie is in Heaven with Jesus. She understands that the death of a physical body on earth is permanent and that she will not see her again on this side. She understands the pain of losing someone that she loves deeply. She understands...and will not bury that pain inside her when it wells up in her little heart. She will let it out. She will wail. And upon her cries, she will elicit the pain that we have all buried, at least a little bit, as we scurry about our lives, trying to live them to the fullest when the void has been so great.
Her cries were murder to my heart, but why I could not bear to listen to them, why I could not allow them to flow unrestrained was because my own wanted to harmonize with hers. Allowing my grief to escape was something I could not do at that moment. Selfish, I know. But, the torrential worries and fears and loss that I have in my heart would be too overwhelming for her to hear.
Too overwhelming for me to hear, in fact.
My mission in life is to be present and available to my daughters whenever they need me. Hearing Hannah's reaction and a quick glance into my own heart tell me that I have moments that I need to have with Jesus before I go to the beach. This is God's quiet whisper, just a few notes of a song, to gently pry my hands away from my heart and let Him heal so that I might be open to whatever reaction, questions, or needs my daughters might have when they walk through that cottage door, when they see the waves, when they touch the sand, when they want so badly to call out her name...