Not getting to continue a path to promotion/ Realizing that the bags you placed over your child's belongings to preserve the smell were deodorant (and this was the last chance you had to smell him).
The family that lives in a car/ The parents who are jealous of the family in the car because they have all of their children.
Go out and share good times with you/ Are the ones at your house before the ambulance leaves and stay through the worst times.
Emotions between tired and frustrated/ Relief and thankfulness.
A floaty place with clouds, streets of gold, and a vague benevolent God/ An acceptance of God as being complex beyond our comprehension and the only possibility of reunion. The gold is the presence of the body of Christ- those that we love. The décor really doesn't matter.
These are a few of my definitions that have changed. I realize life looks different. It is not all bad, but not all the deep meaningful warm fuzzies that you get from some loss blogs that avoid the ugly. I find myself captivated at times by the smallest things- the pollen on a bees legs or the fuzz behind a newborn's ears. I appreciate time in moments but realize the sum of our life is brief; We are vapor. I feel intense pain never imagined but recognize that loss is only possible because of being given great blessings. Before I wanted a sense of belonging- I worked to help them by volunteering (but that didn't seem enough) and now I find myself tied to a community because a part of me is buried there. The old families in our area accept us now because we are rooted to their church/ area in a way that most newcomers are not. Our son rests next to their parents and grandparents, he lies close to their brothers, sisters, and grandsons that never got to grow up. While I may have put out the fire in their field before, I only became tied to a name after they delivered a casserole to me. I have witnessed both intense unintentional cruelty and the beauty of empathy, from close family and strangers. Instead of being asked "Who is your Daddy?", I have become Perry's (the little baby's) Mom. To some who know only the tragedy that is a sad title, to me it is something beautiful because he is a sweet soul. Treasure lies in people now. I'd give it all up if God would let me trade years of my life for his.
I guess if I had to sum it up I would say that you do not fully appreciate life or other people until you realize we all die. You lose the safety of the naïve, life becomes scary but more beautiful. Great pain is like great fortune- you will either learn from it or squander life further. It will magnify what was there before. You see the cracks and beauty in yourself and others. You will grow closer or further from God as you question him, his existence, and his nature. It is the fire in the kiln, the reason why it is better to be in a house of mourning than of rejoicing. But it is never easy.