Faith Academy, where we graduated from high school back in 1999. It's an awesome school, swarming with students from around the world, and the campus itself has been drastically remodeled in recent years. It was exciting to walk around, chatting with old teachers and friends. Here's Dan and I in their new Fine Arts building.... it's huge, air-conditioned, and equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics. Awesome!
As I've mentioned before, one of the most difficult aspects of grief work is the sudden wash of emotions, the kind that take me from being a friendly, caring person to being a sobbing mess within moments, though not usually in public. I can turn on a dime from acting like a "normal" person (whatever that is) to being pretty scary.
No, there were no crazy blow-ups today. I didn't do anything nutty. I don't have any new tattoos. Instead, I felt really cheerful and happy up on campus, as if I were a carefree 17 year old again. But I'm not. I wonder how I can be doing "so well" and yet feel so crappy. How is this possible? How am I still functional?
Perhaps I shouldn't ask "how" I'm still functional and just be thankful that I am. I can get up in the morning, I can cook food for my family. I can smile and chat, at least some of the time.
And yet, somehow inside, I find myself still loving God, experiencing feelings of hope and even—dare I say it— joy. I should be excited about that, but I'm not. It makes me feel that somehow I'm cheating Vincent as well as the deepest part of me which seems to be locked in a very long primal scream.
What's difficult too is that there are no visible signs of grieving in our culture. We don't wear black or put sackcloth and ashes on our heads. There is no immediate way for people to know when something horrible has happened to you. You look somewhat normal on the outside. And if you talk to me for a few minutes, you might think I'm fine.
And sometimes I am. I would call that a small miracle.