I heard the comment from across the room of buzzing extended family yesterday and immediately searched out my mother's presence. She looked stricken and unable to breathe. As she made a speedy retreat to elsewhere, I was close on her heels. No one had intentionally meant to bring us pain. The comment was nothing in a normal life. However, it had hurt deep a wound already so infected.
Outside, I put my arm around my Mama's shoulders and hugged her to me. Like we tend to do all the time now, she said she was sorry. I told her she didn't need to be. I also told her that "the hole in the middle of the living room floor" was also susceptible to people unknowingly shoving us in from time to time. There is no malice or ill intent; it just happens. I bumped mama with my hip and said to her with my best Erkle impression, "Oops! Did I do that?" I am sure she had the same mental picture of such an action knocking us flailing into a giant, black pit. We smiled at each other and our moods were lightened enough to continue on.
I think this is why mourning periods used to include the mourners not venturing out into the social arena for at least a year (sometimes more). Social norms of dressing in black were supposed to be a signifier to the rest of the world that you were in mourning and a certain amount of respect was to be given and distance accepted. T. J. Wray said in her book that she missed this observance. I don't think I agree, and I don't think Gayla would either. If we gave ourselves a year to live in our grief totally, we would miss the joy of at least one, much-anticipated wedding and the births of several little new souls. Then there are the little boys and not-so-little girl in our lives who would grow up in that year and all their firsts we would miss. Too much life happens in a year to simply not show up. My family and I all know this and so we are present. I guess all we can ask from the rest of the world is to not hold it against us if we have to make a speedy retreat to recover our composure every now and again.
BOOK NOTE: I am not sure how I feel about The Shack so far. Finished Chapter 6 last night...almost like there are too many descriptives.