The tears keep coming. I thought they would slow down by now, I for sure thought I wouldn’t have anything left in me to cry. In some ways they have slowed. The tears don’t come every day anymore. They no longer feel like a constant companion, but instead an unwelcome visitor that shows up from time to time.
But when they come, they continue as steady as a leaky faucet; relentless, and reminding me that my grieving is still incomplete.
I feel the familiar ache. It is such an unwanted feeling, quite possibly the most unwanted feeling of all. It is the ache that reminds me that I feel alone. The ache that reminds me that loneliness is part of my story.
It is an ache that reminds me of a past filled with similar loneliness. Years and years ago, my high school boyfriend was my first introduction to heartbreak.
It was a situation that was so unfair in so many ways. It was a story that will forever make those involved ache.
Unfortunately, my typical teenage love didn’t end in a typical teenage heartbreak. It was the hardest kind, because it was the permanent kind of loss. His brother died and then our relationship ended. It was the worst kind of unfairness for everyone involved.
At 17 I didn’t even begin to have the life experience to know that what felt like unbearable and forever pain truly wouldn’t last forever. For months upon months, I struggled to function.
Eventually with time and a change of scenery, I slowly emerged from the grief.
Life continued on. Careers were started and changed. Babies were born and have turned into toddlers. Life continued on, and joy was found again.
Thirteen years later and some days I feel like I’m back where I started. Grieving a new heartache, but old feelings of ache resurface.
A completely different heartache, but pain just the same. Pain that makes me question if it’s possible to come out the other side.
The thing is, I know the answer.
The answer is yes, there is sun after rain. The answer is yes, there will always be hope. The answer is yes, our stories are not finished yet.
Life has already shown me over and over, that there is joy, even in the midst of pain.
I know I will be okay. I’ve been okay before, and I will be okay again.
But in the darkest parts, I forget.
That’s the hardest part of loneliness. It lies to you. It tells you it is here to stay. It convinces you that this time it really won’t be better. This time you really will be alone forever.
I know better. My heart knows better. Experience has shown me better. But still I fight the lie.
Late at night when I compare and I doubt and I grieve and I ache. I fight.
Early in the morning when I face another day and continue the duties of parenting on my own, I fight.
In the middle of the day when I get a glimpse in the mirror and face my doubt head on, I fight.
God made me a fighter. I know there is a strength deep within, even when I feel like the last of my energy has already been used.
I know loneliness won’t win this battle. Love will win. I have no doubt that is the truth.
My battle may not be finished yet. But the victor has already been determined. Day in and day out I will keep fighting.
Because eventually I know there will be a day where I will be able to say, love, you finally won.