THERE WE WERE. We were all there, in the same place, at the same time – little sprigs slowly opening to warmth again. It takes time to be okay again, and that’s just fine.
The speed in which some heal is ungodly. Sprinting through darkened maligned days to reach Healed can be quite misleading and eventually, even devastating. Our culture is obsessed with quick okay, dismissing suffering as only the unjust are also quick to miss the bounty washed ashore by those same waves, which inexplicably tossed wildly. The experience gained of lasting through the storm doesn’t make one better, nor stronger, but indeed braver. Often, it is for comfort’s sake that we find quick okays, leaving us strangers to courage. Curled up in family form, we quieted as the movie began. Little quip whispers recalling favorite scenes, not too dissimilar from scenes in their own little lives, hummed from each of our daughters. The mother dies. The father shuffle steps through days. Strewn by grief they learn to be gathered by hope. Re-founded by wonder and love. Somewhere along the way, the little girl gives announcement to her family’s slow rise again, “We bought a zoo!”
My favorite line from the movie rests in words shared between father and child: “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
She bends heavy under weight, drooped by loss and still not whole – a far way off still, I’d say. More than the other two, our middle daughter still quakes at the thought of loss. As a direct result, she’s an over-achiever bewitched by her doing. That is, what she can do and cannot do. When she succeeds and excels, she soars like dawn filling the slumbering morning sky, and in times she fails, shovels herself into the ground as if hiding from loss. Then her heart needs to hear what her mind will not tell it – that she is not okay and that will forever be okay.
Sitting next to her, I could see her eyes hide. She was stuck and losing again. This time, a math problem was the taker and she was convinced she couldn’t do it. Tears swelled to a small pour as I watched her protect herself again. Suffering in the form of loss has defined her and conditioned her fearful at the sight of loss again. Sometimes a math problem can remind her of death and the fear of loss, as well as anything else.
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featured image: “Heal?” by Adam licensed under CC BY 2.0