For the last week I've been asleep. I am not being metaphorical. I've slept a week away with a knot in my stomach, a Ken shaped hole in my heart, and a head full of confusion. The doctor said I had a stomach virus, but I think, in my own way, I was sitting Shiva for my truly dead marriage.
When you sit Shiva you don't go anywhere. Your week of mourning absolves you from duty. You cover the mirror. Personal appearance means nothing in this sacred time. Your brave face can be saved for when you venture back into life. If you grieve well, you may find you aren't just wearing a mask of courage. You earned it, even though it cost a lot.
In traditional Jewish homes you light a tall candle and let it burn. My candle was my wounded soul, grazing the hem of Christ's garment, with the battered fingertips I hurt trying to claw my way out of sorrow. It's over. My marriage is really over, I thought, again and again, as the harsh reality buffetted me. Some people said I'd be relieved once I decided to move forward with the divorce, but I only felt sad, and that ache demanded expression, even if it had to look like a virus.
It's good grief, however, even if I only now realize that I have been indeed, grieving. Grief is necessesary. Eventually I will take off the garments of mourning. I will put my eyeliner and mascara on again. I will slide the frosted pink gloss across my lips, or maybe even the more dramatic maroon. I will clean the house, and put together the dining room table I got from Walmart, even though I swore I'd never buy assemble-it-yourself furniture again. I will create a life, the one I long for. God keeps giving me signs that this new life is Yes! Yes, yes, yes! It won't be easy becoming, but it will be good, because finally, FINALLY! I'm taking responsibility for the care and feeding of my life, which includes my peeps, my desires, my challenges, and my life's work. To hell, literally, with depression and anxiety, and this idea that I cannot do what is basic, fundamental, to live the life of abundance Jesus said he came for me to have. It's time to get up and uncover the mirror, seeing the beautiful stranger looking back at me. Hello, pretty lady, where have you been all my life? It's time to wash, and extinguish my desperation, beginning again. God loves me. I can do more than cling to a hem. I can hug my Beloved.
My friend Shanna sent me this poem, and the subject line for her message was: your full moon. I always loved a full moon, especially when it comes with gifts.
If God is saying yes to me, I'm answering the call with my own yes. And hey, sorry I disappeared for so long. I'll try to do better. Much better.
God Says Yes to Me
By Kaylin Haught
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Yes backatcha, God.