Last night was rough. It started with what I think was an anxiety attack and ended with me sobbing my heart out. For some reason, I had this physical anxiety that seemed to be grounded in nothing. I just felt shaky and strange, like my skin was crawling and I couldn’t sit still. I finally went to bed and tried to sleep and suddenly I was crying so hard I had trouble breathing. All of the weight of our loss just came crashing down on me and I had to cry it out.

I never used to be someone who cried at touching stuff. I might get a little choked up, but I never cried during movies or hallmark commercials or whatever. I cried when I was stressed or upset, but not from being moved by something. Now it seems like I can cry so easily. I still struggle with feeling like most of what I do is pretty futile, too. I’ve always struggled with procrastination, but now it’s hard to find any measure of purpose in my little daily tasks. If I put them off, does it really matter?

One of the things I am thankful for during this time is that the sound of babies doesn’t bother me too much. Sometimes seeing babies is hard, but hearing them isn’t. It’s probably because none of the cries from the babies in our school’s infant room sound like Samantha’s, and that’s a good thing. The infant room is also our nursery for Sunday morning. It’s in the same building as our church offices, just at the other end of the narthex, and we can often hear the babies while we work. Sometimes it’s screeches from happy babies who are learning to use their voices, other times it’s the cries of babies who are uncomfortable or fussy, as babies tend to be.Silence is unusual, and on those rare days when we are in the office but the school is not in session, the quiet is deafening.

There are times I look into the infant room and wonder what our lives would be right now if Samantha hadn’t gotten sick. Oh, so different. We had elected to not reserve a spot in the infant room for her, since I only work part-time. So she would not be in there. Perhaps she’d be in the office with me. Yesterday’s youth trip to a pizza and games place would not have worked, since we had to squeeze the youth into two cars. No room for a carseat. But going down that road too far is only a recipe for more heartbreak. I know it’s not healthy to dwell on what could have been, because it isn’t and can’t be. I can only keep moving forward, trying to figure out how to take one tiny step at a time, choose the next task to complete, and try to find some meaning to the mundane stuff of life right now.

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