The dust has finally settled. After the past couple weeks of wrapping-up school work and winding down for the year, I can finally sit back and ask myself what in the world happened. I’m not really sure why, but somehow amidst all the flurry of assignments over the past few days, I seem to have dropped into total disrepair. Afternoons and evenings would go by and I would be reminded at night that I had eaten hardly anything since breakfast. How does someone forget they need to eat? It seems like a mildly important aspect of life, so I’m not sure how I forgot it. I doubt if this is a problem for the majority of students in college, but apparently for my room mate and I, it is.
However, I have decided to eat again, forcing meals down myself today at specific meal times, in an effort to bring some normality back to my life. I didn’t realise how accustomed I had become to a mildly empty stomach, until I felt sick forcing myself to eat. I’m not really surprised that, as a result of all this, I’ve found myself quite tired and a bit of an emotional wreck. As I contemplate moving out of my flat, I have been sorting through my things in the process of packing, and have been finding myself wrapped up in old pictures, notes and papers. Forgotten memories find there ways into my hands and soon I am engulfed in a world I used to know, sitting in the centre of my small college room as it makes its way into boxes and suitcases. Each new move and change seems to echo all the others — years of good-byes to people and places. Another ending to a year, a job, or a home.
Unresolved grief. Is that the term for when you feel like crying at the most unusual moments throughout the day? Or when you just want to reach out and touch something familiar — to somehow embrace the memories in your mind. Or when that knot in your throat seems to make its way up until you’re not sure if it will just stay stuck there, and you wonder what words it will say when it finally bubbles up. Perhaps it will have nothing to say.
I know that much of this will change. With a couple regular meals, a few good nights of sleep, and some time with family and a three year old cousin who loves me to death, I’ll soon be a bit more mellowed out. However, grief is probably something I will always carry with me. Scar tissue from farewells and places that felt like home. And yet it’s not so much the grief of leaving home that hurts, but rather, not having a place to call home. Maybe it’s because I wonder if I’ll ever have a home. Maybe its the fear that someday I will have one, and like the dog who finally catches the car, doesn’t know what to do with it, and finds himself wondering why he was so eager to get it in the first place.
Thankfully I join a rich history of grievers — people without a real place to call home. People who, by faith, welcomed each sunrise with joy and expectation.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13