My friend Laura asked me a few days ago, “What is your scale for determining how you are doing now?”
What a great question!
I perceived that she was seeking to gain more insight into my world of sorrow, but I also appreciated that inherent in her question was an understanding that EVERYTHING in my life has shifted, right down to how I gauge each moment.
Her question touched me, but it also stumped me. I had no answer for her.
On my former scale, before Jud’s body began to be destroyed by Krabbe disease, I was unacquainted with profound pain and suffering, so even my worst days previously were better than my best days currently. Such a radical shift to the base of my scale has made it particularly difficult now to gain a pulse on my days.
Thinking about it since, I have surmised that I am at my worst when my grief disables me; there are moments when my tremendous sorrow leaves me paralyzed and unable to function. Other days that are extremely rough entail a deep heaviness that penetrates the core of my being but coincides with an emotional flatness.
Conversely, I have found that my better days do not demand freedom from sadness, but rather involve an ability to engage the pain without being overrun by it.
My best days, and I have had a handful of decent days, have involved an intermingling of joy and sorrow where joy has even outweighed my agony.
I expect that the rest of my life will entail a co-mingling of joy and sorrow, seeing as Jud’s absence will always be felt. However, with the progression of time I anticipate, and even hope, that joy, though it can never erase my pain, may become more and more prevalent.