I saw my Hospice counselor today....
And then hugged again.
"How are you doing?" She asked.
"I am confusingly okay," I responded. "Really, I keep thinking, I shouldn't be walking. I shouldn't be driving, I shouldn't be smiling, laughing. I should be in a dark room, in dark clothes."
"I should be inconsolable.....mourning the loss of my child. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, to become hysterical, incapacitated, hopelessly sad...but it hasn't happened."
"You said the same thing when Samantha was alive." She said.
"When you first came in here. You said you were afraid that caring for a special needs child would find you joyless, sad, mourning for what should have been. You said you kept waiting for this to happen, to become hysterical, incapacitated....you didn't understand how you still found joy."
"Heather," she said, "you still found joy...in spite of everything, you found joy."
I played with my frayed Kleenex.
"It just doesn't feel right to find it now....it surprises me when joy jumps out. It just keeps popping up; a hummingbird, a smell, a laugh with friends, a kiss, a sweet reminder of her. The hole in our life and the emptiness is palpable but somehow we still find little pockets of joy. It makes me confusingly okay."
"Are you okay with the confusion?" She asked.
"I guess so."
"Then embrace the joy."