I see how grief has etched itself permanently across my face so that even when I smile--and I do smile, and laugh--it is apparent that the expression is merely passing through a larger landscape of pain and sorrow and loss. Or so it seems to me. I believe that Corey knows how hard we all are trying to be okay with the loss of her, to find a way to not believe that we have lost her, and I often stand in front of her photographs on the altar at the end of my hallway and say, "I'm trying, honey, I'm trying. I'm trying to get there."
Today I am in St. Louis, Missouri, where it seems that no one cares about offering real cream or milk for coffee: it is Coffeemate all the way, everywhere, the neat containers of non-dairy liquid that makes coffee and tea turn white; nevermind what is in that stuff. In fact, whatever is in it is not required to be listed on the label of each tablespoon-sized plastic pot; the label is reserved mainly to be sure you know that it is in fact the tried-and-true Nestle's Coffeemate.
Something good happened last Saturday. I cannot speak of it yet, because I am waiting for it to become more real. But I feel a part of me agreeing to make a shift towards a certain kind of love that perhaps God has finally decided to sprinkle over this spring.
My seatmate on the plane coming out here spoke of her grandchildren and said, "I will live on in them." And it is true that we will live on in unseen ways; Corey lives on in our memories of her. She lives in my heart, whether I am in flat, dry, Missouri or wet, rocky Appalachia.