There are still times when I feel my soul clench.
I never know when it will come, I can't predict when the grief will sneak back in.
Sometimes I catch and hold back a sob when my son hugs my neck fiercely.
Sometimes I have to pause in the midst of a store and breathe through reverberating sadness, unexepectedly caused by charming pictures of my son with his paternal grandfather.
Sometimes I have to release the anger and shame that roils in my deep places when people ask "are you married?" and I answer "I was."
Life IS better.
Sometimes my son hugs my neck and I swing him around and I feel only brimming-over love.
Sometimes I pause and laugh delightedly at charming pictures, rejoicing that Gareth is loved so well (exceedingly well) by Cliff's family.
Sometimes I can answer difficult questions without flinching, resting peacefully in my choices.
Life is BETTER.
But I cannot escape grief, because whenever it rises to the surface of the waters of my spirit it is a sign that I have work yet to do. That I have healing yet to pursue.
LIFE is better. And partly it is better because I have learned to take grief in my hands and let it be, to let it ebb and flow and to not fight it's part in my life. Because the halting sobs, the scattered tears, the aching sadness, the swirling anger, they are necessary. They are purging acts, leaching poison from within me.
I am in the midst of better days, days which are framed in what has been. Days which are not leashed to what was. Days which are drawn forward by the Spirit into what will be.
Life is better. Even if life will always encompass these moments of grief.