Grief can be surprising.  It can pounce on you when you don’t expect it and it can lay low when you expect it to be high.  And anything in between.

I hesitantly expected the day of Marisa’s birthday to be okay since, for the past ‘big days’ such as birthdays and anniversary, it seemed that the lead up to the day was more difficult than the day.

And again, I was surprised.

Marisa’s birthday came.  ZJZ were allowed to buy a present to ‘celebrate’.  I didn’t really know what to do.  I was out of sorts because for Jacoba’s present, I even allowed her to buy plastic, made-in-china junk.  I was off my game. 

We went to visit Her grave.

(and I can not believe that I would ever have to write ‘we went to visit Her grave’.)

I took pictures.  Of the kids together, and of the kids by themselves.  Zekijah gave her huge smile in one of the pictures while she stood beside Marisa’s stone.

A beautiful, healthy two-year-old standing beside her dear mother’s grave and smiling for a camera.

That seems wrong.

We had some family over at night.  My parents, Marisa’s parents and Marisa’s sister and her family.

What do you do?  What do you talk about?  Do you eat pizza and talk about how difficult it is to live without Marisa and how much we miss Her?  Do you talk about the real, thick, pain that fills us when we think that Marisa will never turn 34?  Do you talk about how scary this journey would be without faith in a new heaven and a new earth?  Do you show emotion on how living without Marisa is just that, living without Marisa?

YES.  That is exactly what we should do.