I Don’t Know What To Do With This

Confession: I Don’t Know.

Do you ever clean house and find something you can’t throw away, but aren’t sure where it should go?

That’s where I’m at right now. I don’t know what to do with this.

Harlynn love

A Decade Since

It’s been an entire decade since our daughter passed away. Since we were thrown into the bereaved parent club. Ten years, yet it feels so much closer than that.

I can still smell the hospital room. Still feel the weight of the nurse placing her in my arms. I can still see the snow falling outside – huge, gentle flakes, floating softly to the ground.

Pastor Mike, sitting across from us in our living room talking about funeral plans is as vivid a memory as it was just yesterday. Tiff walking up my driveway, after having driven from Wyoming, just to be there. Michelle in the back room of the funeral home, setting up her camera.

But I’m not there. I’m not in that ten-years-ago spot. No matter how close it feels, I am here, ten years later, somewhere else.

I’m holding on to this, though – the memories, feelings, unresolved thoughts – and I don’t know what to do with it.


Just as if I were cleaning house, I pick it up and move it from spot to spot. When I don’t feel like it’s benefitting one particular spot, I find somewhere else to set it. Inevitably, it will get picked up again, shuffled around, pondered over, and set back down again.

Because I don’t know what to do with this.

In January, the weight of this year marking a decade since Harlynn died weighed heavily on me. I found the burden of that realization leaking through my eyelids for several days in a row.

Here it is April, however, and I’m more bewildered than burdened.

I Don’t Know What To Do With This

Time does not heal all wounds, but it does change them. The more time that passes, the less clear I am on what to do with what we’ve been through.

I’ve been asked what we’ll do on her birthday. We don’t have any set plans. Perhaps we’ll have cupcakes and candles. Maybe we’ll take a family walk if the weather allows. For all one knows, I’ll shut myself up in the bedroom all day, incapable of facing the reality of it all.

I know this much: in spite of the agony and heartache, I am still grateful we were the ones destined to be Harlynn’s family.

I don’t know what to do with this. For what it’s worth, however, I’m also completely comfortable picking it up often and marveling over the confusion of it all. It’s been shuffled around in the folds of my heart for ten years.

I suppose I don’t have to know what to do with it. I just have to know it’s my mess to sort through every now and then.

3 Replies to “I Don’t Know What To Do With This”

  1. Thought of you all on Harlynn’s 10th bday. I know the exact feelings you are feeling about what to do with it. I wasn’t sure either. I wanted to do something with the kids and for us all to get away, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it was a quiet dinner with cake and singing happy birthday. It wasn’t what a quite had in mind, but to be honest, I’m not super sure WHAT I had in mind!! Time is a thief.

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