“When is the man going to stop whining, Mom?” my son asked, gesturing towards the disembodied voice coming from the car stereo. It’s the sound of our GPS giving us directions, and admittedly, it’s annoying. I grit my teeth against the irritation building inside because truthfully, I have no idea where I’m going. It tugs at my nerves insistently as it grates. I look up in the rearview mirror at my son, force a smile and shrug.
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t always know where I’m going. I need help sometimes, like anyone else. I need that voice to guide me. I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like admitting that I don’t know what to do. I hate being so dependent; it makes me feel so weak. I wish I could guide us myself, but I can’t. It’s uncomfortable but that’s just how it is right now. We are at an unfamiliar part of our journey, and we have to do what we can with what we have.
Those moments driving into the unknown remind me of our current reality, on the verge of grief once more. We have loved and lost as a family too many times this year, but the road we travel has not become any more familiar. It remains cloaked in a fog, twisting and turning in mysterious ways. We brace ourselves for the coming loss of another beloved family member. We don’t know when we will enter the darkness again. All we can do is trust the maps made by those who have come before.
Grief is a place I don’t know how to guide us through. We have had to reach out to others to help us process things and as gracious as our guides have been, it’s been vulnerable. It’s hard to admit to your kid that you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s tough to accept that the best you can do is to promise to find someone who does and relay their instructions.
We listen to the voice that reminds us we have no idea where we are going or what we are doing. I look into the rearview mirror at my little boy and remember that even if we don’t know the way, at least we are going together. Maybe we don’t have all the answers now, but maybe we don’t need to. Maybe we just need to let go and listen to the folks that do and know we are in good hands. I will never be Grief’s tour guide, but I will be my son’s travelling companion always, and it’s his voice that tugs at my heart.