Over the weekend I watched Cake, with Jennifer Aniston. I don’t want to give the story away, but Jennifer Aniston’s character is in chronic pain after a terrible accident that left her very injured and her son dead.
The film doesn’t focus a lot on her son’s death, but rather the life she is living post-accident (or not really living, rather), and the family (husband and son) of a woman she met in her chronic pain support group who committed suicide.
There’s a moment in the movie where Jennifer Aniston’s character goes into her son’s room, a room she clearly tries to avoid. It is mostly unchanged, aside from some boxes of clothing packed up. As she swung open the door to the room, I felt myself go back to the first time I looked in the nursery after Joanna died.
This half-painted room, a crib still boxed up, mattress still wrapped, dresser in the middle of the room. No blinds or curtains over the window. Unfinished.
At first going in the nursery always felt sad. My stomach would drop and the tears would well up. This incomplete space that was supposed to hold the greatest miracle, now, still, empty, not to be filled with our firstborn. I would hesitate to open the door. Once I did make it inside, I would open the closet and look at the items packed away, never to be used by Joanna. I would stand by the window and cry, wishing I could sit in a rocker and cuddle her.
One morning, though, as I had not closed the door all the way the last time I had visited the room, the sun was shining through the window and lit up the space around the door so if looked like it glowed. A little bit of light traveled across the hall floor to just about where I was standing. The light invited me to the room. As I walked in, the warm morning sun touched my face and the whole room felt bright and alive. It felt like the light was telling me to have hope – that this nursery would be finished someday. That another baby would come someday. That it is OK to miss Joanna as much as we do, but that she will always be remembered and cherished.
So many times since I have gone into the nursery and sat in the morning sun. Lately the nursery has been a sanctuary. I talk to Joanna. I pray for further healing. Sometimes I just cry. I talk to God about my brokenness, about my hope for another child.
Walking into the room today, I think I am ready to finish painting.
4 thoughts on “Walking into the Room”
All I can say is…I love you. I pray for strength and hope to finish the room and pray constantly for a little one to occupy it.
“The light invited me to the room.” It did! So beautifully written ~ how the ray of hope presents itself and asks us in. Maybe we can grieve the past and prepare with hope for the future also. Keep your heart open and feel all of it. The devastation and the blessings. It WILL get more gentle. Maybe the room, like us, can hold both the dark AND the light. Sending painting angels. xo
I’m so grateful you shared that special space with me in January. The nursery is a beautiful room, comfortable and full of love. And hope. Definitely hope. It will always be partly Joanna’s room, shared with babies yet to come. I’m so excited that you’re feeling ready to finish painting. Sending daily prayers for continued healing and peace for you, dearest friend. Also sending all of my love. Can you feel that hug too?
I feel every hug! ❤️