The MISS Scale

November 5th. Yes…the 5th!

Ok…so, Christmas is on at our home. The tree is up, boxes are everywhere, and tinsel is already getting stuck to the bottoms of my feet. It’s nice…

After reflecting on whether or not I was emotional about the decorations (which kind of tells the story…I wasn’t sad because I had to think about it) I decided that I was more indifferent than anything. The decor warms the home and the kids are doing a good job placing everything, and I don’t feel a sense of sadness associated with the tree I dodge to get out the front door.

Maybe some of my fear of the holidays has been diffused? Maybe it just hasn’t “sunk in”… I will surely see rough patches before January rolls around. But, I am ready for whatever grief decides to throw at me. I’ve been practicing.

Events, stuff, and memories all seem to have a value that my mind assigns. It’s the Measure of Importance Sliding Scale, or MISS for short. Right after Jana died, everything was at it’s maximum MISS level. Everything was intensely important. Over time, different things associated with her began to drop in value.

For instance, sorting and putting stuff into totes and boxes for later review. At first, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at many of these items. Now, three months in, her things have a lower MISS rating, and I can pack up much of it. Her clothes and jewelry are still high enough on the scale, though, to hold onto and ensure nothing happens to them because they are very important to me.

Holidays are high on the MISS scale, too. At these times the memories will come flooding back of the many years we celebrated together. The higher Thanksgiving and Christmas are on my MISS scale will determine how difficult it will be for me.

One problem exists…I don’t really know where I have valued these holidays until I get into them. Then, after the celebrations, I can determine what the MISS score was by either how well I managed my grief or how badly I broke down.

At any rate, I hope you hear the levity in my writing today. Everyday is hard to get through without Jana. I do miss her badly. Life is getting better though. The clouds are beginning to lighten up, ever so slowly. God has extended grace to this helpless man…it is to Him I give all the glory.

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