Friday, July 11, 2008

He's been gone a month today...

When the Psalmist talks about walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he knew it was a journey. One doesn't just walk into it; one walks through it. Whether you are the person who is doing the dying, passing from this life to eternity, or if you are a family member or friend who has lost someone in death, we must all walk through that dark Valley at one time or another. I am thankful that while I am in the midst of it, "I will fear no evil. The Lord is with me."

I can't believe my father has been gone for nearly three weeks.* The first ten days after he died were so busy with traveling to and from funerals and then spending some much-needed time with my family, that I don't think my deep grieving could begin until the dust settled a bit. The dust has settled, and I have entered fully into this process called grief. 

I cry every day. I’m fine one hour; the next, I’m in tears; and the next, I’m back to normal…it’s almost like letting steam out of a pressure cooker–releasing pressure in increments. I’m just having to accept that it’s not that I have moments of sadness–it’s that I’M SAD. I’m very sad, and I will be for as long as the sadness lasts. The sadness isn't paralyzing, but it is present. I know that it will get easier as time goes by, and that the sun will start to come out. But for now, I’m just sad, and that’s the way it is for this season.

When I asked my husband about losing his father, he told me that the hole is always there, but the edges around it heal and become less raw. In a way, I find that comforting, because even though the hole represents the loss of our loved ones, its enduring presence gives testimony to how much those people meant to us. They meant so much that their absence from our lives now will never go unnoticed. It won’t hurt as much, but we will always love and miss them. I don’t think I’d want it any other way.

*I wrote this post on Sunday, June 29th, in the midst of a week that I was really feeling sad. This week has been easier, and I'm honestly not sure why. Grief tends to come in waves for me, and I guess I'm just riding the waves as they come. For now, though, I'm enjoying a calmer sea. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for me and thinking about me. Your care and concern mean so much.


Dana Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing. There are many people praying for you and your family. I think the most difficult part of the grieving process is that "lull after the storm" when the people leave & we have to find a way to "return to normal life" although nothing is normal...

He'll never leave us nor forsake us... That brings me the greatest comfort and I'll pray that the "peace the passeth all understanding" settles upon you for good.

Take care and God bless

Cari said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers!!

Saucy said...

Grief takes you up and then down. It is such a personal journey but I have to say the first month goes by in a blur. I lost a son thirteen years ago and it still pangs from time to time, and every day, no matter what, he crosses my mind. Let it make you smile over time.

J at said...

I'm looking forward to what Saucy said, about thinking of my mom making me smile. Because she brought much joy to the world, and it will be nice to get to a point to truly appreciate that. But right now, I'm more sad than able to enjoy that feeling.

And this week is also a bit easier than last for me...

I'm thinking of you. And I like Husby's metaphor of the hole, and how its presence gives testimony. Makes me feel a tiny bit better about it being there.

Michael and Abby said...

You hang in there friend. You are doing great...missed you yesterday at Sunday School but hope you guys are doing well.
How's about a BBQ? Email to come. Also, you guys should definitely join us on our next snorkeling adventure!
Love ya!!
*and thanks for being such a faithful reader and commentor on my little "wanna be" blog =)

Professor J said...

My mother died about four and a half years ago. I still get the occasional wave of grief. You might consider reading the epic Gilgamesh. It was written 2500 years ago, and it describes that journey through the valley of the shadow beautifully.