Archive for October, 2009

God Of All Comfort?

For the third week in a row, I considered missing Sunday morning service. To my mind though, the god who had shaped my childhood with legalism would not be pleased if I did.

I was still staggering through the early stages of grief and had spent half the night tossing and turning over the reality of Bill’s death. I was exhausted. Church was a half hour’s drive away. I would be going it alone. My road vision wasn’t great even in the best weather, and now fresh-falling snow hid yesterday’s black ice.

I could overcome these obstacles. Others did. I got in my car and slid through the back streets. After I turned onto the highway, I was blinded not once, but twice by passing semis throwing slush on my windshield. “Oh God, protect me…”
I turned my car and my heart around, and returned home to the God of all comfort.

I wrapped up in a quilt on my sofa and watched the snowflakes swirling outside my window. I felt safe, sheltered and…loved.

What is your perception of God? Does He seem far away? As close as your breath? How is He speaking to you in your loss?

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Through dying, my husband taught me how to live.

While Bill lay paralyzed in a hospital bed, I watched in amazement as he lifted the one hand he could still move, in praise to God. Everything was in God’s hands. In spite of Bill’s pain, depression and sorrow, he was at peace.

Not me. I wrestled with God. I argued with the doctors: “Bill can’t be dying. He’s a Marathon runner.” I brought him food when he no longer wanted to eat. I lifted him into his wheelchair and took him to the physical therapy he could no longer do. After his death, I ignored the reality of the grass settling in over his grave and kicked against the pricks of the irreversability of my loss. I carried on with life as usual…and then some.

I wore myself out.

Finally, as Bill had done before me, I hobbled on useless knees and fell headlong into the outstretched hands of God.

And found rest.

What legacy has your loved one passed on to you? How has this brought you comfort?

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On Missing The Missing

It’s been seven years since my husband died. You’d think I’d no longer miss him.

Not so.

My daughter, in her Running With Dad blog,
(http://runningwithdad.blogspot.com/2009/06/varying-sadness.html) speaks about missing her dad even more now, as life goes on without him. “It’s with a quiet and reflective sadness though,” she states, “rather than the chaotic, chokng sadness of the early years.”

I’m relieved I still miss Bill. I thought I would forget him. I feared I would forget him. Instead, there are times I can see him in my mind, if only for a moment. The tiniest detail comes through. Like the whiskers growing on his face when he was too sick near the end, to be shaved. I can almost feel the stubble covering the dimple in his cheek I was drawn to over forty years ago, when we were dating… I recall his unique sense of humor. I laugh again over how he, a dedicated runner, would try to justify his running through a sports injury with, “I’ll either get better, get worse, or stay the same.”

And I know once more, why I loved him and how blessed I am to have had him in my life.

A small comfort in the midst of a big loss.

What long ago and far away memories of your loved one have you seen in your mind’s eye? Do they help, or is the hurt still too raw?

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Welcome. This blog is a place to share about the person in your life whose death has left you with a gaping hole in your heart, and staggering in the 70 mile/hour winds.

After my husband died, I told my story over and over–often in excruciating detail–to friends, family, even strangers. Was I hoping it would help me make sense out of my many conflicting and erratic feelings? Not really. More important, talking about Bill somehow, for the moment, seemed to bring him closer.

Most of my confidants simply listened and offered hugs. Others, like Job’s comforters, gave me advice. “It’s time to move on now; it’s been three months.”

I soon learned when to keep quiet.

Tell me about the person you’ve lost. What’s the most hurtful advice you’ve been given? The most comforting?

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