Friday, May 16, 2014

Life Goes On

It's 10 days since the phone call came. My mind still feels numb in places. It still doesn't feel real that I am now one of those people - the ones who have sat in a Funeral Home with their family making plans; the ones who have mechanically gone through the motions of eating the abundant food provided by caring people; the ones who have stood for 3 hours shaking hands and sharing hugs and laughter and tears until their legs feel like they're going to sleep; the ones who have gathered with family in a close huddle to gaze at their loved ones still face for the last time; the ones who have held their children's sobbing bodies close, had their own sobbing body held close, and watched their lonely parent's sobbing body.

And how, pray tell, is this also the person that has felt true thankfulness and joy and peace? Who has felt blessed by so many caring and awed by so many wanting to show their honor? Who's faith has been uplifted and strengthened by hearing their lonely parent's voice (as always, in every experience of our lives) lifted in a prayer of thanks and acceptance of His Plan?

Is it any wonder that my children probably feel like their mother is here only in body? That emails have been read backwards and too many things forgotten? That keeping the house and cooking and something as simple as getting everyone to bed just seems to take more effort than is possible to muster?

What am I doing here, so many miles away from the people who have to face the emptiness every.single.moment? How is it fair for me to go on with life and expect them to take care of everything, sort it out, learn to live? How does it make sense to tell all the caring people who ask "How are you?" that I'm ok? Or, for that matter, that I'm NOT??

How silly is this anyway? We all know good and well that no one is living forever. That when we marry our best friend, sometime one of us will have to go on alone. This stuff isn't a secret - some big, shocking surprise God suddenly springs on us! Mom lived a long, full life - 70 years and 50 of them happily married is nothing to sneeze at! In the last number of years she was quietly laying down more and more abilities. Quietly accepting being unable to do a lot of the things she loved. I am so, so happy she didn't have to go on doing that until nothing was left! There is no way in the world that I could wish her back to this broken world - if I had a wish, it might be that the two of them could have slipped peacefully away together hand in hand, but I could not wish her back. Still, she's gone. Gone.

All I can say to the conflicting of emotion and the little sense that it all makes is: I am human. I live in a fallen world. All of these feelings are real, all of them ok in their place. It is impossible that we know Joy without also knowing pain, there would be no dawn without the night, and how could we know true happiness without the contrast of deep sorrow? After all, there is no rainbow without the rain!

Emotions are confusing, feelings fickle, but I'm still as sure as ever that *I* know there is a God, and He is good.


Rachel Dawn said...

Ahh. I understand.

Bethany Eicher said...

Ahh. And it's good to know there are those who truly do! You are one of those.

Sharon Mast said...

I ache within when I think of you all, knowing that your grief has only begun. Blessings and hugs!

Judith Lapp said...

yes, bethany, conflicting emotions... good and hard, peace and sorrow... is so much a part of this journey... God be with you, for only in are we able to keep on and to live.
praying for you as you walk this journey. love to you.