Connected in Grief

Why is it that tragic news of a dear loved one has so many layers as we take it all in?

First there is the shocking disbelief that something so horrific could even happen.  But it did and it does.  The impact is not yet realized on this one for sure.

My beloved and I prayed several times as the news unfolded across the evening:  the details coming forth slowly, leaving more questions than answers tonight.

Then a little later when simply lying with my beloved for refreshment triggered my own symptoms of ongoing illness, the tears started to flow alas but not for me this time.

The words of bad news, of new loss and the crisis of loved ones unfolding hath opened  up old wounds from my own times like these in the past, when I had to travel quickly into a very painful unknown.

I cried some more.  Oh how I miss my little brother so!  I talked to him in the hospital when he was yet drunk and in the DTs of alcohol withdrawal.  Little did I know that he would become unconscious and pass away within 2 days thereafter of alcohol toxicity, multiple organ system failure.

Quickly my late Mother made travel arrangements for my brother and I, with me still shell-shocked from my former husband’s departure and death of my grandmother within 24 hours of each other, just 5 months earlier.  Travelling for another funeral out of state and into a lifestyle much different from my own was a culture shock on one level, a new loss to grieve, and a return to the drama of my childhood as well.  Oh how I wish I could have re-written it all!

My brother’s Memorial Service was bizarre:  held in the bar of a bowling alley with his people, his friends albeit fitting yet inappropriate just the same.  I wrote about it three years ago when I thought about the star that now holds the ashes of his once tender heart.  Many details are painful to recall here and to do so would be disrespectful to the memory of my now deceased Mother who was grieving in her own unusual manner at the loss of her son.  It was a painful experience for all of us to endure back then.  Some more sorrow got released tonight as it all came back to me again.

Robert, Rob, Lech, Colorado, Palmer Lake, deceased, brother

My little brother Rob. Love you and miss you Robbie!

My Intended Beloved had memories of his own to share this evening from the death of his sister, his late brother-in-law, and a distant relative too.  We don’t know how the current tragedy will fare as the night draws on into daylight for one weary family holding on, their loved one slipping further and further away from them.  Please join me in praying for each precious one.  The Lord knows who they are and what they need.  I don’t know either but one thing that I do know is this:  we do suddenly become connected to our brothers and sisters in Christ, even all in humanity when we tap into the suffering that goes on in life.  I do pray the Lord’s supernatural intervention in the situation at hand.  Only He can go beyond the layers which we now feel, we now see.

And in this we can all rest, Gentle Reader.  For the shortest verse of our Bible reminds us of His humanity too, His sharing and caring in our times of grief.  For Jesus wept too.  JJ

Jesus wept, John, 11:35, grief, Christian, suffering, crying out to the Lord, shortest verse

It’s all I have left

I hit another wall today:  one that reminded me of my inability to control or think my way out of pretty much anything.  Have you been there?

Amassed in noxious symptoms after finally venturing out of the house on my own today, I had thought things were going pretty well earlier.  I was becoming sicker so I came home to unpack my stuff from some errands and rest a while before making dinner.  Losing the next 3 hours in bed after coming home was not what I expected.  After all, I am getting better right?  Well I’m not sure just yet.

Sometimes a person just has to stay focused on a moment as small as one breath in time.  At least I could breathe this time when the “non-epileptic seizures” hit.  Gratefully I had my phone with me and the app for Harvest Fellowship  messages would fill my mind with the Word of God.  When there was a break in the action I could get it going, listen, and maybe relax.  The darkness of my spirit lifted somewhat as Pastor Paul Mowery began to speak.  I missed my husband who was away at the midweek church service.  To text him to please come home did cross my mind.  But then I realized that the One I really needed was already here . . .

I cried out to the Lord and He met me there in that dark bedroom refuge.  Our pastor’s words from the Book of John about abiding in the love of Jesus Christ filled me like a cup of warm cocoa running through my veins.  Then when the recorded message began with a recounting of the disciples “visibly shaking” as Jesus teaches of His upcoming death, resurrection, and perfect peace I lost it.   The seizure-like attacks had already been in a continuous pattern of havoc for over  30 minutes.  “Visibly shaking?”  Yeah.  I get it.  Only I am not only afraid.  I am sad.  I am grieving the loss of so much with this illness.  I am broken.

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14)

Yesterday I said to a friend on Facebook that the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”  The God of the universe was displaying His human compassion for the death of a friend and for the terrible wretchedness that we must endure in our earthly lives.  I shared this to encourage her that the Lord sees her pain over the death of friends or their loved ones recently.  This verse speaks to me today too.  My Lord sees my suffering, so much loss (i.e. time, money, fellowship, activities, health, fitness, and intimacy with my husband), heartache, and weakness.  He grieves yet He knows my heart and loves me more than I can ever know.  He is not the God of this world so there will be pain and suffering in this world.  No one escapes these.  Jesus Himself will come again in glory and gather those who know Him to be with Him through all of eternity.  When I die I will see Him and be in His glorious presence forever.  And while I am still here, I know that He will use all of this for my good and His glory too:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.   (Romans 8)

Right now I don’t feel as bad as I did earlier this evening.  It’s very early in the morning and I feel like some things got worked out this evening.  It’s as if my Lord and King has me cradled gently in the shadow of His wings and that’s a great place to be for restful sleep.  All of the other things that I write about in this blog (my eBook, online jewelry) should never take the focus off of what and Who is most important in my life.  Jesus rocks!

Very simply I’ll close with this:  I love you Lord Jesus Christ and I want everyone who reads this to know you too.  After all, when I do take my last breath it will be all that I have left.  Gentle Reader:  how about you?  JJ