Death has taken center stage in my life. It is as if death owns me, governs my every move. Ambition is gone and goal-setting a thing of the past. Most of the time I haven’t the energy to do much more than get out of bed. In a perverse way I’m comforted to see others responding to Becky’s death in a similar manner. I have this inner diagram that puts those impacted by Becky’s death on concentric circles of grief. I see Jake and the girls as at ground zero, Steve, my girls and me at the closest possible next circle, other family and dear friends at the next circle, those who love us at the next circle, and on and on. As I’ve interacted with those on the inner circles of grief we’ve reacted much the same way. My sister told me that she’s lost herself. The job that she once loved and for which she expended a limitless supply of energy no longer seems important. She can hardly bring herself to go to work because work seems trivial. She and her husband are going away for a week, a vacation planned long ago, and she hopes to find herself again.
It takes discipline to get through the days now. I get up; I go through the motions required even accomplishing tasks that are productive. It just feels like the heart has gone out of me. But with this reality, there are glimmers of the old drive manifesting in a new way that tell me that this phase of grief won’t last forever. I feel a compulsion to journal – that is a very new thing for me, something I’ve not been able to do consistently in the past. One of our daughters has been asked to teach at a Women’s Retreat the second weekend of April. Becky’s death is motivating her as to what to teach – a new thing in her life. And in so many others I see that ‘one thing’ that is changing in response to this deep loss. And often it seems the ‘one thing’ is not only healing to the one engaging in the activity, it is pouring streams of life into others.
My heart goes out in loving prayer to Jacob and the girls as they discipline themselves to figure out each new day how to live without Becky. Theirs is the lion’s share of loss and therefore of disciplined trudging forward. They are ever in my prayers.
“You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Ps 18:28
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca (Valley of Tears), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob.” Psalms 84:5-8