“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Since Becky’s death I’ve been surprised to find that Becky’s absence from my life is much more pervasive than was her presence. When Becky lived her adult life I rarely saw her. She was hundreds of miles away and immersed in a demanding academic program. Her life as wife and mother would’ve been enough to limit our contact, but add school and we spoke only every other week or so. We got to see each other at holidays, before or after our annual Grandmapa Camp, and at those times when Jacob and Becky needed help to meet the demands of their schedules. Even though I seldom saw Becky there was a Becky underlay to my life. I knew where she was and for the most part what she was doing. I knew she was stressed, but OK. I knew she was busy and involved, but that I could touch base with her fairly quickly via email or Facebook or phone. Becky was absent, but ever present.
But now Becky is gone. In reality many of the statements I made in the prior paragraph still apply. She is far away and immersed in another life. She is still an underlay to my life – she will always be my middle daughter. I know she is OK and, in fact, happier than I can imagine. But the undeniable reality is that I have no means to communicate with her. I can’t email her or call her or Facebook her or go to see her. There is a Becky absence in my life.
When Becky was present I rarely thought of her with longing. When I knew she was struggling with something I prayed frequently for her, but in general my thoughts were at peace about her. Now it is as if there is a Becky program playing continually in my brain. I long to see her and speak to her again. So many crazy little things remind me of her. I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Sisters, Oregon as I write this and a couple of minutes ago someone said the word ‘pharmacy’ in a conversation behind me – a conversation of which I wasn’t even aware until that word cropped up. Immediately I thought of Becky. This continual Becky trigger feels like the heightened response that comes when something threatens me and adrenaline is injected into my body. This is emotional adrenaline and it has been active now for five months. I’m weary and I’m ready for it to stop.
Do I want to forget Becky? No way. I never want to lose my memories of Becky. But I do want to lose the automatic physical, emotional, and mental response to all things remotely related to her. I take hope in the fact that person after person who has lost a child to death assures me that my grief will change. I will always miss Becky and mourn what might have been, but there will come a day when missing Becky is more routine and grief is not so readily triggered. I look forward to that day.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
Yes. I wonder when that constant feeling of tears will go away. Funny, though, I didn’t feel it as much when Joni was here yesterday…and we talked about Becky.
I am kind of starting to understand why people like to visit cemeteries this weekend. I used to think it was strange and something I wouldn’t ever want to do. I used to think I wouldn’t want a headstone or anything to mark my existence when I die. Now I just want a place to go. A way to remind everyone else and say, “oh Becky, I remember.”
Kristin – I completely understand. I’ve never thought to look for the living among the dead — never really thought I wanted or needed a ‘place’ to go to visit Mom for instance. But for whatever reason Becky’s death has also left me wanting a place to visit. We really do miss her at our core, don’t we? Love you Sweetie!
I really like this format, it easier for me to read as well….Thanks!
Good to hear Janine! Thanks for the feedback.
The saying is true “Absense makes the heart grow fond”. I sometimes see Casey or Kelli every few weeks and sometimes for as long as a month or two when they’re in Europe or living in Wilsonville. What makes losing Becky so hard is that when you’d really love to talk to her you can’t and Casey and Kelli are just a phone call and a moment away. We love you!
Love you too Toni! — Oh, and Jim! Keep in touch with those girls, they are delights. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
I have had seasons of high emotion in my life, sometimes good and sometimes not-so-good. It is very tiring and always a relief when life settles back down again. I pray for His peace to come over you more and more every day. Not that you forget Becky or how much you love her, that will never happen. But in loving and missing her, a more even rhythm that does not steal your energy. I love you!
Thanks for the prayers Cindy! Love you!