“The eye that now sees me will see me no longer; you will look for me, but I will be no more. As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so he who goes down to the grave does not return. He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.”
Tomorrow we complete our thirteenth month since Becky died. I still find myself thinking that she lives, hiding off near Spokane so busy that it is hard to talk to her. I miss her in my bones. Even though I still find myself thinking that she lives, at the same time I know in the deepest unconscious places of my being that she doesn’t. And I know in my soul that today she lives in an altered state that I have yet to attain.
We are all beginning to live again in tentative measured ways. Joni is out with a friend tonight as she was last night. She’s taken on a new role at church doing a tech job for our Worship ministry. She still hurts both in missing Becky and in seeing life go on and carve new channels without Becky. She is altered in this loss – not the Joni I once new, but deeper and clothed in sorrow.
Kristin is aware of arriving at knowing. She knows that Becky is gone and she can no longer avoid or deny that fact. She doesn’t feel the need to cry or the constant sharp pain of grief, but she does feel an ache of loneliness for this little sister that she loved. She too hurts to see life carve new channels without Becky even as she takes joy that it does so.
Steve continues to mourn Becky, but he is now able to take a day off without spending the day on the verge of or immersed in tears. He has gained compassion for the losses of others and will ever find it impossible to say ‘no’ to a plea for help by a fellow griever.
I am a different person than I was on December 28, 2010. I cry easily now. Tears flow at a scripture reading that pierces my heart; at a friend’s deep sorrow over a tragedy in her sister’s life; at a sunset; at a character struggle in someone I love; in the midst of worship; when I dust Becky’s picture. Tears are now a part of who I am. I long for the Lord to return or at least to be with Him. No more tears. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more death. Longing.
Jacob and the girls have found a new normal, but still struggle to find home. Home just isn’t right because the heart of home is gone. Jacob is tasting what it means to move on, but it feels strange to him.
And life goes on. This is bittersweet. When someone so well loved is gone, it feels like everything should stop in acknowledgement of the magnitude of the loss. How awful would that be? I’m appalled at the swift current of time and blessed at the speed with which we move toward the Lord’s return. It is hard to see life happening without Becky and would hurt horribly more if all of our lives stopped. In the course of our healing I can almost see a day when life will feel right again although always tinged with missing Becky. And so, taking one step at a time, we wait toward that day.
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalms 27:13-14
I, too, am waiting toward that day…
Ahh, so much to take in Claudia. You are an amazing woman that God has given an amazing gift of expressing the most moving thoughts. There is so much there today that touches me and I will need to ponder it all. Thank you so much for sharing your grief/blessing journey with us all. Love you, Trudy
Thank you for continuing to share your heartfelt thoughts, Claudia. God often prompts me to pray for you and your family – especially in the night or early morning. Oh, how he loves you – and me. A long distant hug, Jean
Claudia, you have such a beautiful way of writing. It helps us all to have a glimpse of understanding and your words are so illustrative that the emotions are almost palpable. Somehow the way you articulate how you, and those around you, are feeling makes me more aware of the different facets of grief. I remember you telling me of each of your three daughters when we sat together in the church in Portland, waiting for the concert to begin. Your love for each of them was so clear then and is even more special and poignant now. Thank you for sharing your “gleanings.”
Heidi – so nice to ‘see’ you in the blog comments! I had forgotten about that Casting Crowns concert, but you’ve brought it back. I can remember talking to you about the girls. Casting Crowns is one of Becky’s favorite groups — they are such wonderful worship leaders! My hope and prayer is that these Gleanings will help others as they grieve and help those not in grief, but within the circle of another’s grief, to be able to support in a deeper way. Suburban and the broader body of Christ have been so loving toward me and Steve and completely willing to let us go through the grief experience as it comes to us. I also know from talking to others that this experience isn’t always the norm. There are grievers who have to stuff their feelings at some time because others think their grief should be done. I’ve said it before — grief will not be domesticated — it is what it is and those of us in it have little control over when it takes us. Thanks for your love and understanding — you are a blessing to me!