Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Anticipating Grief

I can’t believe this is happening! Our hearts are still numb with the pain! One day we were laughing and joking together and now, we are ready to tear each other apart! How the choices of one can affect so many!

If only he would see what he is doing to the rest of us! How it hurts, to think of him being gone as well! Can we go on living, knowing that those we have loved and cared for are no longer here to share life’s most precious moments?

Can life be so cruel as to snatch another out from under us? Where is the fairness of a just God that would allow such an act! How can He be merciful and kind, when all around is pain, separation, and loss? Where is the promised balm of healing?

Surely there is a way, something we can do to prevent this. There must be, we just have to seek until we find it. Death cannot be the only way. We have to ask. Dear God, what can we do to keep him here just a little bit longer? We want to see him, to feel his love, to have his warmth and tenderness bless our lives.

What? Selfish? How can desiring love and acceptance be selfish? Oh, to have him stay in his condition would be selfish. It would meet our needs, but not his. Oh. He has finished his work here on this earth, and now it is time for him to return to Thee. How could I forget, it is not my will, but Thine, that is done.

Please forgive our shortsightedness! Please help us help him to be comfortable, to feel loved, and to be prepared to meet Thee. He is Thy child, waiting and ready to see Thee again. He is our friend, our mentor, our loved one. Oh, how we shall miss him!

Take him, Father, if it is Thy will that he go, take him. Don’t let him suffer needlessly. Take him and comfort him and be with him. We don’t want to see him suffer. What? We must? It is necessary for us to experience pain and suffering? How can that be just?!

I don’t understand. I am confused and frustrated. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, to scream or shout. I just know that my heart is being wrenched and torn! I want these feelings to go away! They are so difficult to experience! Please speak peace to my mind and heart!

Rest. Yes, that is what I need. I am weary. The work is not done, I know. I will try again tomorrow. It will be a new day. Perhaps, then, my mind will know what to think, and my heart will know how to feel.

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all right reserved.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Magic of Gratitude

Graphics courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The minutes turned into hours as I rolled over one more time and glared at the empty space in the bed beside me. Surely, he would be back by now. But then, again, perhaps something happened. I threw on some clothes, fired up the engine, and ventured forth into the darkness.

Which way would he have gone? If I go one way and he comes home another, I won’t find him. But then, again, perhaps I will find him, somewhere in a gutter, unconscious and bleeding. I just need to go, and pray that I will find him before it is too late!

The road seemed haunted as I started with every movement, every insignificant sign that there might be life somewhere in the darkness. The wind blew. The mice skittered across the road from one field to another. The night wore on, but there was still no sign of his vehicle anywhere.

Its three a.m. and I am back home, wondering, waiting, and worrying. Should I call the police? They will ask me if I tried to call. It’s been hours, but I will try again. Surely someone will hear my pleas and answer! “Hello? Thank goodness, a voice! Is he there? You mean he left hours ago? Where? I’ll give it a try!”

“Is that you? I’ve been so worried! What is happening?! Why haven’t you come home?! You thought I would be sleeping?! Who can sleep waiting and wondering?! At least you are safe! Thank God for that!”

Finally, blessed slumber claimed my fatigue. My soul was satisfied that I would see him once again in this life! The darkness of the night gradually faded away, replaced by the light of dawn.

How many times have we prayed for the safety and health of friends and loved ones? If you are like me, it is too many to count. The nights spent pacing the floor wondering, hoping, and praying that they would return again to our arms. We go through the stages of grief as we think of all the things that could happen.

Finally, as we enter the realm of acceptance that this might be the end, the door opens, and we embrace them with all the fervor of a long lost soul. What changed? Only moments earlier, we were angry that they were so insensitive and uncaring as to not call and let us know what was happening! We were ready to dole out punishment that would last a lifetime.

The magic of gratitude changes our hearts the instant we grab hold of the realization that there is good in the situation. They are alive! They have returned to us in the moment that we thought was forever lost. Gratitude allows the daylight to penetrate even the darkest nights of our lives.

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fear is the Foundation of Faith

Hospital waiting rooms are sacred places. Life hovers there between this world and the next, and we gather with our loved ones, waiting, hoping, and praying, that we will be spared heartache and sorrow, at least for a brief moment of time.

We examine our lives in an effort to find some morsel of goodness that we can use to bargain with God. We tell Him that we are willing and able to be a better spouse, parent, and friend, knowing deep in our hearts that no matter what we do, His will trumps ours.

We humble ourselves before the Almighty, realizing that we are less than the dust of the earth, that He knows all, sees all, and has all power to bring miracles to pass. We have seen them in the lives of others, and hope beyond all earthly reasoning, that we might experience one for ourselves.

The minutes turn into hours, and the hours into eternities as we wait for some good word from the operating physician that our loved one is all right, that we can have hope of a full recovery. Only then, do we relax our vigil of fear and ceaseless petitioning in their behalf.

It is in our most difficult moments, when we are brought to our knees, that we realize there must be a power beyond our own that is able to save us from the unfortunate circumstances in which we find ourselves. Even the most devout atheist, when faced with his or her own death or that of a close loved one, is brought to admit that there must be something beyond this life.

Fear makes us question our mortality, our limitations, and our simple human ability. We realize that there must be a power beyond our own. If there is, what is it? Is it a nebulous “force” with no human attributes or compassion? We have to find out. We humble ourselves to the dust, admitting that we are powerless, and plead that we might know for ourselves.

The answer comes. We see things we did not see before. We feel things we did not feel before. We find within ourselves a spark of light that begins to grow and fill our souls. We find that we are loved in ways we have never known before. We feel concern for the welfare of others and realize that we were made for something more.

No matter what happens, fear has formed the foundation of a faith that lasts a lifetime. We know and understand who we are, why we are here, and where we go after we leave here. In our extremity, we turned to God, and realized that within ourselves, our fear has become acquainted with our faith!

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.