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16 weeks


This is week sixteen.

Last week I didn't enter my thoughts about the week; Thursday came and went with me being both sick with a cold, and working hard on a problem with a recalcitrant test. I wonder if my coding skills are grown rusty or something - and then I think, perhaps it's that I cannot focus as intensely on it as I should be able to do.
I visited my Stephen Minister that evening and found that I was hungry to talk but he seemed not comfortable talking about the feelings I wanted to discuss, and I decided perhaps we need to become better friends or at least know more about one another before getting into that kind of sharing. I really shouldn't be using my own training to subvert the path of this counseling.

Since Easter and the intensity of emotion I felt then, things have been much muted, and I was afraid something had happened to drain away that part of my life.

Silly foomf. I was on healing team Sunday. That's where one of the clergy waits in a transept to the side of the altar, and after communion is served we can go to ask for prayer for healing. Two laity join the clergy in prayer and laying on of hands.

Three weeks after Penny died, another friend died of Alzheimer's, after a 3 year decline. We both knew this woman and her husband from their activities in the church and admired them both. When she died, I was just barely able to attend the funeral, and I wasn't able to talk to him about it. So when he came for prayer for healing his broken heart all I coud do was pray silently with tears streaming down my face, and let him know through my touch that he wasn't alone.

I find myself, at random times now, in the same state, unable to speak, tears coming from pain, but otherwise quite unimpaired, fully able to type, think abstractly, and so forth, just impaled at the same time on the sense of being torn down the middle.

I wonder if this might be how sin feels to God - the utter loneliness of separation from someone you deeply love, across a gulf that cannot be crossed. Multiplied billions of times, then the joy that comes when we are finally reunited. It makes a lot of things make sense that seem otherwise unbelievable.

---

Today, I'm still working too long. I was finding all sorts of bugs today, I think I submitted about five CRs, all based on the tests I'm finishing, but should already be done with.

Yesterday, as I was sitting here at the computer, I apparently had a momentary sleep, because I heard Penny calling me, and I got up to go answer here, then realised as I stood that I had just woken up.

Today, I howled when I got home, by a defiant reflex. I realized as I started that there would be no answer, but I did it anyway, because I wanted to.

Tomorrow will be Friday. I will work six and a half hours.
Saturday, the Stephen Ministry retreat. I am quite torn on that. I want to stay home and do some housework, try to deal with some of the stuff that's here, make room to move around. But I also want to see those guys... and I know that if I do, that at some point I will crack like a coconut under the hammer of their concern and sympathy.

If I were a Mormon and believed (among other weird things) in the eternal, unending, irrevocable marriage for all time and even after, I might take comfort in the idea that death did not break the bond of marriage.

That's not what Jesus said, though, and it's just not true. It's a wishful fantasy, perhaps. When we live, we're married, we become one in the world, but when one of us dies to this world, and goes on to the next... what happens? Do they continue to love us? To think about us as desperately as we think of them? I certainly hope not. What's the point of being with God, of having the fulfilment of all needs, of all desires, of becoming that which we were first created for, if you have to be chained to the world?

I prefer to think of love perfected, that she forgives all the stupid, petty, careless, or mean things I did (because we all do them to one another) and that she's no longer chained to our dependence on one another. I know that we'll have everything we had here, or better, but I also know that we're told, we're not given in marriage in eternity, but in something better.

How much of this is me thinking wishfully myself? Don't know.

I do know that I'll continue to miss her for a long time, and that I want to throw cream-pies of shame at Elizabeth Kubler-Ross for trying to institute the Proper Scheme of Death and Dying and what a GOOD death is, as opposed to anything else.

We did not give up. We did not fade back, we did not 'go softly'. God took her, and peacefully, freeing her from prison in a body grown distorted and useless, but up until His call, she and I held tight to our obligation to live, not to waste that one-time gift of life.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
bunny_m
May. 5th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC)
Yesterday, as I was sitting here at the computer, I apparently had a momentary sleep, because I heard Penny calling me, and I got up to go answer here, then realised as I stood that I had just woken up.


*Ow*

I understand just how devastating that sort of momentary self-deception can be. Soul-detroying seems altogether too mild a word for it. I know how it felt when I was on the recieving end of such an experience it very nearly broke me, and that was merely the end of an engagement, and not the end of a life.

I hope that your church and your beliefs continue to bring you comfort over the continuing days, and I wish I could help lighten your burden, but circumstances are not cooperative.

Time eventually dulls the pain of all wounds, even if it never really heals some completely. You've made it thus far, I have faith in your strength to continue to go on, even without Penny.

I'd be happy to say a prayer or two for you, if you feel comfortable with prayers said by an unrepentant heathen.

Feel free to chat with me anytime you catch me online as well, should you feel the need. Saving the world can wait after all. ;)

*manyhugs*

Ghoti
foomf
May. 5th, 2006 09:01 am (UTC)
Actually, hearing her voice was narcolepsy. Lovely disease. You get to dream when you're awake, if you get the right version. Usually I don't have stuff intruding into my "fully" awake state.

Also, all prayers are useful and welcome, especially those of unrepentant heathens ;)

And I appreciate the offer of conversation. Will happen at some point.
bunny_m
May. 5th, 2006 09:43 am (UTC)
So noted. Will have a short chat with some of my Friends then, and suggest they lend a hand if they can.

As for the comversation, I look forward to it.
drath
May. 7th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
I really shouldn't be using my own training to subvert the path of this counseling.

I'm not sure I fully get the conflict of interest, and that's probably because I don't know how things are set up at your specific ministry.
drath
May. 7th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
Ding-dang it. I keep forgetting your journal format doesn't show quoted passages in italics. In the previous message the top line was quote and the next sentence was response to quote.
foomf
May. 10th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
Not conflict of interest. Sabotage of my own best interest.
I have the same training that my stephen minister does. I know when he's using the active listening techniques, when he's trying to shift the direction of the conversation to address the issues. I can tell when my graphic, dispassionate description of my emotional state over the week is still more than he can personally handle emotionally.

We've decided to focus more on developing our friendship and trust.

I'd be a horrible patient for a therapist. For it to work you have to be willing to trust the therapist to know what they're doing, and you have to want to do what they ask you to do. And they're a lot more directive than what Stephen Ministry does - all we do is listen and help people come to their own solutions, their own answers.

The thing is, for me, I know the answers, I just have to live through the pain until the rawness heals.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )