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.