Posting on Friday instead of Thursday because I didn't really have my thoughts sufficiently focused.
Yesterday was 33 weeks since Penny died, and I've been having some interesting flashes.
Warning: this is an extrapolation of Christian doctrine, and there are those who do not accept that you can (or even should) extrapolate, and there are others who don't accept the doctrine in the first place. If you're one, please be patient until I get to the regularly scheduled emo.
First, what does the Bible say about being married?
There's a general teaching that when a man and woman are united by God, they become something new. Some people extrapolate this by saying that when a man and woman have sex, they become one flesh. I think that's a total misread. There is more to being united by God than having sex and God does not create unfair traps designed to guarantee that we will fail. I think that Jesus made that clear when he talked to the Samaritan woman at the well. He said that she had lived with several men and that none of them was her husband. He didn't say that she HAD a husband, nor that any of them couldn't BECOME her husband, just that none of them was.
(No, I'm not going to argue about gay marriage right now - it's not addressed in the bible at all. 'Gay' isn't really addressed either, but that's for another time.)
The Sadducees (who were the party in power) did not believe that there was any kind of resurrection or afterlife - they believed that the body and spirit were ended with death. This, perversely, improved their standing among the anti-Greek factions who didn't like the intrusion of Greek philosophies into their teachings, and the utterly separate spirit and body, and the assignment of the physical/bodily/flesh as innately evil and the spirit/mind as innately good was contrary to the Hebrew teachings, which incidentally state that BOTH are good, but that Man (and the World) are fallen from grace, damaged.
So the Sadducees set a trap using the Law. "What happens, when this woman who follows the Law, and her husband dies, weds her husband's brother as commanded, and then that brother dies and she weds the next brother, and so on ... when she dies, and she is in the afterlife, which one is her husband?"
Jesus responds, "You have gone astray because you don't know the scriptures and you don't know the power of God, and when someone is raised, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, like the messengers of God (angels) in the heavens." (NOTE: THIS IS NOT SAYING WE BECOME ANGELS WHEN WE DIE, THANK YOU!!!!!)
Then he says "And while we're talking about the dead rising... remember when God was talking to Moses from the burning bush? He says 'I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' ... and God is not the God of dead men, but of the living."
So, here's the thing. One flesh doesn't mean we're now sharing a circulatory system. It doesn't mean we're the same genome, we don't BLORP merge into one physical entity. We do become interdependent, and it's clearly documented that our biochemistry adapts to synch up, in some ways, with our spouses. It doesn't say we become one spirit, but given that (as Christians) we both live in the same Spirit, something like that may happen anyway.
So what happens when one of the partners dies, especially since after that happens, the one who dies is no longer given in marriage?
In 1989, we were returning from a Thanksgiving trip to Montana; I hit black ice on the freeway in Post Falls, Idaho, and the car spun out, and slid across an on-ramp into a concrete barrier. The car hit once, bounced, hit again, and stopped. We were doing 70 when I hit the ice, and we didn't SLOW any until the concrete. (Yes, seatbelts saved us.)
It felt like that when I found Penny, but without the seatbelts. Since then... sometimes there's a physical ache in the pit of my stomach that runs up to my diaphragm, like the aftermath of being slugged hard. Sometimes there's just a nostalgia as bad as any homesickness I've ever felt, but not for a place.
OK, what about these interesting flashes? Well... God is God of the living, and that means Penny is alive in Him. That He died and was raised so that we, becoming one with Him by grace, as we remember in the sacrament of body and blood, are now his Body, and that means what we were together, that union which was created by God, is also raised. The pain, the sense of something missing, is because my life, here on earth, is not yet raised. I know Penny is there, and I can still 'feel' her presence at times, but not in the way I could when she was caught in struggling flesh and dying blood. There will be, intuition says (and prior conversations with Penny agree), a perfection of the relationship we had together, beyond the imitation we had here. The flashes are an awareness of that, during the sharpest pains.
Transient anger and frustration about the end of the marriage give way abruptly to the realization that it was a seed, growing in the earth, which will come to full flower and fruition in the Light. That as a part of my life, it will show its best part once the life-in-earth is over.
I don't know if that makes sense. Please don't make the mistake of thinking it will be anything like the Mormon model; I don't expect to become a bad contractor whose heavenly wife has to populate planets with spirit babies.
I'm not sure whether these flashes, the sense that everything good here will become inexpressibly better when raised into God's presence, are going to make more sense in time. I hope so, because they're very hard to express without turning them into something that does NOT make sense.
OK, on to the Emo Report Card for the week.
I mentioned having a Guest; Monday night, Guest departed on Airplane, and I found myself coming out of suspension on the way home.
Not that it was bad having that suspension. I really felt a lot better, but for me, as I probably have not said clearly enough in past, grief is necessarily a solitary, private thing, for the greatest part. I am position 8 on the Enneagram, 'tiger' in the system I learned, and I defend myself by being invulnerable, stronger than anything the world can throw at me. When someone recognizes that, well, yeah, I know. I have a LOT of practice with this defense mechanism.
I also know that I don't want to just drop it completely. This is why I left the service immediately after communion on Sunday. Certain music strips away that defense, and the post-communion hymn was Be Thou My Vision - which was sung at our wedding, at Penny's funeral, and will be at my own funeral, God willing. That particular hymn is one of a handful that resonate very deeply in me.
Thursday was my last day at work, and I got nearly everything done that I planned to do.
I also found, when I got home, that everything crashed down again as soon as I closed the door. It took a good half hour for me to get through the detox phase - that is, to stop sobbing, cursing, ranting, and howling long enough to be able to breathe.
It seems that I was more disappointed than I realized about the contract ending, even though I've really wanted a break recently.
When I woke up I should have logged into the City of Heroes test server, for the CuppaJo Going Away Party. For no good reason, I did not do so.
Well, actually, the reason was that I wanted to eat something, and then write this post.
Most of the post was written under the influence of a really beautiful, really creepy anime' titled Kai Doh Maru ... which proves that Emo is and always has been a part of the Japanese cultural soul.
Turned on the ultra noisy Woot! Radio for the party, now going to log in.
Sometime today, taking les Cats to the vet to see whether they have ringworm or are just stress-grooming. I strongly suspect ringworm.