Monday, October 10, 2011

Death changes your perspective

"Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief." (Psalm 31:9) It's been just over ten weeks into this season of grief. Dh had several co-workers come over Saturday morning to help with a landscaping project. We have a mound out front from an old septic system that was severely neglected. We decided many weeks ago, shortly after the funeral, that we wanted to re-do it. We received a beautiful blue bird bath from Pioneer that would be perfect on the mound along with a stepping stone the neighbors on our lane gave us. We also plan on planting some red geraniums and daisies in the mound as well come spring. A stone bench is also in the plans for completion. I know it will be a beautiful spot once it's finished. But while I am so very grateful and thankful for Dh's co-workers doing this project for us, it ushered in a new tide of grief. All of these "new" things (the van, the landscape project), while wonderful, are a painful reminder of our loss. They are forcing us, in a sense, to walk forward. And I don't want to go forward. I want time to stop while I grieve. I don't want to be rushed back into life, into "normal." There is no normal. It will never be the same again. I think that's why it's so hard...because I now have to re-define "normal." We don't have a choice in making a new normal, either, because time doesn't stand still. And I don't like it.

Another "new" is getting back to menu planning. I tried to get it done Saturday, but just couldn't do it. I took the calendar down and simply couldn't write on it. I saw Matt's name and my hand refused to write. At the beginning of the year, I had put each of the kids' names at the start of each week, rotating weeks of dish duty and table setting through to the end of the year. Then in each day's square, I put what we're having for dinner that night. The meals that have been so graciously provided have pretty much ended as of this past Friday, so I need to get the menu planning done. I just hadn't anticipated it would be this difficult to start.

I find it interesting how death changes one's perspective. Some things which I thought were so easy before are now difficult, and things which I thought were so difficult are now easy. Like menu planning. A fairly simple thing. Yet now difficult. And for Dh, it's addressing particular people about controversial topics that is easy compared to the fact that he and I have just done the hardest thing in the world, which is experience the death and burial of our sixteen year old son.

Ten and a half weeks ago, I didn't find it difficult to grocery shop, but now it's excruciating. Ten and a half weeks ago, I found it hard to ask for help, but now I don't hesitate to ask for what I need (or to accept an offer of help.) Ten and a half weeks ago, I thought skipping a meal was a big deal, but now I could care less if I ever eat again. Ten and a half weeks ago, I never worried about car accidents, but now I think of them every time I get behind the wheel. Ten and a half weeks ago, I was ignorant of grief. And now I am well acquainted with it.

Unfortunately, Dh and I are not the only ones well acquainted with it. It seems almost everyone we meet now has suffered a loss at some point in their lives. Just yesterday we heard news that a 16yo. girl had been killed in a car accident with a semi, only to discover later that she was Army boy's huddle leader from FCA camp this year. The visitation is Wednesday, and we plan on attending.

Death has put things in perspective for us. No longer will I offer platitudes or think superficially of someone else's loss. I will no longer keep silent for fear of not knowing what to say. I have learned that a simple hug is more powerful and affirming than words. Besides, there's nothing anyone can say that would take away the pain. It is far better, in my opinion, to just give a hug and say nothing more than “I'm so sorry.” Acknowledgement of our loss is crucial to the healing process. One comforting thing I did hear, however, was that God loved me. I thought it odd. I didn't realize that I needed to hear it. But each time I did, it was so very comforting. 
I know that these things I am feeling right now are for a season, but your emotions trick you into believing this profound pain will last forever. Tonight's Griefshare group meeting was so good. Not only were we with people who completely understood, but we were reminded via the video that this roller coaster ride WILL end. I can't fathom that right now and, honestly, I don't even believe it. But I have the promise from others who have been there, done that. My faith and hope are in the LORD, (Psalm 71) and I thank Him for using others to minister to us.

God uses people and song, of that I am certain, and last night was an evening of ministry as well. Dh and I went to a concert last night featuring Jason Gray, Aaron Shust, and Downhere. I used to work with Jason eons ago and have been a fan of his music for a long time. I actually did not want to go to the concert last night, but went anyway. And God spoke through Jason. He sang a song titled “Nothing is wasted” off of his new CD. It was incredible and I know it was the LORD's comfort to Dh and me. Here are the lyrics:

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine

1 comment:

  1. God does love you....a simple truth...a timely reminder. Profound!
    Love you!