The aftertaste of sorrow lingers. Still existent but no longer all consumed by its grip I manage to gasp for breath. Moments at a time, life begins its return. Coffee with a friend, here. Date with my husband, there. An unforced smile manages to break through on occasion. The thickness of grief prevented it before. But Light has broken and darkness is not so black as it was. Deep gashes and slashes in the soul begin to merge together again. Because this place is not foreign to me, I have confidence that time will heal. First one step, then another, each stronger than the one before. Though a sense of “why” may never be made, purpose will be found. He promises it. I trust. It’s faint, but there. This pain will be a gift.
When they can’t Love you Back!Standard
“What do you think my love language is, Mom?” he asked.
“Well, there is a test you can take on line,” I said.
“Yeah, David was telling me I should take it. Will you help, in case I don’t understand the questions?”
We were late for church but when my son asks for emotional help or growth, I refuse to brush aside the rare occurrence.
A quick search and the window popped up. We read…
“For each set of statements, select the one you prefer the most,”
No awareness on his part but I was all but ignorant of the sadness each question built on, not his, but my own.
An ache clinched my heart as truth was revealed; love is a foreign concept for him.
Joy Comes in the Mourning!Standard
Deeply grieved today, I am forced to choose. Stay fixated on the circumstances that plague our family and the sorrow of my journey or find a different angle.
No story this time, that would be fixating, but I trust you have your own. Loss, wounds, frustrations; impossible situations as parents, coworkers, friends, or children weigh us all. Insert your heavy-hearted situation here.
Laughter Through Tears is my Favorite Emotion!Standard
Secret struggles plant hidden seeds of anguish and distress that, when never faced with the light, remain grounded in a darkness and spread and infect the rest of our soul. Laughter is to this bruising, as light is to dark; the latter always succumbs to the presence of the former.
Lights flash, people stare, their imagination fills in the story from their 10 second exposure as they drive by the 911 scene. Being in the middle of this reoccurring scenario has made me numb to the onlookers.
My Joy is Not up for Grabs!Standard
Sorrow. Pain. Companions of mine often synonymous with killers of joy. Thieves. They rise and take what is promised to be “new every morning,” but when dawn breaks mourning lingers on and on. As I grow older, a little wiser, I realize how false these accusations are. In truth, no one or nothing can take my joy, I alone, give it away.
Infertility remains loyal to me after 18 years, yet joy, well…it has waned and even vanished at times under the darkness of depression. Unfortunate, has been my choice, to let circumstances sway my ability to chose joy, come what may.
Sometimes the Lines Fade!Standard
Death wasn’t the goal, escaping pain was. Sometimes the line between fades.
Alone, she sits on the wall mounted desk that lines the concrete wall of the cramped dorm room. Harrowing memories have seized control of her mind. Replaying like a horror film are past abuse, pain, accusations and haunting whispers of peers. Attempting to break free, vigorously, she shakes her head to erase the graphic visuals, but unlike an etch a sketch, nothing dissolves.
Her feet carry her to the vanity where a reflection of undue shame grips her. Empty, prolonged stare. “You fail, you quit, you strive with no victory,” whispers the image. No need to shout since she already believes them true.
“Now, you only burden others.” She winces at the new weight placed on her. A brutal reality of darkness circles more than her eyes. It hovers. Consumes her soul.
She dissolves the trance, and drifts around the room, only to return to the twin bed, knees caressed tightly to her chest, imagining God, anyone, cradling her. Sleep, her escape, peace; that is the hope as she rocks to and fro.
Hope descends as voices of ridicule and condemnation heighten and multiply. Deep echoes of disdain cause her awakened state to remain. Both ears now hidden under polyester fiber, she presses the pillow tightly. Her attempt to hush the tongue lashing against her spirit fails.
Upright she returns, panning the room.
The tinted, transparent bottle that sits by the bed appears to animate. It says, “take two more, then you can rest.”
A twist of the cap, a slight pause, then she complies. Before the lid can be replaced, it alleges more relief is to be had. “Two more will ensure deep sleep, enough to silence the anguish. After all, they are ‘pain’ killers.” She repeats, again and again, two by two, until the bottle that, moments ago held a month supply, mirrors the depleted existence of her being.
She lies back. “Finally, I can rest,” she says. (I said.)
A miraculous turn of events that follow enable me to pen this story some 25 years later, yet recent events in celebrity news have once again revived the emotional tightrope someone “like me” frequently can find them self teetering on.
A choice, an illness, selfish at best, damning at worst, a monster, an attention tactic, a demon, a spiritual issue, a physical infirmity, an emotional disease? So many recent blogs, accusations and defenses, about suicide and all it’s ramifications. Advice and opinions, some soothing, but some dreadfully offensive.
I’ve been the one to believe my life to be more of a burden than a gift AND I have crossed the river to the other side where I’ve devoted years battling for another’s life whose perception is tainted with deception and disease. At some moments, I fight for both life and death simultaneously, but I will save that story for my book.
All lead me to one truth…
God alone can judge the tormented heart of one who struggles with despair and whose lines between truth and fragments of have faded.
Dare I say we show ignorance if we attempt omnipotent understanding through our regret or anger?
Insensitive are our words when we confine the act of suicide into a contrived formula of right or wrong or try to extend assumptions that will define once and for all, the intricacy of the human mind entangled by an emotional disease and a depleted soul.
Absurdity is amplified when one broken human being dares to call another selfish. (Tea kettle…black?) Fighting to stay in it is a choice some will have to make every day for their remaining existence on earth…who is willing to forfeit the rest of their life, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to support a depleted spirit or hear the anguished cry for the thousandth time and be able to bite their tongue instead of expressing their own weariness of another’s inability to “suck it up”?
I neither condone, nor condemn, that which I empathetically can relate to so deeply from each side. To say that a successful suicide is either selfish or damning or that it was more a choice than the result of a monster illness is not ours to judge.
It’s only our call to love and forgive.
I whole heartedly believe in the hope found in Jesus Christ. I am working on a book that chronicles just that. Intentions of this writing is only to free some of the need to know why so that love, forgiveness and healing can begin. Maybe Robin Williams’ lines faded in ways we can not possibly know. It’s not ours to say.
Painful Journey to Heal!Standard
DAY 24 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)
“Are you aware that you may die in the process of this procedure?”
More eloquently explained, definitely less blunt, were the words spoken by the nurse prepping my son for minor, shoulder, repair surgery. Yet the implications of risk to full blown healing was evident.
I long for someday!Standard
DAY 5 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)
Some days I detect a longing that penetrates deep to the core of my soul. Nothing can draw attention away from this aching. A thought that does not pass, a hope, no, an anticipation for relief. Near haunting is this awareness that life will one day be indescribably peaceful.
Distant memory of pain, brokenness and frailty no longer will mold me, hold me. An awakening to an eternal where survival, healing are no longer a goal but a feat. Feeling is not feared. As it now is, life will be no more.
A Soul Never Handicapped!Standard
Another sunrise; yet today appears to follow the path of the hundred, actually many more, days before. Lyme, still very present, dictates what his body will do. Seeing the sun is a treasure. Gazing at his beautiful wife, children, nothing less than a gift, a miracle. A long time friend with a long time physical fight!
This Easter season did not reflect the chaos of planning, shaping and rehearsing as in years past. That didn’t stop his desire. His intent, his longing, was to engage in worship of his Christ, his Savior in spite of what his handicapped body would say.
The Other side of the Bridge!Standard
Courageous, to say the least, was this transformative expression of devotion. A momentous parade of lives crossed over from death to life, from dark to light, from heaviness of lies to freedom of truth. Slowly and methodically, each person crossed over the wooden bridge that spanned the stage to fearlessly declare that they are letting go and letting God. Easter’s story of sacrifice and resurrection was spoken, for some a carbon copy as told last time, for others a fantastically timed revelation of their buried or even denied need for a savior.
The last few minutes of this portrayal of renewal and rebirth signifies a new beginning, a healed heart, a refreshed soul. (Click on link below to experience it yourself.)
Mine was not a physical bridge, nor was it a public demonstration. I sat on my unkempt bed on the lower level of the wooden bunk. The soul altering message given by the camp speaker penetrated deeply as phrases of truth lingered in my mind. Awakened and now aware of the black hole in my spirit, a decision needed to be made. Sin and shame are hard to release but I now knew that they weren’t mine to carry. They were His.
What seemed endless at the time was a flood of emotions that escaped the prison I had made. Yet, it was not in my control. Overtaken, overwhelmed I was as the Spirit infiltrated my being. Guilt, grief, deceit and all other impurity within, drained from my soul. A vision of ungodly residue being removed as I “crossed the bridge” from death to life. High on the Spirit, nothing could weigh me down.
Then life happened. As it often has a tendency to do, it knocked me off my mountain top and sent me tumbling to a valley of shadows and death. It wasn’t real, lacked genuineness or worst yet it left me were thoughts I contemplated. I had left camp, determined to prevail, adamant to remain in His presence so how could I now, feel so…lost, defeated.
Naivety? Foolishness? Stubborn independence? Doesn’t matter, the fact is I was unprepared for what was on the other side. I assumed my walk of faith led me to a destination rather than beginning of a whole new journey. One that needs daily guidance and direction. A pilgrimage full of unseen obstacles and attacks accompany the joy and freedom. After all, a “troll” did everything he could to keep us from crossing the bridge and he doesn’t give up when we make it to the other side. There is a map, weapons, a compass that keeps us on the path to holiness. Wisdom, encouragement and truth from His word uncovers what we need to weather the storms as we drudge forward, find confidence in Christ and wholeheartedly understand that we are never alone.
Heaven is dancing for all who have crossed the bridge. Now lets do everything we can to continue moving forward and grow in knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ until the journey is complete.