A few days ago, Millie and I were talking; she asked how I was doing. I told her, "where Dave used to be, here on the farm with us, is now a black hole and everything is rushing toward that black hole, being pulled into, sucked inside, and wanting, needing to be wholly obliterated. It's all a horrible dream, a nightmare that is never ending. It goes on, day after day after day, breath after breath after breath... ."
See what lies before you, dear ones? At a time when one is most vulnerable, most grief stricken, most emotionally distraught...now is the time when the vultures come forth to feast on the psyche.
~ Very loud, very heavy organ music is appropriate here ~
"Oh, we're so sorry for your loss. Your husband owed us xx dollars on his last credit card bill so if you'll give us your checking account information, we can deduct it immediately, as in today, right now, to pay his account in full," said one credit card rep.
"That's not possible. I need to go to the bank rearrange some funds and will send a check tomorrow," said I.
Said credit card rep, "no, that's not our policy. We want our money NOW and if you don't give us your checking account information, we'll search for your husband's estate and seize the estate."
"What part of "I called you" don't you understand? I called you to find out how much money he owes so I can pay the bill...but only after I ascertain there is enough money in my checking account. I've paid a lot of bills this week and need to make sure I have enough money in the account to cover the check. There's no need to treat me like a criminal! Finally, I am the estate...get it?!"
So, when I disappear for days on end, it's because my energy levels have been sucked entirely dry by some emotional vampire in their day job as a corporate employee.
One thing about grief that has entirely caught me off-guard is how physically exhausting it is to simply put one foot before the other. I knew it was emotionally overwhelming but the physical exhaustion has caught me altogether by surprise. I'll have one good morning or afternoon, or, once or twice, a time or two almost a day, but those few good hours cost me ten times more in days of feeling totally submerged, of being dead-headed, of seeing through a glass darkly, if at all.
Remember that black hole mentioned earlier? Inordinate amounts of time are spent pulling back from that black hole edge; trying to maintain some semblance of balance in a fight to stay upright, on my feet and not completely drowning in an emotional quarry of grief and other emotions. It's my experience I cannot pray myself out of it, I cannot talk myself out of it, I cannot cry myself out of it...I must bear the weight of grief as a mantilla; bowed, bloody, breathless, exhausted until it passes and, for a short time, I am given respite. A relief, all too brief, from it all.
Grief is a howling wilderness where I stumble around, for the most part, blind to everything but the pain of grief, while it drenches me in fog as in the photo above.
There are two Bible verses I clutch with whatever strength God gives me.
"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
~ Exodus 14:14 ~
"He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways."
~ Psalms 91:11 ~
I'm beginning to understand why no one, much, speaks of grief. It's too personal, too raw, too emotional, too messy. Yet, is that not why we are called to be Christians? To help one another? I tell you truthfully, I believe if I were not a Christian, I would have killed every living thing on this farm and myself last. It is being a Christian, casting myself on Abba's, my heavenly Father's lap, that gets me out of bed each morning. It is He who gets me through the days, the weeks, the months, the moments. In time, grief subsides, tiny bit by tiny bit, and, I think, but am not sure, I am left, perhaps, a tiny bit stronger.
"I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chattered all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow.
And ne'er a word said she
But oh! the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me."
~ Robert Browning Hamilton ~
Blessings ~ Stephanie ~ Millie ~ Timi ~ Sandra ~ Jill ~ Vicki ~ Mary Lois ~ Ray ~ Fred ~