Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Collateral loss

I unpack the losses. I discover grief magnified by the death of Rob, yet, I continue to see joy.
Staring at the assets and liabilities that refuse to budge, I concede that cheerful giving becomes...well, um...Complicated.  I can no longer give with abandon; I must now count the cost. I hate it!Two-thirds of the world needs one-third to give recklessly and suddenly I must hesitate. 
Joy comes from that?  Of course! My purse strings may have tightened, but time has become my friend; I have much to offer. My heart grows; I live the pain of those I will serve. I see giving in a much healthier way. Sure, money is useful for spreading Hope to a hurting world, but Jesus never once opened his wallet in the Red Letters. He opened himself. Thankfully, I can do both and the latter now has opportunity to flourish.
More painful loss...
Relationships...inevitable...death of a spouse is an uncomfortable place for most of us... it's perhaps, our greatest nightmare. Watching my eyes constantly fill with tears, hearing me mention our life in present tense, feeling my intense sadness proves too awkward, too exhausting and perhaps, even too dangerous for many of whom I've done life over the years.
But, there are always the "deeps"...the patient ones who don't run away; the courageous ones who hold on tight; they remain by my side and I am grateful. He even surprises and delights me with new friendships, ones that aren't wrapped up in memories.
And God reminds me; this really is our grief dance, just Him and me. Running to others seems easier, but, I know that only God can lead, can heal.
And then there is the greatest of collateral damage:
No full house. It's nothing new; It's just re-surfaced in greater proportion.  Rob and I knew long before his death that our family would not gather in our home as often as we would have hoped. Our children and their families are not close. Celebrations are now held with their other families and all our big plans for family cookouts and birthday parties in their childhood home never materialized.  That "Little House on the Prairie" family that we grew up with does not exist in the present. We built it, but they did not come.  Rob and I grieved together long enough; I must now accept it and begin to build a new normal.
This one stumps me; I can't fully name the joy in this loss, but I know it's here. God's presence fills my home and my heart and when I'm ready, new people will fill it as well. 
Joy in the losses.
This I know: I can travel lightly through them as long as I hand Him my grief. He will carry me. 
Yes, this I know

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