Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Silent Suffering

I seem to have some unreal expectation of myself that I should be over grieving for my father by now.  It has just been two months since his death.  Two months!  Why on earth should I be beating myself up when I catch myself grieving is a mystery to me.  I certainly would never have that expectation of any one else.  I would more than likely be reinforcing their grief with acknowledgements of how little time has truly passed.  We are so much tougher on ourselves than others would be. 

Truth is I am so sad that I can hardly function.  Every single little thing is a chore for me.  It is my busiest time at work and I swear I don't know how I am managing to get through it.  I am rolled up in self pity like a baby in a swaddling blanket.  I feel incredibly alone.  A few years ago, before my church home became so dysfunctional that I had to leave it behind, the pastor did an exercise during the service where we wrote our greatest fear on a piece if paper then tacked it to a wooden cross.  The point was to give our fear over to God and I loved the symbolism of that exercise.  Until that day, I had never voiced my greatest fear outside of myself, but I bravely wrote the truth on that slip of paper.  My fear is that everyone I love will leave me and that I will truly be alone. 

I realize that a good deal of us share that fear.  I believe it started for me when my parents divorced and a few years later my sister dying soiidified it. Each time a friend moved out of my life, or another loved one passed on, it grew.   Now that both of my parents are gone, the fear seems more palpable than ever before.  I know it is unfounded, i have a loving husband and great friends, but in the quiet times that fear flickers at the edge of my thoughts.  I am working daily at giving that little slip of paper over to God again. I am so glad that I am a believer, for the comfort that brings is medicine to my injured soul. 

Life is tough for all of us.  Losing an parent who was sick from cancer pales in comparison to things I know others are dealing with.  I fight feeling guilty in my selfish grief, but we all have our pain.   From experience, I know that eventually I will become more engaged in my life again and that fear will fade back to the closed vault I keep in my mind.  Time is a healer, that much is true although it never can truly fade the ache of a mourning heart.  In the meantime, I am going through the motions, doing the best I can while silently suffering. 

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