Friday, February 1, 2008

Part of a letter I sent to dear friends and family

I'm barely functioning...Quite sad most of the time. I'm reading "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis, and he describes so much of what I'm feeling. It's reassuring that it's "normal", and yet, somehow unnerving that I can't just by knowing this information instantly feel better. "Oh, it's normal. That's comforting." He says how he never realized how much deep grief was like being "drunk or concussed". Yes, concussed. A new word for how I feel. He also said that the bereaved should be put in camps like lepers so they don't spill their grief all over everyone else. Relationships suffer at a time when you need the relationships the most. I completely lost it the other night over, get this, having to get two pastors' recommendations for my IMPACT application. I sobbed for two hours because I had to have them in within 48 hours and how would I get them to Mark, and/or Marsha, and /or Paul, and they were so busy, and how could I impose on them AGAIN, and why did I wait until the last minute to do my application? My heart was touched today when Randa emailed me that both Mark and Marsha's recommendation letters had arrived in the IMPACT office right on time. God is good, and why can't I trust Him?

And speaking of trusting Him. I believe that there are so many good things about Mom's death. She WANTED to die in her sleep. She didn't want to be sick. She would have hated being a burden on us or being in a "home". Her greatest fear was that she would run out of money. (Or was it that she would run out of shoes? Because she sure prepared for that eventuality). I didn't think she would live forever. I knew she would have to die sometime, and often told the girls "Grandmas don't keep." So, what I don't understand is why I am so incredibly sad? Scott and I weren't particularly close, I thought, and, yet having him gone is leaving a big hole. There's something about losing someone whom I've known my whole life. He was living with me during the formative years of my life, and I am as I am today partly because of him. We share a lot of history together. I told Jim that I've lost 2/5 of my nuclear family. And he said "You've lost half of your family apart from yourself." That's true. But Mom's in a better place. God has sent so many people to comfort me. I know He's watching over me, and is by my side. I know that He's working His good in this. So why am I so sad?

I'm wondering if the double-grief is sort of an efficient way to deal with it. Instead of having incredible grief this year AND next, I'm grieving only once. Feels very painful, though, and is not something I'd recommend.

I worry about losing one of the girls, or Jim, or my dad. I really worry about losing my dad. You may as well lock me away for a few months if he dies, b/c I will be completely incapable of functioning. I love him so much. More as we go through each crisis together. He's just the absolute best dad. He's so wise, and makes great decisions. He always agrees with me, not b/c he gives in, but b/c he's sort of a kindred spirit and thinks so much like me. He's loving and kind and good. And when I tell him how sad I am he laughs and says "me, too."

I make it through each day at school, and come home and nap, and make it through the evening. I'm in a fog. The dishwasher, the washer, the dryer the toaster oven and the instant hot water are all broken. The vacuum was broken, too, but now it's fixed. Broken things frustrate me. And I don't have the energy to research new ones, and I don't want to "settle" for an appliance that I know I will have for years and years. I want to make a wise decision.

There are good things during the day. Cards are still coming. The house is full of flowers. People have baked for me, run errands for me, made me soup, given me books, laid hands on me and prayed for me, called me, and been generally kind to me. Today Kris told me she wants to come trim my roses for me. She loves to garden. I hate it. And I'm touched that she would think of how to offer her talents to bring me joy. Many people want to take me to lunch or dinner. A past student left a card on my desk today that said "You were so good to me when I was sad. Now, I'm trying to do the same for you." I'm wondering how the whole town knows. One former student's mom said "Oh, I heard it from so and so when we were talking on the Avenue." I don't know "so and so" and I didn't know anyone on the Avenue knew me except Randa. Weird. Someone told Trudy (my superintendent) that my mom had died, but she just thought they were wrong. "No, it was her BROTHER."

Anyway, these are my rambling thoughts. I am deeply indebted to you, whom I have "spilled my grief all over."

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