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Business as Usual?

Sunday, August 7, 2011
I know many people assume that when I am not posting anything new, things must be going well.  Other people I know begin to pray more for me when I am not writing because they recognize that it could mean I am pulling away, going deeper inside the box.  The second is more the truth.  Even though I appear as if I am functioning and doing my daily tasks, the longer I operate outside the box, the more I go inside the box on the inside.  Sometimes I must function for longer periods of time outside, but all I really want to do is disappear to my room and focus on my aching heart that is always present, no matter what I am doing or where I am.  As I get busy with life schedules and decision making, and the longer I go without writing, the more lonely and sad I am and the more I feel the need to allow myself to pull away to be quiet, write, reflect, cry without anybody watching, and do nothing.  The more I write, the better I am on a daily basis.  Facing the reality daily by writing about my feelings is much better than staying in a busy state which does not allow me the time to feel, discern, contemplate my life, or to hear from God.  There must be a balance between the two and my emotional state seems to suffer when I stay in one place too long, inside or outside.  Most all of the time, it is too much time outside.

I am reading a little book, off and on, called Good Grief, by Granger Westberg.  He explains, “People are off talking about other things and we are left alone with our sorrow. Everyone has forgotten our tragedy.”  This feels so true.  It is easy for everyone else to move on and some can assume that we are moving right along the same as they have…but we are left alone with our sorrow.  He goes onto say, “The pace of modern life may have something to do with this.  The minute people finish one event they are off to another and another….Most people do not take time to help work through another’s losses.  We also find, when we attempt to get back into life again, it is much too painful.  We would rather grieve than fight the battle of coping with new situations.  Grieving is painful, but not as painful as having to face entirely new decisions every hour.  We are more comfortable in our grief than in the new unpredictable world.”  This is also true.  Even though grieving, in and of itself, is difficult, it can often be more painful to face new decisions every hour.  It is much easier to stay in a place where decisions can be avoided, but that is not possible.  It is a hard but good thing in the healing process to make new decisions and face all of the realities that your loved one is gone, life is and must go on, and it is going to hurt.  All of the decisions are hard and painful, no matter how big or small.  It becomes exhausting to face new decisions for long periods of time. 

I begin to carry more grief on the inside because I feel like people are tired of hearing about it, are ready to move on and want me to do the same.  I still need to talk about it.  I have more questions in my head now than I have had this whole time.    Westberg continues to say, “Our modern way of life makes it difficult for us to grieve about any loss in the presence of other people.  We are forced to carry all of the grief within ourselves.”…Case in point, the need for me to go to my room to really let down.  “This is particularly true in the loss of a loved one through death.  When many of us were children, people grieved more openly.  The men wore black armbands and the women wore black veils for six months to a year….so that everyone was reminded daily of their loss.  But we somehow have the impression that grief is out of place in our society.  We conduct a quiet conspiracy of silence against it.  We try never to talk about grief, and certainly never display it by any outward sign.  We offer our sympathy to our grieving friends immediately after their loss has occurred, but from then on we say in effect, ‘Now, let’s get back to business as usual again.’ “ 

A friend of mine told me on the phone that she noticed people avoiding her and the subject of her losing her father.  It hurt her.  She said,” People are missing out by not sharing in the grieving process.  It enriches the lives of both people.”   Death is as much as a part of this life experience as life itself.  We can learn as much from it as we can from life. It takes a long time to work  your way through the fog that seems to settle on the road ahead.  Why do people want to rush through it, push it away or down as if it is not really there?  This is life, we must deal with death, grow in wisdom and compassion through it with our friends as they walk through their loss.

As I wrote in a previous post in April, entitled  “It’s a Long Road”....

It is a long road.  To my friends and family, please hang in there with me.  Allow me to take my time, handle me with care, hug me, listen - not too much advice, love, pray often,  join me when I stop to rest, and remember this great man with me and what a great loss it is to not have him with us in this life.  Yes, it is heaven's gain, but we are still on this earthly journey towards heaven, and it hurts.


Anonymous Says:
August 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Being in church on Sunday mornings always makes me miss Michael and his beautiful voice. Praying for you! Love, Page

Anonymous Says:
August 7, 2011 at 8:05 PM

We are still here, Jene', and we aren't tired of listening to you. Your words are healing balm to our spirits. Please keep writing-you never know who you are touching.

Anonymous Says:
August 8, 2011 at 9:21 AM


We are still praying for you and I want you to remember that we ALL miss Michael, right along with you and the kids. What a wonderful person...what a "hole" is left without him here. His mark is left on so many people and buildings and places! I miss his sweet spirit, but see reminders of him all over the place. The buildings he designed and the reminders of good times make me smile. He sang and helped people celebrate life. He seemed to do everything he did with great pleasure. What a beautiful example of how to live.

Michael was such a kind and gentle man, and took such good care of you and your family. He was a joy to be around, overflowing with love and gratitude to God for his abundant life in Christ. It showed. It still does. He left evidence of his love for you! I miss him even more when I'm with you, but that's logical, since the two of you were one. It seems that I've never known you as an adult without Michael as your husband since you married at such a young age. What a blessing he has been to all of us. I will not stop praying for you. And you can keep taking it all a day at a time, a step at a time. God is extremely patient, and He never tires of our prayers.

KEEP LOOKING UP! I will too. Love you,

Aunt Shelli

Anonymous Says:
August 8, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I just pray, "Heavenly Father, you know the beginning, You know the end, and You know all the struggles in between. I continue to lift Jene up to You, asking for an intensity in Your mercies. Comfort, guard and heal her heart with a touch and a communication like she's never known from You before. May a wisp of wind from "the other side" brush her and envelope her in a love that contains healing elements the world knows not of. Give her a new vision, a new zeal and a new knowing of your eternal plans and how, indeed, all things will continue to work together for her good and the good of her entire family, including Michael who serves you in a new capacity. Let her see the progress of her journey and, more and more, let her sense the reward that is ever so close. Lift her to the heights of glory and establish her daily goings. Thank you for being her God and for selecting her for such a time as this. You never make a mistake."

Anonymous Says:
August 9, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Dear Jene', please know that your family and friends are there for you for whatever and whenever you need them and in whatever capacity. There are people that you don't even know that pray for you and the kids and the whole family, for I am one of them. It breaks my heart when I think how you and the family must ache. I will continue to hold you all in my heart and prayers. "Cry if you need to, laugh when you can. Pretend that Michael is holding your hand. Take that hand and wipe your tear and know that he is with you to calm your fear. Forever you will have your memories of love, warmth, & laughter, that so many only dream of and searching forever after". I'm so sorry that Michael had to go away so early. God's love and Peace.

Anonymous Says:
August 13, 2011 at 6:53 AM

I pray for you. I cannot imagine what you must go through . Day in and day out. I remember when my grandmother died it was tv commercials that were hard because it represented life going on for the rest of the world. I have no words of wisdom. I will say this, we should have the number of years we knew the person that we loved and lost to grieve them at least. 20 something years with someone,,someone like Micheal, leaves a huge void. I will be praying that all who know you will surround you with love and mercy thats given freely thru Christ. May we be zHis hands and feet to you on this earth. I love you. Im better for knowing Michael and you. Lifechangers uyall have been. Love, kim spring

Jackie S. Says:
September 6, 2011 at 7:33 AM

I understand your comment about how people avoid you and the subject of loss.
When going thru my seperation & divorce, it was almost as if I had the plague. To this day I have FRIENDS who have yet to ask about it or how I'm doing.
Divorce is a death, I've mourned and grieved and even after 5 years I still have things come up, sometimes daily, that I have to pray thru. Sometimes we need to go thru emotions alone, tho God is always with us thru those times. Other times it does help to talk and share.
You'll gain new strength to help others someday who go thru the death of a loved one, I have a feeling you have already helped so many thru your writing.
I think of you often and pray for you.
I pray peace, rest and understanding for you.
Love, Jackie S.

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