Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Did God take Ansley because I was too dependent on her? Was my relationship with her more important than my relationship with God? Did I run to her instead of God? Is that the reason Ansley as taken in terms of an impact on me?

Does death really have no sting?

Written to Nena Lawson: You spoke right to my heart. I had lunch with Todd yesterday - it was so good to be around him and to really talk about what we have been going through. What a godly man he is, Nena. I pray so hard for the woman God is preparing for him. Anyway, we talked just about that very thing - being still. He has a book in storage he wants me to read so I might just go ahead and buy it myself. It is "Waiting on God" by Andrew Murray. We talk about waiting and being still, but what does that really mean? Todd said this book is simple, yet, gives perfect examples from the bible and puts them into practical application. I need that right now. It has been a very tough week, yesterday in particular - lots and lots of heavy crying. I so desire that joy back in my life and that peace AND that realization of who I am now without Ansley. Oh - there I go again..crying.
My lunch with Todd was really good. I felt very comforted with our conversations. It felt good to release some of what I was feeling to him. I hadn't really talked about the night/morning Ansley died. Everyone in the room seemed to be at such peace about Ansley's passing. I was not. I wanted to scream for Ansley to fight, I wanted to yell at her or God or something that this was not supposed to happen. I couldn't believe we had finally reached that moment. I did tell her it was ok for her to go and of course, I wanted her to know that I would survive if she left me. But really, I wasn't at peace with it. I wanted her here with me. I wanted to sob uncontrollably and yell. I couldn't because I didn't want to wake the other patients in ICU because the area is so open. I didn't want to leave her body. I wanted to stay and hug her, stroke her hand. I wanted her hand to still be warm and her face to look like Ansley, not the open gaped mouth from when she was fighting for breath. The process of her death was sweet - it went from gasping to more of a sweet sigh. Jesus was calling her and she knew it, but I just wanted her here. There is guilt in those feelings. How selfish am I being? But God knows me - he knows what Ansley meant to me. Denying those feelings isn't right either, right? OR as I know we are to cling only to His word, not our "feelings" and emotions which change from day to day. But what about love and devotion to others?

I have no worries about things left undone. I know I got to say to Ansley everything that needed to be said. We left on a perfect note and for that I praise God mightily. I am ready to go be with her. God, is that time near? Can you give me some wisdom and hope? I need MORE hope - but why? Aren't you sufficient for me? Isn't that what you say, God?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday, March 5, 2007

Found this in a post on the bcmets site. It was so perfectly written in terms of how I am feeling regarding grief.

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be 'healing.' A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to 'get through it,' rise to the occasion, exhibit the 'strength' that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves for the moment: will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself."
--Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking, 2006, Vintage Books, p 188-9

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I started reading 90 minutes in heaven yesterday. I found that all I could do was engulf myself, obsess myself with the details of heaven. I found myself so caught up and encouraged about the book that I became disgusted with myself later. Why can God not be enough for me? Why is it that I have to continually seek affirmation from elsewhere whether it is a person, circumstances or books. This book's author also said that while in heaven, he never thought about earth, what he left behind because he was so completely filled and with out desire for anything. Isn't that how we are supposed to be on earth. If we are so filled by God then what would we need to look further? Why is it that we cannot be content with God? It is not that God can't do enough it for us, it is that our own sinful nature is such that we are always looking for more to comfort us. Or rather we don't trust God to do it in his time and to his fullness and there fore we try to take over.

Since Thursday it has been tough. Jay's mom and sister are here. Although I am glad they are here, I am not ready for them. I needed more time by myself to grieve and I don't feel I can do that while they are here. I can't get this all together and give them energy, focus or enthusiasm I feel they need. I just want to be by myself. I need to talk to Jay to let him know just what is going on inside of me - maybe he can explain it all to them and they will understand when I slink away. Maybe I just need to be alone for a night???

I realize that over the past three weeks because of the duties of life, I have not really been able to collapse like I want - there is always someone or something needing me. But, is that life's design so that we don't waste away in some abyss? Is that God's way of keeping us on track and seemingly focused on Him? I just don't know.

Right now I just want to go to bed - take a good nap. I need a good cry. I want my sister. I want that part of me back. I will never be the same. Will the new me measure up? With a legacy like Ansley's how can I measure up to her? What is my focus which I know is different than Ansley's. What is my gift to the world, God? How are You going to use me know?

By the way, I missed Ethan's basketball practice for the second week. Just completely forgot to take him to it which is so incredibly unlike me. It scares me a bit that something like that could just be lost in my mind - not once, but twice!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday, March 2, 2007

This has been a week of ups and downs - tears and some laughter. I am not quite back to my old self and I don't know if I will ever be. Will there be a time when I can truly laugh and feel joy at life itself? I am trying to stay on the platform and not on the roller coaster, but it is so hard and it is the little things that keep getting me back on there. It is not a ride that I enjoy so why do I continue to keep my eyes on my circumstances and not on God? Just reading about a constrictor snake that grips its prey tighter and tighter until its heart stops beating made me feel a lump in my throat and brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of that hospital time with Ansley. I read some comments made regarding her on the CBC website that made me cry. I received a letter today from someone who wrote out her prayer for me. Boy, that was a big cry. Why are people so kind when I am so undeserving? Similarly, why did Christ do something so kind when I am so undeserving. Can I continue with Ansley's legacy? Will I "work" myself to death trying to have God working through me. What a crazy statement that I just wrote! Do people see me as something other than what I really am? Is there pressure to counsel and encourage others? I so don't want the pressures of daily life. There for a while (ok, only two weeks), I felt the pressure to not do anything. Unfortunately, the kids have been sick and basement finishing project and market has called me to attention. I don't think I have time to really process all that has gone on. I am beginning to feel the need to be by myself. All of that comes when Jay's mom and sister are set to arrive on Monday (in three days). I don't know how that will all pan out. I know I still have some organizing and straightening to do. I think tomorrow will be a little tough as I clean up the bonus room and come across pre-Ansley things. I can hear Skippy playing with something in here with me and it is freaking me out. I wonder what my relationship is going to be like with dad now? he wants to go have dinner together next week. Can I do that? Emotionally, that is something that Ansley and I would periodically do together and now it is just me. I want her back. I need to hug her and give her kisses and scratch her arm and head. Will I ever forget that night - the last night I rubbed her head? I wonder when she opened her eyes at the very end, was she scared, was she terrified? It bothers me to think that. Did she need us to say something to her? How could everyone be so calm in that room and tell her to go to Jesus? I wanted to scream for her to fight, to not leave us as in some insane way it was under her control. I wanted to scream - NO, NO, NO, like somehow I could voice my opinion and change things. Right now I feel stifled like no one hears me. That no one understands me. I know God is here because I know that I am not functioning myself. But now, I just want to run away - just like I did at times when Ansley was here and the cancer had just taken too much control of my life. When does CANCER stop controlling your life, your thoughts, etc. I have thrown myself into God, His work. I have grown, I have prayed, my spiritual life is so much fuller, yet, I find myself still dwelling on pain, suffering, hurt, agony, loss. When will this end? When will it get better? I went to MOMS group today - it was so incredibly painful. I could have sobbed. They played "In Christ Alone" - such a great song, but one that is so painful for me to hear at the moment. There is so much connection with that group and Ansley. Ansley brought me there. She encouraged me to go. She and I went together many times and then went to lunch. She was there in December when I spoke of her and our journey together - just two months ago. It hurt. I don't think I will go back for a while.

The only thing that has brought me some brief bit of light is the encouragement I have received from others to continue writing. Maybe there is something to this. The most influential person is Aunt Kay. Her writing is wonderful and she has told me to keep going. Somewhere there might be something to this. God, please direct my paths if that is something You have given me.