Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Missing Missing

My wife would be pleased with me. As I do far too infrequently, I uncluttered my desk today. You should see how nice it looks. In so doing, however, I came across another old stack of sympathy cards sent months ago from friends and strangers. I read through them, and found myself lonesome for a surprising time, the day my Denise went on to glory. In a previous piece I wrote about how, crossing the barrier of forty days of mourning made me fear that I would miss Denise all the more. I suggested that the more I mourned the more it seemed she was with me. Turns out I was right.

As I read through those cards I was taken back to that first day. Denise passed very early on Sunday morning, December 18th. After taking care of necessary details in the nursing facility I headed home to tell my children. After we talked and cried and hugged I got myself cleaned up, and headed off the church. My thought was that what I needed most of all at that moment was to meet with Jesus, and to be reminded of His grace, His gospel. Turns out I was right.

As I sat there that morning however, I didn’t have the sense that she had left me. Indeed I felt more like we were going to go through this together, that she would walk me through my mourning. She would speak to me the words of life. She would hold me when I could not sleep. She would encourage me to do the next thing. She would remind me to give thanks. Though I do not pretend to know if she sees me. I believed she would make certain that I sensed her with me.  Turns out I was right.

As I look back on that morning, however, somehow now I look back alone. Of course I still cry. I still mourn, even as I type. I miss her laughter, her hand, her beautiful eyes. But somehow as time moves on what I end up missing is the comfort and closeness she somehow gave even after she had gone.  She doesn’t sit beside me when I’m alone in the car anymore. She doesn’t look over my shoulder when I am typing and crying alone anymore. Somehow the more time passes, the farther she is gone, not because I am forgetting her, but because I am remembering her. The great heartbreak is that she is now becoming my past, rather than my ever present.

Denise was carried by Jesus out of the valley of the shadow of death. She now dances with Him on the mountain of the lightness of life.  She has, rightly, wisely, and through the very love of our Savior, left me. And I feel lost. By His grace, however, I have a path to follow. For His pieced feet leave bloody prints all the way out of the valley, all the way up the mountain. I will follow Him, who promised to be with me, even until the end of the age. He is a blessed man to dance with her. I am a blessed man to follow Him.


Joe Tatulli said...

Thanks for sharing this insight.

For me remembering is different for obvious reasons. So this works like this for me; as the closeness shared moves farther into the past I am made better able to move forward joyously as a single person again.

The one thing I continue to deal with is the incredible magnitude of my own sin. I long to trust Him more and more consistently. God is so gracious and merciful to us.

I too am a blessed man to follow Him. Can't wait to see Him face to face.

Anonymous said...

One of the most beautiful things I've ever read. God Bless you, sir.

NewKidontheBlogg said...

Wonder post, RC. A year after my late husband died I made a memory book of our year together. I cried while doing it, but I had to do something about all of those memories.

Sometimes in grieving it is hard to declutter, to open drawers, to eat freezer food that you would have eaten together. Everywhere is that loved one.

You were so blessed to have your wonderful wife, a gift, not a possession, and now to raise your kids.

Prayers continue. . . .
Carol Noren Johnson
Plant City, Florida

Brett Adams said...

Heart breaking. Our prayers continue for you and your children.
Blessings, The Adams