Thursday, September 12, 2013


I spotted a ragged tennis ball ... one of Maggie's treasures. Another reminder. Our Golden Retriever suffered a heart attack in May and died while we were traveling. We didn't get to say good-by. I picked up the now smooth grayish-pink orb and tossed it away.
On vacation while hiking the Rainbow Trail, we stopped to admire a beautiful waterfall. The cold crystalline stream tumbled over rocks framed by wildflowers, tall and purple. The sound heavenly; the sight glorious; the memories--there they were again. Last summer we hiked parts of the same trail with Maggie. She took a swim below those cascading sheets.

The Black Forest fire ignited in June. Thankfully our home stands; the memories of 40+ years intact. But for a week, we lived evacuated and not knowing where we would be sleeping. We pre-grieved what we expected to be.

All summer the grief was real as we related to our neighbors and friends--some whose homes did burn to the ground. The new expanded scenery and blackened trees remind us daily of the hurt lingering around us.

July brought the memorial service for a Nav friend. The Great Hall of the Glen Eyrie castle packed with friends from across town and across the Atlantic to give testimony to a life well-lived. My tissues wadded in my hands wiped many tears between the smiles and laughter of remembering Jeanie. Her physical death brought us together to celebrate life--as it should be.

In the midst, I was considering grad school. Is that the fertilizer God wanted to add to my soul? I researched; I talked; I prayed. In August the decision culminated--no. 

But the grad school adventure excited me. Another first day of school loomed. (I previously taught elementary school.) The atmosphere. The stimulation.The opportunities. New friends. I was eager. The decision, however, seemed wise--yet another grief.

Four different kinds of death in the last firve months, death in the midst of life. I'm learning death refines; death leads to life; death can even be trusted.

"Grandy was gracious because she knew how helpless her friends felt. They
wanted to fix her, but they couldn't. All Grandy really needed from them at that moment was a knowing look and a warm hug." 

"Ive learned that grief, like a pot of soup, changes the longer it simmers ... I've learned that there is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can't survive."

Quotes from Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen. I often given this book to friends who are going through their own griefs.

"For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake,
so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
II Corinthians 4:11

No comments:

Post a Comment