Monday, June 1, 2009

Six months

What can I say? Lots of people don't know what to say. I think the most sensible thing anyone has said to me during this time is: "the Lord be with you." (Dominus tecum). So easy. But you have to have faith. Leave me with him; it's good enough. If there were something to do, but there is not.

Keep reading your Bible, you won't get done with it. If you don't know what to believe about your world anymore, you can still believe the creed. Listen to it. If you don't know what to pray anymore, you can always pray the Lord's prayer. And again, you can pray it once more. If you don't know of God loves you anymore, go eat his goodness.

If you feel so strongly you feel ill and you could double over and vomit, it passes. Some protective mechanism in the brain kicks in eventually, though vomiting seems the right response.

Don't lie in bed. At least get up and read something, listen to something, sing something, phone someone, blog someone. Someone told my I'll be wallowing in it for at least two years, and I should permit myself to do this. Well, thank you, but "no". I will pass on that. I don't think anyone around me would appreciate it either.

If people bother you, give them space. They don't know what they are doing, just like you.

The best part is spiting the devil in the good Luther-an way. The chained dog with the big mouth. Ha, to him. "Satan, I defy thee; Death, I now decry thee; fear, I bed thee cease. World, though shalt not harm me nor they threats alarm me while I sing of peace. God's great power guards every hour; earth and all its depths adore him, silent bow before him." (Trotz dem alten Drachen, trotz dem Todesrachen, trotz der Furcht dazu! Tobe, Welt und springe; ich steh hier und singe in gar sichrer Ruh. Gottes Macht haelt mich in acht, Erd und Abgrund muss verstummen, ob sie noch so brummen.)

Nobody told me any of this. In any case, I had to learn it for myself. I think I'm done writing about it.


Steve Martin said...

I have not lost a child to death, but the other lesser losses are hard enough.

Your advice to keep busy and to read, pray, and commune is great advice...for any time.

Thank you, my friend. May the Lord bless you and keep you. And may you continue to be a source of encouragment and strength to others, as you have been to me.

Thank you, Brigitte.

- Steve

Brigitte said...

I think I was piqued by the "wallow" that someone used. Like a pig in... mud. Some of the counseling is just badly thought out. "Wallow" is just what I have not done and don't want to do. We have some family members that are "wallowing" and it is maddening. I feel like I physically need to back out of the room.

"Lesser" losses are also very heavy. Martin sometimes gets upset when someone fumes to him about their children's piercings, etc. But I don't minimize that.

I recall very vividly the distress of worrying about a living child, because you can't just shake the responsibility even when they are older, yet they don't want to hear a word. (I always thought being God has to be something like this.)

We once had a pastor who preached a lot about suffering and loneliness. He always said: "Everyone plays hurt." (as in sports). It's true. It's good to keep in mind when talking with someone.