Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Great Privilege

The Hubs on VisionTrek doing what he did best.
Grieving takes a lot of energy. It’s like running a marathon that doesn’t have a finish line. I know it will get better, but right now there is no end in sight. And why should there be? It hasn’t been quite two weeks since Gary was welcomed Home. Everything is still raw, tender, right under the skin and near the heart. He’s everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. Tears creep up on me. The loss feels like someone has put a plastic bag over my head as I gasp and scratch to breath. But enough. There are no shortcuts through grief. You just have to lean into it and brace yourself.
I found myself having out-of-body conversations today. First, with our financial planner. I’ve gone to these meetings with Gary many times as a tag-a-long, half listening, wishing I was somewhere else. I have talents and skills, but numbers are lost on me. Give me words, lyrical, punchy, or even hard to spell and I can do something with them. But numbers? They make me want to heave. But bless my financial planner’s heart; she was so patient, so kind. She comforted me and assured me she’d get me through this. Thank you, sweet Hubs, for placing my hand in hers.
Next, I was off to the banks with death certificates in hand. Never, never, never did it ever cross my mind that I would someday be sitting in a tiny little windowless office watching a bank officer tear up as I handed her this little piece of paper authenticating my husband’s death. She looked about twelve-years-old and the only loss I fear she’s ever experienced was her goldfish. I was her once. I found myself patting her on the back and telling her it was going to be okay.
These are odd days. Once this week I had to pull off to the side of the road to cry. As I was banging on the steering wheel and looking for some Kleenex my cell phone rang. It was a friend from North Carolina. He told me the Spirit had nudged him to call me at that precise moment. I wept into the phone. So did he. Bless him. Then he reminded me that Gary had been given a great privilege when he was summoned into God’s Presence and that we shouldn’t wish him back. I’ve been pondering that thought for a couple of days now. A ‘privilege’ he said. I like that.
Gary is with the creator of the Grand Canyon and the mastermind of thunder and lightening. I love to imagine him sitting with the Apostle John under a heavenly olive tree and listening to Peter rave about forgiveness. I see Gary walking on a path of golden leaves with the great Paul who finally reveals exactly what that thorn in the flesh was. And then there’s the reunion with Grandma Gail, and his parents, and our child who was born too soon and our grandson we never got to meet and… the list goes on. And then, if I want to get real excited, I think of my Hubs sitting around a campfire with Jesus. In the background is the sound of a wild rushing creek and they are laughing about something silly and wonderful. And behind them the cross is lying on the ground broken and splintered and in the distance the tomb is covered in moss and is empty and the Redeemer of the World and the Soul Collector of the Universe and my Hubs are thinking up lyrics to old songs. Gary is singing tenor.
Yes, grief smothers me. But, there is a brief respite in remembering the Great Privilege and the honor bestowed on someone so loved and so deserving. 
Grieving takes a lot of energy. However, in the odd moment I try to remember…


Cathy Messecar said...

Deb, I've only left a comment once before when my sister led me to your blog. None of my immediate family have experienced the "privilege" yet. And when I last read your dear husband still lingered with you.

Lately, I have come to embrace a phrase from warrior Deborah when she describes the heat of battle and thundering horses hooves and galloping, galloping mighty steeds, she spoke courage to herself for what she knew she faced, "March on my soul; be strong!" (Judges 5:21). Now, I've borrowed her words on occasion. Perhaps you will find strength in them sometime.

I'm sorry your journey has taken you to the brink of loss. May God continue walking with you and within you. Blessings, sister.

The LuLu Chronicles said...

Thank you, Cathy! I love it. I think I will make it my mantra. March on my soul: be strong!