It has been devastating to walk through this time together. But we are together, as a family and as a community, so that is a comfort. It also has reminded me of how little I know, as a nurse and as a person, and how many questions I still have.
I wrote this as a part of my processing and read it at the memorial service last Saturday.
Love to all,
I’ve told a lot of people that I don’t have words this week. The questions “How are you?” or “How are your brother and sister in law doing?” don’t seem to have any real answers.
Tired. Shocked. Numb. Broken. We could try some of those words. But, they don’t seem to fit, and neither do the things that we say to try and feel better, because the truth is that words cannot touch this pain.
It seems that my “prayer life” is mirroring my real life, and I also don’t have words for God. I can’t remember consciously praying once throughout Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning. We swore, wept, sobbed on each others shoulders and our minds were full of racing thoughts. Our knees touched the floor and our hands closed into fists and went up into the air. Maybe these were wordless prayers, like the ones that “… all of Creation gives off as it groans and waits.”
But on Sunday night I found some words, as I sat surrounded by people who were weeping with me.
My hand was over my heart as I thought/prayed,
An echo of my prayer last year, when I realized that there are still so many parts of me that are hard, discontented and bitter.
“Make me soft…”
Softer than I was before.
Softer to suffering and to grief.
Softer to small and precious babies.
Softer to my family and friends.
Softer to those who are different from me.
And, eventually, softer to God.
This was my first prayer, shortly followed by my second.
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
For the people who have been Love to us, constantly, through it all.
For hugs and human touch.
For our family and extended family.
For Fiona and Gwen and how precious they have been to us.