Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Week One

Numbness.

"The house looks like a cross between a florist's shop and a food court," says my father.

There's a wideness in God's mercy. The beautiful version from the Episcopalian hymnal, not the impossible one from the Presby hymnal.

Numbness.

Cards, flowers, emails, phone calls from across the country and two other continents. College students and recent graduates from the west coast to the east appearing in our church and on our doorstep.

Oh Lord, hear my prayer. Oh Lord, hear my prayer. When I call, answer me.

Crematorium. Gratitude for the book Here If You Need Me, which I had just finished. Not, as I had thought, because I needed to read about someone else's experiences after my own CPE. It seems that I read it because I needed to know how to accompany my son on his last journey.

Numbness.

People people people. Family and friends of twenty years taking care of everything. Going with us everywere. Bringing everything we need. Planning speakers and music. Being the speakers and music. Pastors completely at our disposal. A spiritual director who comes for hours. Jewish and Christian clergy from across the spectrum showing up at the funeral home.

John Bell/Iona music:

And wherever you go I will meet you,
Till you draw your last breath in the birthplace known as death;
Yes, wherever you go I will meet you, saying, "Here am I."

A church filled with people who care for us and nurture us and grieve with us. A church that causes me to shake my head in disbelief at those who would criticize or deride or dismiss us because we come together as Jew and Christian, gay and straight, believer and atheist, because we truly and deeply believe that it is impossible to be separated from the love of God. A Christian service which causes Jewish and atheist friends to say, "I love being in church." A service in which humor and sorrow blend in acknowledgment of reality.

A surprising number of voices saying to us, "I have walked in your shoes. Call me."

Psalm 139. Not Psalm 23.

And every once in awhile, a jagged crack in the numbness.

The first week with this terrible hole in our family, in our home, in our lives, in our hearts.

33 comments:

Kathryn J said...

Thank you for posting. I thought about you all day but most especially this morning.

There are no adequate words. I am grateful that you are able to feel God's presence and that there is an occasional "jagged crack" in the numbness.

All of you are in my heart and in my prayers.

Juniper said...

So grateful for all the loved ones around you now. Prayers continuing...

mompriest said...

My heart weeps for you...and your family...oddly (or not) it feels so close to me, with a 20 year old daughter left behind in Chicago...that fragility of life....prayers continue...thank you for taking time during the cracks in the numbness to let us share your journey...yes, the hymn and Psalm, 139....

emmapeelDallas said...

Robin,

I am so incredibly sorry. I know that I don't know you, but like Kathryn I have thought about you all day; well, really, all week.

Please know you're in my heart and thoughts.

Judi

Theresa Williams said...

This entry is amazingly lucid and generous. I'm thinking of you all the time.

cheesehead said...

(0)

Ellyn said...

Continuing my prayers for you and your family. Crying with.
Sending love.

Diane said...

I don't know you either, but have been thinking about you, and praying for you, a lot this week. My hearts hurts for you...

more cows than people said...

constant thoughts from here too. and so much love.

bean said...

oddly, i was happy to see you post this - and, as always, what you said - wrote - made me feel i was with you. we talked about all of you at dinner last night and tho we couldn't be there with you, we were there with you. bean

Althea N. Agape said...

We continue to pray for y'all.

No other words, but ((0))

Quotidian Grace said...

Thank you for posting. It is so beautifully written. The Spirit is clearly with you.

Continuing to uplift you all in prayer.

steve said...

This is a striking, lucid description of the early days of shock and grief after such a loss.

My thoughts and prayers remain with you and your family.

Stacy said...

My heart goes out you. You have been in my thoughts all week. Thank you for posting this entry to your journal. I can imagine the desire to withdraw from the world must be immense. I hope instead you are able to reach out for the love and support that is available to you in all its various forms.

Kathryn said...

Still here. Still praying.

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

Many walk with you, both in silence, and in presence. Continued prayers for all.

Widening Circles said...

What you have written is so beautiful. I cannot imagine. You are in my prayers.

Lorraine said...

(((((((((((( prayers )))))))))))

Lisa :-] said...

(((((Robin & family)))))

Mother Laura said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so glad that the service was powerful and that you are surrounded by love and support.

Carol said...

Echoing Bean's sentiments exactly. Still holding you close in my thoughts and prayers. And holding on to those few jagged cracks. There will be more. With time, faith, and love.

ppolarbear said...

I'm glad to hear from you.
I love that version of There's A Wideness.
Holding you and yours in the light.

Purechristianithink said...

I, too have been holding you in my thoughts. Thank you for letting us all know how it is for you now.

Ruth said...

Thanks for posting. I hold you in prayer.

Andrea said...

It was good to "hear" from you and to know how things are with you. My heart aches for you.

Jan said...

I'm glad you posted. Keep on, if you can. Love to you and your family. That hole will always be there. I'm sorry.

Michelle said...

I will keep holding you in prayer, too. The words "shock and awe" - the words my spiritual director used to describe that first week in my past.

Ps 139 indeed.

RevDrKate said...

Thank you for this post and update. It's good to know you are surrounded in love and support. You are in my heart and in my prayers daily.

Deb said...

There are no words that help, only presence and prayers...
peace
Deb

Mary Beth said...

Praying for you.

Magdalene6127 said...

Oh God Gannett Girl... no words. Just love, only love.

Cathy said...

I have prayed for you this week. Your post is so beautifully written. I am so very terribly sorry for your loss.

Heather said...

Much love and comfort to you and your family..this loss is mine too..my son was 16 and I miss him every day xxxx