We have been to Chicago to empty our son's apartment.
We have taken the first steps to open an estate. For our child.
I have wished many times over the past week that I had gotten to know my mother's mother better than I did. For the usual complex assortment of factors that affect family dynamics, although not for want of trying on their part, my brother and I never had the same depth of connection with our maternal grandparents that we did with my father's parents. Now, for my own selfish reasons, I am so sorry that I did not have more of a relationship with the grandmother whose daughter died at 28. I want to know what those first weeks and months were like for her. I want to know what the rest of her life without her beloved daughter was like for her.
Psalm 88 is the only one that applies. I have been interested to discover how many of its readers are puzzled, alarmed even, by its utter bleakness, its complete unwillingness to resolve itself in solace or praise. It does not even merit a mention in Textweek, which offers resources and commentaries that go almost all the way back to the beginnings of Christianity, as a possible preaching text. Apparently our own 21st century western culture is not unique in its reluctance to stare unreservedly into the abyss of darkness.
Only one psalm out of 150 speaks to this time. I know that I am going to begin to cycle through some of the other psalms of lament soon, the ones that do end in expressions of hope. But thank God that there is one to which to turn when the authenticity and power of unrelieved anguish is called for.