Grief.Denial.Grief.Denial. There doesn’t seem to be too much in between those two feelings right now. I know there are five stages of grief but I can only find two of them. Grief. Denial.
Briefly I was mad. Just plain mad. Mad that a marriage was cut shorter than I thought it should be. Mad that a man would have to miss his wife, a father would have to miss his daughter, a son and daughters would have to miss their mother. Mad that I would have to miss my friend. Just mad.
Just mad is different than anger or rage. I don’t know how to explain that difference but for me it just is different. But really that doesn’t matter because the madness was only there briefly.
I wanted to lean over her bed that night and tell her that there was no way she should get to leave Colorado before I did. I almost did but her girls were in the room and I didn’t want to say out loud that I hoped she wasn’t dieing. I wanted to promise to go camping with her and at the same time apologize for not going more. I hoped she would stay here in Colorado and that one more time I would not be saying goodbye to a friend.
I wanted to hug her daughters and tell them she would be fine. I wanted to look in her husbands eyes and assure him of his wife’s strength and perseverance. But I couldn’t do that either. I wanted to plead with God to not take her because I knew He could and at the same time I wanted to declare that God is the great healer and she would be miraculously cured. But I couldn’t.
Denial. It is comforting. It is helpful. It is like a shot of novacain on an infected tooth. So I sat in denial and loved her and loved her family. Not putting my money on her life or her death. Denying neither life or death. Just being.
Death is the real deal and there is nothing you can do about it. You can’t fight with it or reason with it. You cant stop it, even if you can it is only a temporary reprieve. It is most assuredly a relationship killer. Pardon the bad humor. I can’t help myself sometimes and it helps with the denial. And so I sat neither confirming or denying my hopes and fears.
I had a friend and her name was Laura. She spoke truth, she smiled a smile that lit up whatever room she was in. She loved justice. Laura loved God more than anything. She loved her husband and was an amazing wife. She loved her children and was an amazing mom. She was far and above anything I will ever hope to be. She was beautiful inside and out, Laura was definitely a woman worth loving.
She didn’t care how different we were or that I was kind of crazy and she was very sane. And we were different. She loved cold and I hate it. She loved snow and I love heat. She loved the mountains and I love the ocean. She was always on the side of justice and I was always on the side of mercy. We were not two peas in a pod, but she loved me anyway.
Denial. Grief. Denial. Grief.
I miss her. I miss her presence on this earth, I miss her ability to see joy, I miss her words.
I am sure that I should have some great theological whatever somewhere in this post but I don’t have it in me to reason out my grief super spiritually.
I had a friend and my friend died. It broke my heart to lose her but I have a God that comforts. I don’t understand why He didn’t just heal her here and I don’t understand how her death will somehow Glorify God. I don’t care to understand either of those things or explain them. I know others have questions and they want answers but I just have to tell you that most times the answers don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. At least for me answers don’t bring comfort, understanding doesn’t make me miss her less nor does it make me want to say I am o.k. with this. I am not.
What matters more is that I remember my friend well. What matters is that somehow I have joy that she got out of Colorado before I did. What matters is that where she is now, even she would say was way better than being here. What matters is that regardless of my pain and my grief at her loss she is where she needs to be. And she is happy there.
And somehow in between the Denial.Grief.Denial.Grief a little bit of happiness pokes its head through as I think of my friend BEAMING at her Lord, asking questions and feeling no pain. I think of my friend seeing the beauty of God Himself and all He created without any hindrances. No chemo, no radiation, no sickness, soreness or grief. Just plain old fashioned joy and happiness.
Denial. Grief. Happiness.
Denial so that my heart doesn’t break all at once.
Grief so that my heart can let out a little of the pain at a time.
Happiness so that when the denial fails and the grief floods I have something to hold onto.