Yesterday I read “Tracks of a fellow struggler” by John Claypool for a crisis counseling course I’ll be taking next semester.
It was especially moving for me as it was the reflections of a pastor who watched his eight-year old girl die of leukemia.
Here are a few contextless snippets:
It has taken this long to get to the place I could handle this material without overwhelming pain. Just like a broken leg, a broken heart heals slowly and cannot stand much touching right after the break.
… Saturday afternoon she breathed her last breath and set out on a journey on which I could not accompany her.
There are no experts on the field of grief, for we all grieve in our own unique ways.
You alone can do your grief work, but you do not have to do it alone.
I had my moments when I understood how a person could raise one’s fist to heaven and curse God.
One does not sow and reap in the same day, and, quite honestly, I must acknowledge that if this tragedy were my only conscious experience with God, I probably would not have come out where I did.
I did not realize just how hopeful I really was until that Saturday afternoon as I knelt by her bed and saw her stop breathing.
There were times, when Laura Lue was hurting so intensely that she had to bite on a rag and used to bet me to pray to God to ake away that awful pain. I would kneel down beside her bed and pray with all the faith and conviction of my soul, and nothing would happen except the pain continuing to rage on.
I fall back on the notion that God has a lot to give account for… I believe God will be able to give an accounting when all the facts are in, and until then, it is valid to ask.
The way of gratitude does not alleviate the pain, but it somehow puts some light around the darkness and creates strength to begin to move on
For every one of us – there is no way to avoid the trauma of loss if we love even a little.
A statement that struck a chord with the way I feel about my life, and in particular my wife, was a quote in the book by Hugh Prather during an illness his wife suffered:
She may die before morning. But I have been with her for four years. Four years. There is no way I could feel cheated if I didn’t have her for another day. I didn’t deserve her for one minute, God knows.