A couple of Sundays ago we had a real move of the Holy Spirit at church, and I came away feeling just a tiny bit better as far as my grief goes.
By the grace of God (which I do not deserve) and His blessing (which I also do not deserve) I will be moving to a smaller apartment next month. It is in the same complex I’m in now — in fact, it is 10 steps away from where I live now. My rent will go down $800 a month, which is a HUGE help here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Have I said yet that I don’t deserve this?
When people ask how I am my standard response is “I’m still breathing in and out.” I know, as a Christian, I’m supposed to be saying something like, “Oh, I feel blessed!” or, “I feel good in the Lord today!” or something like that. And I may get there some day. But not today. And probably not tomorrow.
So until then, I keep breathing in and out.
A moon poem and two haikus. It helps take my mind off things. The images were pulled off the internet.
Gaze, frolic, cavort, dream, dance
Full moon moon madness
Gazing out window
Moonlight bathes in glowing light
Moon madness is real
What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the full moon, waking me from slumber.
Drawn, I gaze at the pearly light bathing the trees.
My feet move on their own, outside,
wanting to touch the silvery light.
Dancing, swaying, cavorting,
I am a little mad with full moon madness
SOMETIMES I JUST GIVE UP
Poor widow, her husband died.
Lots of prayers and cards and visits and meals.
A memorial service, phone calls, emails, condolences.
Empty house, empty bed, empty heart.
Keep busy, widow.
Keep working, take care of yourself,
do the shopping, cooking, cleaning …
all by yourself.
Keep busy, widow.
Go outside, talk to people, go to church,
do your hobbies, reconnect with friends,
pet the cats, feed the cats, groom the cats,
do your job; stay busy, busy, busy.
Sometimes … I just give up.
It is just too hard to maintain the façade.
I can’t do it. The grief, the loss is just
Sometimes … I just give up.
I stay home. Don’t drive. Don’t talk to anyone.
I stay in my PJs. I cry, and cry, and cry.
I go back to bed. I immerse myself in a book
or a TV show or stupid computer games;
anything, anything so I don’t have to think
about how much I desperately miss my most
Sometimes … I just give up.
I get so tired of people saying I’m strong.
No, I am NOT strong!
I don’t know what you see, but you
don’t see me if you think I am strong.
My only strength, my only source, is my Lord
God Almighty. I can do nothing without Him.
He wants me to stay, He wants me to carry on.
He wants me to work as if I’m working for Him,
and shine my light for Him and be the best
person I can, for Him.
But sometimes … I just give up.
The news has been so bad lately I hate to look at any web page, check Facebook, or turn on the TV. It hurts my heart, all this violence.
Today I wrote this poem. It was especially hard to wake up from my dream this morning, which inspired this poem.
THAT PLACE BETWEEN DREAMING AND WAKING
Am I still asleep? I feel like I am still dreaming.
I can remember details, and want
to find out
what comes next.
But, the day intrudes.
I hear the fan; I hear the train;
there goes my alarm, and it is not part of my dream.
My dream melds and mingles with the start of my day.
Struggling to climb up from the
soft pleasant wallow of my dream
I hold onto the threads
remembering the details.
Thinking to myself:
I hope I dream that again
I’ve been struggling with grief lately, but I don’t want to bore anyone with that again. Instead, inspired again by a full moon, I wrote a poem.
I awoke. What wakened me?
There was light from the windows
where there should be no light.
Rising, I wandered.
I went from window to window,
the light leading me on.
Where was it coming from?
What did it mean?
What made that light streaming in?
At last – I could see past the trees and houses
to the full moon hanging in the night sky.
Ah, moon! You woke me up with your
shining moonlight. You invaded my sleep
and opened my eyes
so I could stand and look up at you
shining, glowing in the heavens.
How I love the full moon!
A reminder, placed there by God,
that He loves us and watches over us
even when we sleep.
Contented, I returned to my bed
To lay down and dream in moonlight.
I don’t watch any news programs on TV. I much prefer reading the news on the internet or the old fashioned way — in an actual newspaper. Using either of those methods, I can pick and choose what I want to read. I can read as much or as little as I want. AND there are no commercials, since I can easily skip the ads. A news program on the TV doesn’t offer me those choices.
The news from Orlando about the gunman who killed all those poor people has really been on my mind. It was so painful that it took me several days to get all the information on it. The horror and violence of it was just too overwhelming for me to read too much about it at a time. I feel for those people who got injured, and for everyone’s families.
Why? Why? Why? I can’t help but ask myself. Why did the gunman do it? Why would he do it? I don’t understand. I can’t comprehend. It is beyond my intellectual capabilities. I wish I could do something for those folks, for the families, for the first responders, for the gunman’s family.
Lord, help us not forget those injured, and the families of the injured and killed.
I have good days and bad days. On my bad days I have crying spells and am sad a lot. On my good days, while the tears are always right there behind my eyelids, I can laugh and go through life with the joy of the Lord in my heart.
Since my husband passed, I have see-sawed back and forth between good and bad days; sometimes even in the same day. Such is grief. It takes as long as it takes, and happens when it happens.
Sometimes something unexpected will trigger it. Of course you never know what will trigger a grief storm. This week I tried to cancel my husband’s cell phone. The carrier refused to transfer the remaining balance I owed on the phone (iPhone 5s) to my account, instead saying I had to pay the full remaining amount due as soon as the phone was cancelled. I explained the circumstances. No sympathy. It was in the contract I signed, and therefore I had no other recourse but to pay the full amount remaining.
I don’t know why, but this started me crying. I guess I felt like someone had kicked me when I was down. I was turning the phone back in – they could have it. Why did I have to finish paying it off? Oh no, ma’am I was told. You can do what you like with the phone, but you have to pay what is remaining. That was the contract you signed. They wouldn’t even let me pay off the remaining balance a little at a time by transferring it to my account.
The person I talked to seemed (to me anyway) so gleeful and happy that they had me between a rock and a hard place. There was no other recourse; there was no other way I could handle this, except to pay the full amount. No breaks, no mercy, no exception. Nope – they had everything their way, and had stacked the deck fully in their favor, and so I had to pay.
Do I have to say that I don’t have that money? So now I have to keep paying for another year until the phone is all the way paid off. Only then can I cancel the service. In the meantime, I will be paying twice as much as I should or could be —– all because my carrier gleefully wants every single cent of their money and they don’t give a fig that my husband has died and I don’t need or want the phone anymore.
I cried the rest of the night and into the next day. Thanks, cell phone carrier, for kicking a widow when she was already down. Thanks for not giving her even a single little break. Thanks for being so greedy and hard-hearted. And yes, that was all said with dripping sarcasm. Once the phone is paid off I am switching carriers.