Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Timeline of Grief

I'm feeling particularly raw lately. That "bubble" I developed during chaplaincy seems to be intact during minstry work itself, but in my personal life, it seems to have popped like so much warm air.

A friend was discussing the first spring of being without her father, and that made me cry. Earlier, I was with a dear friend/teacher, who lost her her mother last week and she told me of the large hole it has created in her life, and I found myself a few moments later, fled to the ladies' room, to dab my streaming eyes, and put myself back together.

My son is ill with strep throat. It's his first experience with needing antibiotics and somehow more difficult than the flu we all just went through. But today, at the doctor's, he was "a poor source of information" as was my own father. His spirit is close and present in these transitional days of sun and snow, before real spring comes to upstate New York.

I am bone tired, so maybe my defenses are truly down, which isn't a bad thing. I'm having a bit of trouble keeping up with everything as the semester churns into its final six weeks. I haven't been home since Christmas and am missing my old stomping grounds. I am feeling the stresses and joys of mothering teens and tweens, preschoolers and school-agers.

I am deeply saddened and struggling with how to understand and cope with world events in the Middle East and Japan, as well as the role of the United States and the choices we are making. The whole front page of the New York times made me want to weep today.

However, my daughter just came in and told me she is being pursued by the University of Pennsylvania as a potential transfer student, which brightened me up again. It's such a statement on our humanity that our personal experiences are a profoundly important way in which we interpret global events. Little successes are vital, both on a personal  and on a global scale. Thank you, Sharon Welch!

So I grieve. And study, and pastor, and grieve some more. I look forward to days of reading and sun; of recuperation and freedom from ill children and outside influences that threaten any sense of wellbeing - bacteria or other.

And I sleep. Sleep is healing, as apparently is apple juice.

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