Sunday, April 19, 2009

when in deep contemplation, say very little...

It has been a while since I posted. But it is not due to a lack of reflection or having little to say (neither have ever been on my short list of problems).

My dad died six weeks ago, and I am going through a fairly intense period of seeking and thinking and wrestling and arguing... about various issues and convoluted subjects. But at the core is this sense that the bottom has somehow dropped out, and inside I'm spinning.

Not like I am falling apart, or that life has taken a drastic turn for me or us, but more like that carnival ride that relies on centrifugal force, where once you're spinning at a certain speed they literally drop the floor out from under you. This is advertised to be fun. (Well, the last time I risked it I vomited with my 9th grade "date" standing next to me... ruined the next several weeks)

I feel just like that now. Life is spinning, and actually at a pretty good clip. I have worked hard, made some good decisions, ducked a few others. But I've also spoken when I shouldn't have, hit Send on a few emails that I needed to be softened a bit, and more times than I'd like to admit outwardly displayed an engagement when frankly I was somewhere far, far away (remember the floor ride?). In other words, I have not been very good at this grieving thing.

Grief comes in waves, you know. It is also unpredictable, sometimes frightening, and occasionally devastating. You see, I lost my father, and now some of those issues and memories and incongruities that I have neatly hidden away are wreaking havoc on my soul, my heart, my mind.

My friends, grieving or not, the following non-sage bit of advice comes solely from my own experience, current as it is:

When in deep contemplation, or distracted by the inner whispers of the soul, or held prisoner by the fickle ravages of pain and loss, say very little.

Unless you blog...

6 comments:

B-W said...

It has often been my observation that although people may well be good about offering comfort and support to those who grieve in the days immediately after a loss, such support often drops off in the weeks that follow, despite the fact that the one grieving could still use that support.

If I failed to say something six weeks ago, please accept my apology. I am indeed sorry for your loss, and hope that you are able to find continued support in this time, despite the loss of immediacy.

Dr. Roger D. Butner said...

Chap,

I actually discovered your blog during your time of silence and loss (although I have greatly appreciated "Hurt" and "Disconnected" for quite some time now)

May you be richly blessed with a few friends who know how to offer you the gift of presence in the way Job's friends did for seven days. (And may your friends have much better things to say than Job's friends whenever they do speak.)

sassiekiwi said...

Hi Chap

You spoke recently at our school in Korea and really challenged me. Thanks. I was unaware of the loss of your father. My Dad died 19 years ago and I am familiar with the journey of grief. Your comment about grief coming in waves really resonated with me. Can I encourage you with the best thing someone said to me in my journey ... it was this: "however you feel, it's ok". That really helped me as there were days the floor dropped out, and then there were days when i would feel happy but then guilty about being happy ... and those days when it just hits you out of left field. Whatever you are feeling, it's ok. Am praying you know the love and comfort of your family and that God puts his arms around you.

Dan said...

Prayed for you several times. I understand what you are experiencing.

pastor dave said...

Chap -

My dad died four years ago, on our son's 1st bday. Dad's last year was wonderful and awful and terrifying. My friends backed away, not knowing what to say, and we were beginning to be between churches so our church didn't offer any substantial help, either. The worst time of my life. The grief will come and go in waves. For years. Take care of yourself. Be silent, and still, and know God. He loves you. Lauren Winner's chapter on grieving in Mudhouse Sabbath helped me process, as did long and prayerful walks. Praying for you.
(The post will say this is Dave, but it's really Siv!).

Cathy Crawford said...

Hi Chap,
Thank you for your honest words. Losing someone you love and has been such a major influencer in your life causes many emotions to arise. I lost my dad over a year ago and my grandmother, Eula Smith died a few weeks ago. I loved them both very much. And losing them has caused me to go deep into my heart and see what is there. I know that God uses suffering to show us who we are and who he is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Cathy