Wednesday, February 08, 2012

8th February

I'm really not enjoying life at the moment. Times of pleasure are just all too brief, simply momentary excursions from my journey through grief. I’m just not happy, probably with good cause I suppose. But more than that, I find it hard to imagine ever being truly happy again, which is not rational and certainly doesn’t sit comfortably with my faith journey. No matter the depth of spiritual conviction and the almost tangible reality of God’s presence I still need something more. Yes I know his grace is sufficient and I will get through this intact and move on; it’s just that the journey is almost unbearably painful, and terribly lonely.

My life has had many challenges, as do all I guess, but until last year I always had Jane to share them with. More than that, no matter the distress caused by surrounding events, every single day we were together, Jane made me the happiest person who ever lived. Whenever work turned sour Jane would welcome me home with a perfect smile, listening to all my moans and groans for so many years without complaint. The brief final years of support I gave her were nothing compared to the love she gave me for decades. It was a very special partnership we had and truly far more than I ever deserved. My very grainy movie clip, from 1973, is part of a tribute we compiled for Jane’s funeral that captures our love and hugs quite perfectly, despite the rather corny play acting!

I was just thinking back to Jane’s last hospital admission the month before she died. She was in for a little over a week with severe discomfort and breathing problems. The procedure they attempted failed and she had to face being sent home for palliative care only, with a caution that she did not have long to live. I’d spent that week living by her bedside for maybe 6 hours each day, the whole of visiting time allowed, and the whole experience was massively draining and severely stressful. Whilst Jane was waiting to be discharged she said to me, “When we get home I’m going to cuddle you all night” and I guess she needed a pretty serious hug, as did I. How can anyone cope with being formally asked whether they would want to be resuscitated should they die? We agreed that she wouldn’t of course. So despite the many yards of oxygen tubes and with the accompaniment of a popping, gurgling machine we hugged our way through a very emotional night. It was good to have Jane home, however briefly. And so we faced down that particular horror with a long cuddle.

I never realised how dependent upon Jane I was. Life feels very cold and empty now I’m alone. I really need a hug… and I really do need to find a way to move on. I can’t keep going over this stuff time and time again. Finding new engagement with life is challenging when the emotional entanglement of the past is so strong. There has to be some way of breaking out of this rather tiring circular journey I’m on. I need a miracle. A God moment, an encounter that lifts me up and moves me on in a new direction.

And quite spontaneously my son just walked into the room, reached over the back of my chair and gave me a hug!

Philippians 1:6 ‘And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.’ (NLT)

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