Saturday, April 26, 2014

Loss, Compartmentalization and a Legacy

Compartmentalization.  That is how I deal with most of the emotions and work in my life.  It's a skill but one that can also be damaging, at times.  However, it is something that I have had to develop through my work with abused and neglected children.  Heart wrenching stories and struggles that we come across at work that there is no way I can carry it around all day, not without finding a little spot in my heart to tuck it into and return to it at a later time (or not).  It's a way I have survived being there for 10 years and could continue in the line of work.

This coping strategy, also, penetrates into my personal life.  I lost one of my grandmothers a few months ago and the other just last week.  Amazing Godly women, who I adore, cherish and wish I got to spend more time with (they lived in Florida).  The passing of a generation.  Loss.  It brings up so many emotions.  Thinking of losing those so dear to my heart.  Thinking of my own parents losing their mothers and trying not to think about the loss of my own mother, then I can't stop the tears.
So it is through tears (and many tissues), when the house is finally quiet this midnight that I allow the walls to come down and I write.  (Therefore, if things are not totally clear, perhaps you can understand why.)
Right behind my relationship with my Lord, my family is the most important thing to me - nothing else truly matters (even if I get caught up with other things from time to time).
  Both my grandmothers were amazing.  Losing the first was somewhat easier, though, as she had began the struggle with Alzheimer's/dementia. Such a cruel disease when your mind begins to fade.  So knowing she was brought to her forever home in heaven, where her mind was in perfect peace with our savior - that brings comfort.

My maternal grandmother's mom, lived to be 100, in her own home.  It's hard to imagine but I had thought the same would be the case of my grandmother.  Expectations will always get you.  My Grammy was so full of life; sure she had slowed down but still life was there.  My grandfather seemed to struggle a lot more with his health problems and  I thought for sure that he would go first.  But this...this was not what I expected.

I was lucky if we could get down to Florida once a year since having kids (traveling with littles is no joke!).  But she had always loved the computer (she even made all our birthday cards, inserting pictures of who knows when) and had been on facebook for years.  I felt connected when she would "like" a picture or blog that I would post.  It bridged the divide of the many miles that seemed impossible to cross. She was there, interested, wanting to be involved in my life.  She would usually like them late a night...a true night owl, staying up really late.  I suppose that may be where I get it that is when I function best.
I wasn't able to go to the funeral, not with a newborn and traveling.  I haven't made it out of the house but a handful of times since the birth and still having anxiety issues.  I must confess that part of me does not want to go.  I don't want to face that she is gone, really gone.  That you really can lose your mother, even when you don't expect it.  That your spouse could be left alone, like my grandfather now is, lost in a world mostly of his own, as he can barely hear and is so quiet anyway.  Thinking of the countless souls in nursing homes that struggle with loss of so much physically and emotionally.

My grandmother had a massive stroke and was then moved into hospice care.  My mother, her siblings and my grandfather waited over a week for her to pass.  A week of waiting on death.  Of holding the hand of the mother that held your hand through childhood and beyond.  That knows your heart like no other.  Whose face and features have been changed, not just by old age, but by the very incident that will soon take her.  Seeing your grandfather struggle with understanding to let his wife go, as it was her wish, and holding her hand in the silence.  Looking into the eyes of the soul you love so much, not knowing how much she can truly understand now and not wanting to accept a loss so great, but knowing that it truly is the sovereign will of God.

In my Bible reading this week it went through the Sermon on the mound and I am again struck by Christ's words: Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)  Come Lord Jesus, come.  Comfort those that are so near to my heart, comfort my heart.
Thank you Lord, for the legacy of amazing women that you have truly blessed me with in my family.  I know that they are both dancing and praising you in heaven.  Thank you for my own mother, who I treasure so dearly and never want to let go.
Please Lord, help me be the example that these women were so clearly of Your love and service to my own family.  May you be glorified above all else.

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