Monday, April 11, 2011

Time to Grieve

Annie's memorial is over, the extended family has returned to their respective states and towns, and now there is time to mull over the events of the last few weeks. Or years. I am looking forward to this quiet time alone to think.

Family caregivers who have lost their jobs through their charge's death have a gift. It's called Time. Time to mentally sift through what happened, time to thank God for helping them through the pressures of medicines, doctor's appointments, therapies, and illnesses--and time to look forward to when they'll see their loved ones again. That's about my favorite part, right now. The anticipation of Annie talking to me is better than being a 6 year old one week before Christmas.

In some ways, I feel like I've been here before. A little over ten years ago, I lost my job as Bill's caregiver. Of course, it was a completely different experience--a happy one--because he was miraculously healed overnight of the Parkinsonism, PSP. One day he was sick, the next day he was healed. One day he was sick, the next day he had an opinion about everything. We didn't need the disabled parking card anymore. We had a bunch of medical equipment in the garage we needed to get rid of. But after I wasn't his caregiver anymore, Bill was still here.

Now with Annie's death, there is a heaviness, a weight of sadness that hangs over our house, and sits with us in our living room. It looks out from her bedroom when we walk down the hall, and silently stares through her books and toys that lie motionlessly on the floor. The soft, heavy quiet of her absence.

Jean

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jean,
For these very reasons you, and your family, have been in my heart, on my mind, and in my prayers very frequently on a daily basis.
Please call me when the time is right. My new number and e-address are on the card.
Love,
Terri W

Anonymous said...

You are in my frequent prayers too. Sending big hugs.

Sue Powell

Jean said...

Thanks, Terri & Sue. I really feel your prayers. And as long as I take this in increments, it's not overwhelming. What IS overwhelming is that Annie's in heaven and if you believe that Jesus died for your sin, you get to go there someday, too. THAT'S overwhelming.

Marilyn said...

Romans 12:15
"Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep."

"With" you as you share your heart...

Love,
Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Jean, I have been praying for you. Maybe your family will just be the family I pary for more than any other. Moving my prayers for Annie to you and your family that are still here on earth.
She is dancing in heaven!
~Brenda

pam said...

jean, bill, and kids,
standing in the gap for you all as you walk through this 'soft, heavy quiet' season.

praying...
crying...
rejoicing...

Anonymous said...

Jean, I so know what you mean about rejoicing that our loved ones are in Heaven and we get to join them someday. The older I get and as I recall special people... such as my mother, brother, sister, sis-in-law and of course Annie and so many others... get there ahead of me, the greater my longing. Still, here on this side we grieve and our hearts ache. It's midnight now and I just came here to let you know I am praying.
Sue Powell

Anonymous said...

Not that I am hoping it's any time soon. . . but when you do go to heaven, Annie will run to you with her baby blues the biggest smile on her face, jump up and give you the best hug ever, grab your hand to never let go and give you a tour along the streets of gold- all while talking your ear off about this pink thing and that sparkly thing and she'll giggle about how she showed you her love through songs, nudges, whispers and little birds while you were still on earth. It's such a beautiful picture.

Continued prayers. Each day is new every morning by the grace of God.

-Maurita

Lana C. said...

Beautifully expressed.

Gretchen said...

It's no accident, I believe, that God took Annie home at the beginning of spring. He gave her new life, and is giving you the opportunity for nice long talks, cries, or rants in your garden, working, as you meet each other there...

Beth said...

Jean - and Bill...and all: I just heard that Annie died. I'm so sad that I missed the service to celebrate your sweet little one's life. I feel privileged to have had any part in her life and memories of her bring a smile. I will certainly be praying that you will each be comforted and close during this fresh grieving. My eyes are filled with tears and my heart is so sad for you, even though I know where she is. Love, Beth

Anonymous said...

Hi Jean, Bill and all... God seems to have a habit of waking me up and putting you on my heart around midnight. Thanks, God. I love you and am praying once again.
Sue Powell

Jean said...

Thank you all for your words of comfort. We appreciate them so much.

Beth--Annie was just lying on the floor when you came to help her after her brain injury. By the time you left, she was sitting upright by herself and eating veggie sticks. Thank you for being a light to us in a dark time.

Susan said...

Praying for the emptiness to be filled with hopefulness, peace and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you again this morning, 5 AM.
Sue Powell