October 19-21: Trying to Rise

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After the service, after the family left, after the house started to empty….we were still getting fed food by others, and we fed our starving souls by reading all the sympathy cards, reading all the sweet messages written on little paper hearts during the reception. We felt the love, the concern, the support – and it sustained us, to a large extent. But it couldn’t change what had happened.

One day I was wandering around the house and I noticed, piled in a bookcase, the books Mark loved to read (comic books, the Redwall series, Harry Potter, Eragon); I looked at the wall and found collages, pictures of him as a small boy. A wail arose in my soul: “What was the FREAKING POINT? Why did I have a son who giggled at Calvin & Hobbes comics if you were only going to snatch him away?”

Tears. Fury. Frustration.

Then…Oh God, I almost missed it. There was this little shift in my head, a little calm thought that said “You’re assuming that those experiences aren’t worth anything anymore. You’re assuming that because he isn’t HERE, it’s all over. If he’s still ALIVE…just not visible…then those experiences and memories are still just as important and valuable, just as much a part of him as you remember.”

Huh.

The fog lifted just a little.

I noted “synergies” (confluence, like the same bible passage mentioned in more than one place) in my devotional reading, and looked for meaning in EVERYTHING. Blue skies were one of Mark’s favorite things (definitely his favorite color), as it turned out (just like mine), and the skies were endlessly blue. I didn’t spend all day crying. I went for long, long walks around the lake nearby. I even went to the gym – something I used to do several times a week – and got a little boost from the endorphins.

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But there was still that emptiness…I still had all those questions and no answers.  And the more I dwelt on the lack of answers, the more I starting wondering how much of a fool I could be. Life is, clearly, a crapshoot. The God of the Universe chose to ignore the prayers of hundreds and hundreds of people and allowed my son to die, just like He allows people to die all over the world, all the time.

What, exactly, is He for?

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