Thursday, January 29, 2009

A person without a country...

Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I am feeling bereft today. I went to Robb's to pick up some things he said he wanted me to have. I knew it would be hard for me to be at his house without him there, but the minute I got into the car to go there I started crying. I steeled myself to go, kicking myself for being a coward and not going while he was still living.

I know we all process our grief in different ways, but I am baffled and angry that no one seems to be taking his death as hard as I am. Everyone is disgustingly cheerful. Oh, I have moments where I allow myself the respite of forgetting, and in those times I am able to act normal, but is there no grief in some of these people? Or is it that many of his friends are older and their experiences with death has numbed or calloused them? I don't know, but I am raw with grief. I wanted to call and ask Robb a question this morning, but there is no one on the other end of the phone.

I sat at his table which had pictures from nearly 30 years ago, with Rob sporting dark hair and beard, and those 70's style glasses that were dark tinted, graduating to clear on the bottom. It brought back memories, hints of fleeting thoughts of times and years gone by. He will never maneuver through the piles of stuff in that house again. At some time I will drive by that house and there will be another family living there. They won't have the piles, they won't have the crowded surfaces, they won't have a full garage, crowded sheds, etc. The lilac will bloom for someone else. It will be a stranger's home, and bit by bit I will have to come to terms with the fact that he is gone.

But for now, I can't get in the car without breaking down crying. There is nowhere that my grief feels understood. Even at Rob's the executor who was a friend for 20 years, shows no signs of grief. The relentless cheer is hard for me to take.

I thought that if there were one place where my grief would be understood, it would be there. Where is the land where this grief is understood and shared?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No friends found

I've spent some time today on Facebook, looking up old friends. Several times, upon coming on a person without a picture, but the right name, I would click on the "view friends" to see if the person's friends were either people I knew or were at least from the right part of the country, where other information is lacking.

Several times I came upon the disturbing notice: "John Doe has no friends." "Belinda X. has no friends." Now I understand what they are trying to say, but it got me to thinking about what it would be like to truly have no friends. Who are the people who have no friends? What is their life like? What would make a person have no friends? What in a person's past would damage them to the point where they simply did not reach out and have friends?

How do you go about befriending a person with no friends? How do you indentify such a fragile soul?

Such a stark statement. Put your own name in the statement. _________ has no friends. Imagine what it would take for you to quit trying, to refuse friendly overatures, to withdraw so completely into yourself that you truly would not have a friend in the world. Who would you have to alienate? What friend would be persistant and what would you do to totally end their gestures of friendship?

So Great A Cloud of Witnesses

Sitting in the sanctuary, the cellist and violinist played old hymns. As I listened, I heard him singing. I remembered riding in the car while he played gospel quartets and sang along. He had a very nice rich baritone and he didn't hold back when he sang. I couldn't help crying as I remembered. Every song I had heard him sing.

I wonder now as I never have before, if Rob is one of those in the "great cloud" who is watching and cheering me on. I don't really understand it, but Paul wrote about it. I've thought about the great saints of the Bible, but for the first time I think there is someone there with particular affection for me who is cheering me on. It is a strange but comforting thought.

Hearing the music though, that reminds me of the sadness of missing him day by day. I can hardly stand not being able to talk with him.