Sunday, December 7, 2008

a sad day

Today was a very emotional day at church. We marked the Second Sunday of Advent, meditated on Isaiah 40, and beheld the full clinical dissection of the multiple-issue trainwreck that is the roof of the sanctuary. This week we move our worship activities to another space, another church building we own, and become a two-campus congregation. After Christmas we'll decide whether to try to save the sanctuary, which will cost all the money we currently possess; or if we should tear it down, and bide our time until we can build another, or sell the property.

Tonight marks the fifth anniversary of my father's passing, though his clinical death actually took place the morning of the 10th. Some time early in the morning of December 8th, between midnight and I think 2am, his heart stopped in an ambulance traveling from St. Francis to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. He was resuscitated, but never regained consciousness, having suffered an aneurysm in his brain that involved heavy bleeding. About 24 hours later doctors stopped his heart, harvested some donated organs, and so his life ended. I heard later that the lungs and kidneys were placed quickly, and live on in others, somewhere.

So I'm crying a lot today, and it's like the weather -- there's no cure, no need to try hard to comfort me, it will pass. This will pass. I miss my father, though we never knew each other like we should have, and I wish he were still around to play with his grandson. I know he would have been a terrific grandpa. He'd have done what lots of fathers do -- worked out his parenting mistakes by making it up to his grandkids. I'd have been happy to see it, too. But he's forgiven, was forgiven before he died, for not always knowing what was needed from him as a parent.

Better stop writing, or I'll start crying again. Sore eyes and a headache. :-)


Anonymous said...

Crying is a good thing to do. Give yourself permission to do it, rather than see it as an obligation. There's no straight line to grief, nor should there be.

Jennifer S. said...

Thank you for the advice. I'm not sure what "giving myself permission" involves, dumb as that may sound, so I'll give it some thought. -JS

Anonymous said...

Mostly just decide that it is an ok thing to do, instead of trying to control it or justify it. It's part of being human.

The way you describe the crying part, it seems like you view it more of a failure of not being in control, rather than something that happens as part of being a human who is grieving a loss.

Jennifer S. said...

I've given a fair amount of thought over the past 24 hours. Truly, I tend not to think it's "okay" and envy people that do it easily, when the time comes. It's okay for them, in other words. There are times when it's not so difficult to access my own emotions, but more often than not I keep a pretty tight lid on things. It's sometimes useful. It's not deployable under all the circumstances I'd like it to be - a crabby day with the spouse, for example -- and then again, there are times when I can't feel as good as everyone else does in some situation, and I wish I had control over "control" as well. Convoluted, huh. :-)