Thursday, August 8, 2013

Another Day in the Life

I had been planning to continue The Great Library Re-organization.  In fact, I had probably spent an hour on it, as well as some time on Sunday's sermon, when the call came: Could I come down to the hospital? 
And so instead I spent the afternoon there, where a Jewish-Christian extended family had already made all the decisions on behalf of the husband and father who'd had a serious accident earlier in the week. 
I always leave with the same question.  How is it that I am called, again and again, to sit with families in the final hours of their loved ones' lives, to ensure that prayers are said, to try to alleviate some of the fear, to affirm the decisions made, to offer assurance of resurrection?  How is it that this happens, again and again, when I could do none of it for Josh?
It makes me a little crazy.
And very tired.


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  2. How does this happen?

    Perhaps because you know what would be missing if you were not there and know what pain would exist if you were not a presence there, with the Holy Spirit. Your experiences and your knowledge of the very things that were denied in Josh's going can make the passage of others easier for them and their families. This is, I know, a simplistic comment and your learning and spirituality guidance background makes you far more knowledgeable than I

    Nothing can ever erase the pain, but perhaps somehow helping others gives it a new slant, even though it is not a justification.

    You have suffered and been denied something precious.
    You do what you can to keep others from the same suffering and missing piece.
    It seems God has given you many purposes and tasks. This is one, though the very act of doing it is a reminder of what you did not have.

    This is my inadequate idea of it, but you did throw it out for consideration.

    And for what you may feel is an odd analogy, when my first two children were born, I was very awake and aware, rejoicing in their first cries and this new little life. With my third, due to a sudden medical emergency, I was given a very quick general anesthesia and didn't get to hear his first cry and couldn't cuddle him until later. Forty years later, I still feel that loss and lack. Spending my working life as an OB R.N. mostly in labor and delivery, I have joined in the rejoicing of each first cry I have heard, but I will always miss the one I didn't hear. Birth and death, the two bookends of life. We are given so much and yet we yearn for what we didn't get. My own is selfish, yours is not.


    1. Eve, we don't know each other, but your words have comforted me. My first baby (our son, David) was delivered by emergency C-section, and I didn't get to hold him for hours, either. When my second (our daughter, Katie) was delivered, all I could think was "Give me the baby, give me the baby, give me the baby!" I couldn't relax until I held her, and can still feel that longing to hold David - like what you describe. Your telling of your story makes me feel less alone; thank you.

  3. Robin, I have no answers. I just know deep in my heart that you have made and you continue to make a real difference in the lives of so many people. Bless you for all that you do for so many!

  4. Eve and Lynda have said it so well, there is not much for me to add here. But I am grateful that you are called, and that you are able to answer, to provide that which you know (more than most will ever know) is helpful, desired and welcomed at such a time. May the comfort you bring to others, also bring comfort to your own heart.