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Friday
May302008

Faith, Hope, & Love

"Since every death diminishes us a little, we grieve - not so much for the death as for ourselves" - Lynn Caine

Every death does diminish us a little - taking away a portion of our heart, only to replace it with an aching void. It is this newly created space that seems to devour any happiness or joy I might encounter. Because as soon as I figure out that I'm partially enjoying myself, I am reminded that perhaps this moment could have been that much sweeter - if only "they" could be here with us.

Yesterday, at 3:55pm, my Grandma Ludie took her last and final breath.

And, I understand that to grieve is the most indulgent of self indulgent acts. It is the darkest pit of self-absorbed, self-pity. 

But, please-just indulge me. Let me be the first to admit: I am consumed with this loss.

I am so completely exhausted down in this pit of despair, that I can only offer you space to curl up next to me in this darkness. My arms hang limply at my sides, and the half-hearted smile I might have been able to muster earlier in the week, has crawled down my face-creating a frown...a grimace. The beat of my heart will assure you that, yes-I will continue to breathe. Though, my heart feels as if it is stuttering and stammering to keep pumping. 

Lately, it seems that every time I come home to visit, it is to bury someone I love. 

Last night, I cried out until I was sick. Even then, crouched on the ground and emptying my insides - I could not get rid of the sickening loneliness. The realization that death has severed another relationship. Instead, I just clawed at the ground - and shouted out to God.

"God, I know you hear me.

I know you can hear me....

Lord, you can hear me....

You hear me, right?"

*Stiffening Silence*

I know He never forsakes us, but is it possible that he turns his head, at times, just to allow us to learn something on our own? Because, I've never felt so alone or so misunderstood - as I have recently.

I can say I need help. I can say I'm afraid of where my mind is headed - and how it seems to be off the tracks and running - pulling me with it - but for some reason, people seem to shrug it off....

please, please don't shrug me off. 

When I was a little girl, and I'd become overwhelmed with whatever may have been on my mind - I'd go sit on the porch and sing. Usually, my dog Pokie would come and lay his head in my lap - and lick the tears from my face. He seemed to just KNOW that I needed him.

Even Pokie is gone, now.

I've been riding my Mom's bike every day since I've been here. I keep thinking that if I'll just keep moving, I can trick my body into feeling more alive. I still swing by Reed's house - even though I know he won't be there. Just seeing his "Probe Testarosa" in the driveway makes me smile. I love remembering him, always dressed to the nines, pulling into the driveway to whisk Heather away somewhere for the evening. I keep lifting my eyes, waiting for my own version of Reed to pull into the driveway. But, that hope dwindles day-by-day.

Sometimes, I get so exhausted from emotion-that I'll just go to sleep in the middle of the day. Last Saturday was one of those days, and I lay on the couch in my living room, and drifted to sleep. In my dream, Reed came through the back door of my house with a basketball under his arm. He sat down next to me on the ottoman near the couch, as I was still sleeping (in my dream). He pushed the hair away from my face, and he leaned over me and said, "Don't lose your hope, Hillary. Don't you lose your hope." 

"You are going to have everything you need."

Then, he pulled a moving photo out of his pocket, and he said, "I want to show you something." This photo had a small cottage / cabin in the woods, with a spring river running through the back side of the land. He said, "This is going to be your house." 

Then, he said, "You want to know something else? You're going to have your own little boy. You're going to name him 'Robin'-because he'll sing like a bird."

To that, I began to cry. Then, he got up, spinning the basketball on the end of his finger the way he used to do-and he looked over his shoulder outside at the basketball goal. 

On his way out the door, he stopped and he said, "Hillary, your spirit is not broken - it's just the grief you are dealing with." And, he walked on out the door.

When I woke up, the ottoman was still sitting beside me in the same way it was when Reed had sat on it. The sun was shining through the blinds at exactly the same angle, and I felt this warmth-this true belief that it was he who HAD come to visit me. 

How could he have known that I am losing my hope? How could he have known how much I long for a family of my own? How much I desire to belong to a man, and to have that man love me for me? For all the quirks, and strangeness that is bundled up into this mess that I call "me"? 

I think that sometimes God will send us angels so we won't completely lose our hope.

Last night, Heather found me outside crying - I haven't cried in front of any of the family. And, she just sat with me. She just sat and sat so I wouldn't be alone. When she finally broke the silence to ask me what was wrong, I confided in her that I am beginning to lose hope. That all those dreams that I've held in my heart of hearts since I was a little girl, playing with my Barbie and Ken - they are slowly slipping away. That I'm starting to believe that love isn't part of my plan. That perhaps God won't allow me to have a love relationship because it distracts me too much from Him.

And, you know what she said, "Reed used to tell me not to lose my hope, Hillary. He told me to claim this verse: Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you. To give you life and a HOPE.'"

I can't tell you how many times, recently, I've cried out to God to take me, now. To end the heartache and disappointment that I have with myself. In fact, recently, my prayer has changed to one of simply asking God for forgiveness for all the ways I've wrecked my chance at life...and, to just basically ask Him if he'd just ERASE me-as though I never existed. 

I'm searching: 
For the place I belong.
For the sun.
For a reason to keep believing.

In that frame of mind, this speaks the most to me:
"It is neccessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live."
Alexandre Dumas Père

Go hug your mom. Call your grandma. Ask that old friend for forgiveness. If you Love someone... please tell them. They may need to hear that so desperately.
Release it all, because it is all so small in the grand scheme of things.

Until I can write something positive, I don't think I'll be writing again-
Until then, 
Hillary

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