Tuesday, August 30, 2011

As the fire of memory burns me, the grace of your love returns me, to this most traveled of highways*

Grief is exhausting. And surprising. And really f**king frustrating.

It can leave you alone for months, buried deep beneath the day to worry about what to cook for dinner and did you pay the gas bill and what movie should you watch for family movie night, and what filings are due when for which cases.

And then, one day, when you least expect it, she shows up and bitch-slaps you across the face and kicks you in the teeth and leaves you curled up in a ball crying so hard you are gasping for the air to fill your lungs with everything you've lost. (I totally stole that last line from Snow Patrol, but it's an apt description.)

More than a year has passed since J~ left us. Fourteen months have gone by, and most days in the past few months have been mostly fine.

And then last Monday (14 months to the day since he shuffled off in that early morning thunderstorm) - I find myself enraged. Enraged with the universe, enraged with the other people he left behind, enraged with him for being dead and not being f**king HERE where I NEED him. Where I MISS him.

And for the last eight days, I am floundering, once again, in this foul soup of grief and loss and anger and mourning. And insomnia.

I need to remember that this sadness, this anger, this monstrous grief - this is not what J~ wants for me. I need to remind myself that he always walked with the sun on his face and treated everyone with grace. I need to remind myself he loved me like his own daughter, and he had hopes and dreams and expectations for me...that I let him down when I give in to the despair.

It's not easy, though. It's not easy to remember those things when grief is all up in your grill, screaming like the wicked banshee she is.

Sorry to be morose. It's just something I have to get out of my head before the grief drives me crazy.


* John Hiatt, Come Home to You

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

People Are Raising Their Expectations, Go On and Feed Them*

If you've been watching the evenings, the photos and stories coming from the famine stricken Somalia, and the relief camps in Kenya, are probably reducing you to tears of hopelessness. (Well, that's what they are doing to me, anyway.)

I sent an email to my aunt and uncle in Tanzania, where they have been working for Southern Baptist Missions for the past 15 years. (Not all in Tanzania, but in Uganda, and Lesotho as well.) My uncle is a doctor specializing in AIDS treatment and prevention. But he's there, he's boots on the ground, so to speak. And he knows about Africa and corruption and what's working and what's not working.

So I asked him, point blank, "I can't see this news footage without crying. What can I do, who can I give money to and know it will go to help these starving people?"

His response was immediate and decisive - Doctors Without Borders. (He is not working for DWB, by the way.) Here's a link if you are so inclined to donate: Doctors Without Borders. You can click on the "Donate" tab at the top.

(This post is not sponsored by Doctors Without Borders and I am not affiliated in any way with them. I just could not watch the news one more day without doing something. This isn't much, but it's what I have.)


* Shakira, This Time For Africa, which is, admittedly, about Soccer and not Famine, but I defy you to not want to dance to this song

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