At a loss for words…

People Die

Dogs Die

Living things Die

I saw my Father for the last time in October, 1990, I believe.  I shared some of my growing up pains and sufferings.  I spoke to him in a small way about his.  It was the first conversation of that kind I can recall.. I was 40, He was 70.  Three months later he fell, hit his head, and died within 48 hours, thousands of miles away.  At his memorial service I saw members of his family, including his mother–my grandmother, who I did not even know was still alive.  Along with his siblings who I had not seen in decades.  Uncle John.  Aunt Betty.

And when they die, I will no longer stare at the dead person and say anything to them, and get a response.  Whatever it is you want to say or do or express… do it before they die.  I had no idea that when I walked out of the house in 2009, I would return to find my wife dead, drowned in the bathtub.  I never spoke to Michelle again.  But I did speak with her family and friend.

I knew my Mother was about to die when I saw her last in 2013.  I said what I said.  I was clumsy and loving.   And when she passed I joined with family members in a celebration of her unbelievable life.

I love my life.  I am a believer that I am involved in an eternal process.  It is my hope that you might also understand your eternal options.  But for now this is about me and my life in the flesh, and what I do on “this side of eternity” as my Mom might say.  “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”  But now, for this time, it is a moment for the living.  And I believe that there are important things to do… maybe not for you.  But I want to do something that I deem to be important.

But I am going to die… don’t know when.  Pretty sure I will finish writing this…..but I do have a couple of projects and errands to run first.

I write often about grief.  For years I had NO idea what that meant.  I did not grieve when someone died… I mean I might get sad.  But grief.  I had no idea.  And I guess I thought it was a sign of weakness, or unnecessary, or—hell I don’t know.  I just know I thought it was probably a more serious sad.  And I would get sad about stuff, but rarely did I get my “third degree black belt” in emotionally challenged and prolonged sadness.  Not when my Dad died, or wife, or Mom.  And certainly not when a friend or someone else’s family member passed.

Death would come…I would at some point have to say something to some family member and I would comment “sorry for your loss.”  I do not judge that statement by the way.  But for me it was a band-aid.  A covering for my absence of feeling,  I could move on.  Sorry…for your loss.

I don’t know when this happened exactly.  I am good at remembering details.  I rarely am able to connect them to a timeline.  It happened sometime in the last couple of years… it happened after I moved to Tulsa and Casa Canine.

As many of you know, I am a believer.  I read the Bible.  I am not much of a preacher.  But I hope I a much of an exampler… (spell check does not like that word–sorry for your loss spell check, I am using it).

I believe I am created in the image of God… I believe we all are.  I believe if you want a picture of God I should get about 10,000 of us in a room and use a long selfie-stick to snap a picture.

So one day I see that God was grieved… What??   “How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland! 41Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.”  God was not saddened… He was grieved.  And I am in His image.  And so I began a journey.  A journey in search of my lost grief.  If grief is good enough for God… well you get the drift..

I continue to search.  Grief is a life force.  I have written of this before.  It is Holy Ground.  I am just beginning to understand.  I am so grateful for this element.  And I will share more through the days.  And omg, I have experienced grief in my life now.

And sharing in grief is so important.  For me, and for those grieving.  So during my time of reflection and meditation, I asked for wisdom and words.  Words that mean something to the delivered as well at to that person I deliver to.  “Sorry for you loss” would cut it no more. But I did NOT want to be at a loss for words……

I wanted to do something important.  I want to say something I believe.  So many of my friends will see this phrase I share after I hear of a loss.

“I sorrow in your sorrow, I grieve with your grief, and when appropriate, I will smile with your remembrance.”

I am thankful I am a man of constant sorrow… I rejoice in this life.  May your grief ultimately bring you richness and peace.

3 thoughts on “At a loss for words…

  1. Wow! The things we miss when we take ourselves out of circulation. For me, grief became a lifestyle. A bit like the tides, and the moon, waxing and waning, unpredictably strong at times. It took me a long time to understand where it came from. This is an awesome post about the presence of God, not just in your life, but in your grief. Well done.

  2. I have been looking for Michelle for decades. She was my best friend in Monterey. She attended my wedding. She was the most beautiful lady I had ever known. She had the biggest heart and constant smile. I have missed her and found out today that she has been gone for years. I wish I would have found her years ago. Knowing, now, that I won’t ever have the chance to see her, to talk with her, to laugh with her, to tell her she was loved, brings me tremendous grief. At least now I know where she is and what happened to her. She will always be with me. Smiling in my wedding album. Beautiful, funny, sweet Michelle.

    • I am blessed to know how you loved Michelle. I have written about her numerous times in my blog. She continues to teach and inspire me. I miss her. She adopted my best friend, Tank Fulton, 13 years ago… He continues to share in my life… he is a wonderful dog… I would not know him if it were not for Michelle.

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