Warning: The following words are written by a wounded and discouraged optimist. These words are real, raw, and without apology. If I am authentic on this journey, then these entries make it too. But if you came for encouragement today, read no further. Encouragement isn't mine to give today.
I am so angry today. Angry. Fiercely angry.
I received Robb's ashes yesterday.
I don't want them, and yet I do. I waited as long as I could. The standard procedure asks the funeral home to keep the 'cremains' for four weeks; for me, they kept them for six months. Gracious. I could not receive them.
When I called to request them, the funeral director referred to the ashes by name.
"We've taken good care of him, Tricia."
"We'll bring him to you as soon as you are ready. He has been in good hands."
He. Robert. As if he liked being called that name. As if 'he' is inside that box. As if giving that box to me is in any way bringing him to me.
I wasn't offended; I'm beyond confident that their words are measured, scripted, careful, and intentional, erring on the side of overly sensitive for those whose hope rests in the box of dust.
But my hope isn't in a box. And frankly, if I write in all honesty, today my hope is hard to find at all.
Elusive. Hiding. Covered. Dark.
If I have his ashes, then he really must be dead.
What a ridiculous sentence. And yet somehow true. This heavy box (which I cannot bring myself to hold) is the tangible, physical encounter with the absence of life, the void of his spirit, the dust to dust. He must really be gone.
I am fiercely angry today.
Truly, I feel like giving God the double tall man. Angry. Fiercely angry.
I am angry.
p.s. Father's Day comes this Sunday. Another first in this year of despairing journeys. Tyler's preschool teacher asked me yesterday how they should address the issue of Father's Day gifts. And suddenly I realized that for the rest of their lives this week will require further questions, thinking, and explanations for all of us.
I seethe with anger.
Hear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life for I am devoted to you.
You are my God;
save your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call on you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
On the day of my trouble,
I will call to you,
for you will answer me.
Amon the gods, there is none like you,
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth.
Give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you,
O Lord my God,
with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
Turn to me and have mercy on me;
grant strength to your servant
and save the son of your maidservant.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it
and be put to shame,
for you, O Lord,
have helped and comforted me.
~ Psalm 86
I recite these words today, like reciting multiplication facts. Perhaps hearing them will remind me. Perhaps they will find their roots and grow deeper. Perhaps the intentional acts of my mind will engage my dry, weary heart.
Perhaps I will somehow once again believe these words.