Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Discouraged Optimist

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.

"Robert."

"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.

Screw this.
Too much.
Too hard.
Too lonely.
Too heavy.
Too much.
Too surreal.
Too unbelievable.

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,
O Lord;
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.

17 comments:

Leah said...

I can't begin to imagine what you are going thru, but know that you have every right to feel any emotion that you need to feel. I believe that God can take your anger along with your love so let him have it! Prayers for you and your family!

Penny said...

Tricia, I can't even begin to imagine how you're feeling. My words don't flow like yours, so I have nothing elegant or profound to say. I'm praying for you.

Andrea said...

Tricia ~ there really is nothing I can say, yet I felt the need to comment just to let you know I am praying. Praying for you and for your precious boys. You have every right to be angry, it's healthy as long as you don't stay there! Praying!

darcie said...

I have no words, except to let you know that I am thinking of you and your boys as you forge ahead in the weekend to come.
xoxo

eb said...

In my humble opinion, you should be angry. Robb's death is not fair, it's hard and it sucks. (And I don't even know the half of it.) And if you want to stew in that anger then go right ahead. That's where you are and not one of us can judge you. We'll just keep loving you and your honesty.

Sarah said...

Hi Tricia...

I've never posted a comment before, but I read every post you write. As someone who lost their own Godly father young, know that your boys will be okay. All that anger and hurt you have... they will have to experience too, but Father's Day will not always be a difficult day. There will be other Fathers to celebrate (this year and in the future) and your example to them - raw and honest - will be their strength.

You're doing so wonderfully... even in the midst of angry days (and maybe especially so). Where you feel like you're failing... God will be glorified. And we... your prayer warriors will continue to intercede on your behalf and hold up your arms when you are weary.

Love you... praying for you.

karen said...

the first father's day without Ted, Dan and Molly came to tell me they were pregnant. happy for them, yes--but once they left I sobbed and sobbed--for all that Ted was missing, for what this grandchild would be missing, for what Dan and Molly would be missing, for what I would be missing. Fortunately the Lord is big enough to handle all of this.
And, if I gave away Ted's clothes, then he must really be dead. so they have gone out sporadically; I still have a few things in the basement (well, more than a few).

so I fully understand the statement--If thus and so occurs, then he must really be dead. this finite brain of mine has trouble wrapping itself around the fact that he is dead.
and as you know sweetie, it will be 5 years for me the end of Nov. Praying for you especially on this coming Sunday.
hugs and prayers

Joel and Ingrid said...

Anger is not always a bad thing- it is a representation of how purely and fiercely you and Robb loved one another (not sure if that makes as much sense written out as it does in my head). It is to be expected that anger would be a part of you losing your love and so God is not surprised by it or hurt buy it. I can't help but think He must be angry too as he watches you struggle through this intense loss and sees how diligently the enemy is working to keep you down. Yet your anger keeps you fighting. And your heart will be avenged. Praying for you today.

purple flower said...

Hey Tricia....I lost my dad as a child. I know the feeling of not having a dad on father's day. There were so many father-daughter nights at school when I was a kid that I didn't have a dad to take me to...it definitely sucks. My mom knows exactly how you feel. I was 8, and my brothers were 9 and 11 when my dad died. You don't have to post this comment....I just want you to know that I can relate to the feelings of anger that you have....not as a mom, but as a daughter. I'm an adult now, as are my brothers...none of us are angry anymore. I have no advice to give. But looking back at my childhood, I could definitely relate to your post today and wanted to share that.

purple flower said...

Hey Tricia....I lost my dad as a child. I know the feeling of not having a dad on father's day. There were so many father-daughter nights at school when I was a kid that I didn't have a dad to take me to...it definitely sucks. My mom knows exactly how you feel. I was 8, and my brothers were 9 and 11 when my dad died. You don't have to post this comment....I just want you to know that I can relate to the feelings of anger that you have....not as a mom, but as a daughter. I'm an adult now, as are my brothers...none of us are angry anymore. I have no advice to give. But looking back at my childhood, I could definitely relate to your post today and wanted to share that.

Mrs. MK said...

Praying and knowing the Lord who held me will hold you through these darkest of times.

I Corinthians 1:8-9

mombish said...

Let your son decide if he wishes to make a father's day gift or not. Maybe it can go in a box of gifts to daddy to be treasured. He may not want to be different than other kids all the time. He does have a daddy. His daddy is in heaven. But he does have a daddy. A daddy that loves him. Anger is good. You are still feeling something.

Becky Johnson said...

Like so many in your life, I wish I could just take this and make it all better....

Noel said...

Oh, I hate days like those. Way to write about it. To show what it's really like. All of it. Love to you, dear one.

Janet said...

One day, Tricia, you will again believe those words. One day, your heart will sing praises.

Until then, know we are praying. You don't know me from a hole in the ground, yet I pray for you. I imagine there are many just like me, moved by the Spirit to hold you and your boys up before the throne of grace.

Claire said...

Thank you for your honesty. It is freeing. Prayers going up that you might know God's comfort in His peace.
Claire

Margie by the Sea said...

Dear Tricia
I pray for you every day with the sure knowledge that your roots in Him are strong. I pray that He will guard and protect you and the boys in heart and mind, soul and body.
You testify to His mercy and grace with every post. In the meanwhile, when you are weary or afraid, recall this to mind: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
I hope we can meet one day! You are a special lady.
God’s blessings
Margie