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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dancing with Grief Plus Ten Months

The panic and overwhelming grief that has debilitated me every month the week or so prior to the 13th didn't happen. I woke up on the 13th, thought it's almost the anniversary--hey, it IS the anniversary!

Progress, or process, whatever you want to call it.

Mom said she didn't think of it either until someone at the rehab center asked her "What do you like to be called?"

"Gramma." And a few tears fell.

As I listened to the rest of Genesis on cd this week, I was struck by Jacob's attitude toward Joseph's presumed death. As we all know, Joseph was his father's favorite.

When Jacob first saw the bloodied robe, he refused the comfort of his sons and daughters. "I will go down to the grave to my son." (Genesis 37:35). I can understand his reaction at that time. His grief was so overpowering, so huge, that he couldn't move past his loss.

Five short chapters later, Joseph quizzed his 10 older brothers when they came to Egypt to buy grain. He insisted they bring Benjamin with them the next time they came to Egypt to avoid prison or worse.

Jacob's reaction? "Joseph is no more and ... now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me! [Joseph] is dead and [Benjamin] is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow." (Genesis 42:36, 38)

At least 13 years later, Jacob still fixated on Joseph's death. No one else in his family mattered.

I don't want my mother--or my son--or my grandchildren--to feel like they come a poor second to Jolene. Of course grief will come and go, and I know in a sense I will carry Jolene's death with me to the grave.

It's time to focus on the future, not the past.

Regretting: Barbour has chosen to discontinue the Heartsong Presents: Mysteries! bookclub with the third cycle in 2009 (which includes my second mystery, A String of Murders). Good news: they will publish all books under contract, including Paint Me a Puzzle, but the timing and format has not been determined.

Rejoicing: I received contracts today for devotions to be included in A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters and A Cup of Comfort Women of the Bible Devotional. In fact, they accepted everything I sent in! I am doubly pleased. I submitted a couple of devotionals centered on surviving this first Christmas without Jolene; please pray for favor about those as well.


Life in the Philippines said...

Hi Darlene, congratulations on your devotionals being published. i'm sure many others, like myself, will be blessed by how you share your heart so generously. i am sorry about your loss, there are no words to say because we are sharing the same feelings. God bless!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Darlene. I'm away from home but checking in,