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Saturday, September 15, 2012

DANCING WITH GRIEF: UNEXPECTED SURGES

But now, as it is, sorrows, unending sorrows must surge within your heart as well—for your own son’s death. Never again will you embrace him striding home. My spirit rebels—I’ve lost the will to live, to take my stand in the world of men.

From Homer's Iliad

For some reason, Jolene and Mom have been on my mind fairly often this last week or so. Oh,  I could trace the sequence of events . . .a woman posted somewhere that her son had committed suicide. I suggested she read the early posts here on this blog, when every day was a struggle and I wrote about it.

I went back and read those posts again. And even more than Jolene, I felt the loss of Mom. She was so much a part of what was happening. By this point four years ago, I reported that Mom no longer looked up on a Friday night, expecting Jolene to walk through the door. We had accepted the reality that she wasn't on an extended trip. She was gone from this earth, permanently.

But Mom wasn't. And yet, looking back on it, Jolene's death marked the beginning of the end for Mom. It was that summer that her heart began to fail, that fall when she had her heart valve replaced, the next spring when she went into an assisted living center permanently, and two years from Jolene's death when she went home to be with the Lord.

I lost them both, leaving me the single Musketeer. And I am missing both of them, sometimes quietly, sometimes fiercely.

I am working on devotional readings from the hymn "It Is Well With my Soul," and, at the moment, the phrase "when sorrows like sea billows roll."  As I examined many quotes on sorrow, I was surprised that over and over, sorrow and joy were mixed together.

I guess that makes sense. If I cut myself off from sorrow, I also cut myself off from love and joy. Loving someone leaves me vulnerable to hurt. If pain is a measure of love, then I loved them with everything in me.

When I read Homer's poetry, oh, how I related. I will never again see Jolene or Mom walking through the door. Jolene will never again crush me with one of her hugs or rid my back of tension with her magic fingers. My spirit, too, rebels. I have the will to live, but I've been there. It hurts. It's hard. 

And yet I know the truth that God comforts those that mourn. He comforts me. And like Paul, I pray that God's comfort will flow through me to others who are mourning.

**A reminder: I run a book giveaway every week. Leave a comment here AND in the blog entitled "Book Review: Preacher's Bride by Laurie Kingery" to double your chances to win a copy of one of my available books. Be sure to leave your email address or your entry is invalid. (Note: there have to be five comments for a valid giveaway.)**



22 comments:

Debbie Lynne and Kathy said...

no need to enter me for a giveaway, Darlene. Just stopping in to give you a cyber hug and to say I'm praying comfort and peace to your soul. You are still a vital part of another "three musketeers"--you are accepted in the beloved, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And I know you are making an impact for His glory through your writing, your blog, and in this time in recovery, as you reach out to your fellow residents. You are a jewel in His crown, dear lady.
hugs,
Kathy Maher

Darlene Franklin said...

Kathy, thank you for stopping by and your comments. I am at a new stage in my life, and there is much left for me to do, but today my heart aches.

CHickey said...

NO need to enter me either, but what a touching post. Thank you.

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

I do understand how your is hurting over the death over a love one .My mother passed away in 2000 from lung cancer she never smoked a day in her life.She got lung cancer from a school she worked in for 20 years it had asbestos. She got sick in Dec.1999 The Dr. though it was bronchitis at first but she continue to get worse .When the Dr.'s went to take the fluid off her lung is when they found the cancer .She past away March 11,2000.I have found out that you never get over a death of a love even if you know they are in Heaven you go through a death day by day ,hour by hour . God does bring peace and restore are joy to make it through each day .One day we will see them again and never never having to say goodbye.Thanks for your contest .And love to read your Adventures at the nursing home .Blessings .Dana jashbk@earthlink.net

Darlene Franklin said...

Dana, you captured the experience exactly. It hurts, God gives us joy to make it through each day, and one day we'll see them again. Amen! Cindy, thanks for stopping by.

Nancy Mehl said...

So sorry, Darlene. I remember when Jolene died. We were Spyglass Lane buddies then. I'm praying for you, and have been rejoicing to hear about your new book contract. Keep keepin' on - and keep writing, my friend!

Darlene Franklin said...

Nancy, the Spyglass authors have mostly gone on to success. Susan picked a good bunch! And you have an amazing gift.
In the past month, I have signed contracts for four more books which need to be finished by next June. So, I'm quite busy! And praising the Lord.

TigerofMu said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

Robin Patchen said...

I love the idea of sorrow and joy going together. What a profound thought. Praying for you always.

Marie Pinkham said...

31onsecosergand
llippl
Darlene, Thank you for sharing your heart. May God continue to make His presence known to you, in good times and bad. In His love, Marie Pinkham, mepinkham@gmail.com

Marie Pinkham said...

8 ondmind

Page After Page--A place to connect said...

Darlene, every time I hear about - and read about - what you've been going through, my heart cries for you. But I'm *so glad*so thankful* that you have GOD in your life! I'm so thankful that you are still pushing forward with your life!!

Amy Campbell said...

Darlene, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Today marks my aunt's 30th birthday in heaven. Still think about her often.

Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Darlene Franklin said...

The rock-bottom truth of grief: God is always there. He cradles me in His arms.

Darlene Franklin said...

Amy, I love the idea of your aunt's heavenly birthday. Jolene's earthly birthday and heavenly birthday are so close together . . . Mom's too . . . their life continues. Alive for 28 years, in heaven for the last four. Sob, sob.

Darlene Franklin said...

Amy, I love the idea of your aunt's heavenly birthday. Jolene's earthly birthday and heavenly birthday are so close together . . . Mom's too . . . their life continues. Alive for 28 years, in heaven for the last four. Sob, sob.

Patti Shene, Executive Editor, Starsongs Magazine said...

Darlene, I'm praying that the sorrow will be overshadowed by the joy in your life. You are definitely a servant of the Lord and the day draws nearer every hour when you will be reunited with your loved ones in endless joy.

Digging for Pearls said...

I'm praying for you Darlene, for God to provide comfort.

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe

Janice Olson said...

I thought of my friend who is suffering from loss of a different kind--divorce, and the pain and hurt is deep because it's rejection. She is working her way through the complications and leaning on God for strength, but as you, there are times that the loss is overwhelming and grief sets in all over again. Thanks for the poignant reminder that we are all vulnerable to loss, but knowing Christ does help. Blessing, Janice

Dawn M. Turner said...

You are so right about the balance between sorrow and joy. I think if we didn't have sorrow, grief and hurt in our lives, we wouldn't appreciate joy, peace and love quite so much. And you're right - those who mourn will be comforted. We're never left to flounder alone in our sorrows. Even when we're sure God has abandoned us, He's there.

Jennifer said...

Dear Mrs. Franklin, I prayed for you and I'm sorry that you lost your Mom and your precious daughter. I'm so very sorry.
I lost my Dad to cancer Dec. 2004 and I still miss him.
jennydtipton[at]gmail[dot]com

Darlene Franklin said...

Janice, your friend is blessed to have you there for her, understanding the grief of divorce. And Jennifer, in the loss of your father. Thanks to all of you for your prayers during this time of remembering.