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The Undiscovered Country

February 26, 2014

Shakespeare called death the “undiscovered country.”  I’m finding grief to be another unexplored country.  I think the key is the subconscious.  My fore-brain, the rational part, the communicative part, is okay.  It understands that Dad is beyond pain and my faith says he’s in paradise.  My emotions, however, are whales in a dark ocean, thrusting up in powerful jumps with no words and no coherent meaning, taking over the conscious mind.

I love my parents.  Mom was the best mom ever; Dad became more than just a father, but a best friend.  I live 3000 miles away but we talked over the phone often.  It’s no surprise, of course, that I’m grieving.  The loss is phenomenal.  It’s just that sometimes the whales are quiet, other times it thunders up from no trigger.  And my whales are on a different cycle than everyone else’s.

When I was in college a friend passed away and another friend stepped in with overwhelming support.  My son is emotionally like me.  I was worried about him, then saw his post on Facebook of  the huge support network around him.  And the whales come charging up.

Look out for whales….


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2014 7:17 pm

    We’re praying for you as you plunge the depths of grief. Losing your last parent stirs up so many unexpected emotions. When my Dad died I thought I would be able to handle my Mom’s death in the same way, but there was a strange feeling I didn’t expect when Mom died. There was a passing of a generation and I felt orphaned. I knew in my mind the Truth of eternity and the hope I was promised in my grief, BUT the overwhelming sense of no longer having a parent to call on the phone left a huge void. Rob, I’m praying for you as you travel to say your goodbyes and hug your sisters. God’s grace will comfort you, but it’s a difficult road that no one can walk for you. But Christ has promised to walk with you every painful step of the way.
    Love you friend!

  2. Tara Schwab permalink
    February 26, 2014 8:15 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I’ll be praying for God’s comfort as you walk through the grieving process, and for safety as you travel.

  3. February 27, 2014 11:08 am

    Rob, this is Matt, not Dawn. I just don’t do Facebooking and stuff.
    I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Somehow the knowledge of, even when we are convinced of the reality of it, of an eternal realm beyond our Earthly imaginings with God doesn’t- can’t keep the whales away. Knowledge may be a comfort but it is not the comfort we want and know. I haven’t lost my parents yet, so I haven’t experienced this one, but I also know there isn’t anything beyond practicalities that I can do to prepare for it or avoid it.
    If anything it only challenges me to love them in as many ways as I can while I can knowing I’ll have to wait a while otherwise.
    When C.S. Lewis wrote in “A Grief Observed” that when Joy G.passed he didn’t doubt the existence of God, but rather questioned the nature of God and said ” so this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer”. I thought it curious (then) that someone who thought so deeply about God and his faith should look at the pain and cruelty of death and and attribute it to His nature. The older I get the more I can relate to being bitter towards a God who you cannot argue or negotiate with and I personally do not equate resignation with “faith” or “mature submission”. But in the end I think that is all we can do with grief, at least for a long while. It actually makes me glad Christ suffered… that God who could have made himself immune to, death and human grief, did not.
    I know this may be an odd and probably not comforting letter, but those are my thoughts.

    We love you and will be praying for your family.

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