Friday, June 23, 2017

The Journey Didn't End at the Grave Side.


Photo taken about 1952 at Grandpa and Grandma Grubb's house in Glen Fork, WV.  L to R: Chris, Mary Baily, Mom, Grandma Grubb and in the back Lois Schlager (Frazer)

I thought that my journey walking with Mom ended at her graveside. I realize now that what a good friend told me is true: grief is not an event, it's a journey.  So apparently my journey walking with Mom isn't over; it has just turned down a very rough and often dark and painful path.  And since I am going to have to go thru this, I pray that the Lord will teach me of Himself along the way.  

So before I bring this blog to an end, I will try to share some of the things I'm experiencing.  It is with the prayer that something here will help someone else.  I realize that grief can be experienced not just in the death of a loved one but in the loss of a career, loss of a home, loss of finances.  While my grief is for the passing of my Mother, I do believe the principles apply to all types of grief.  

For me, this is what I'm understanding:  

You always think there will be plenty of time with them; then after the passing of the loved one, you realize there was never enough time.

The death of someone so close to you changes your life in ways that you can't fathom.

                   I realize completely the truth of what I read before the funeral:  "Of all the hardships a person must face, none is more punishing than the act of saying goodbye."  Unknown

After the graveside service, everyone else goes back to their normal life except for the 24/7 caregiver, who goes home to a big, empty place where the loved one was.  The caregiver is the one that has to create a new "normal" without the loved one in it.  This is not to fault anyone; it's just the truth of the situation.

Dr. Charles Stanley is right: everyone grieves differently.  I know, too, that not everyone understands that you aren't grieving like they are and often they don't understand why you're grieving like you are.  As my brother, Chuck, said to me when I was crying while talking to him on the phone, "I just want you to be happy."  Right now, there is no "happy"; my heart is shattered into little pieces and I am hurting, and even with my husband's love and support, I have never felt so alone.  "Happy" may happen again, just not today, just not right now.

As hard as I try to keep my grief from being someone else's burden, I seem to be failing miserably at it.  I cry and it's almost uncontrollable at times.  I hate that I am causing those that care about me pain, but I just can't seem to help it.

I remind myself every day the words of Evangelist Ravi Zacharias: "Time doesn't heal.  But time does reveal how Jesus heals."

And I pray every day the verse shared with me by Momma's pastor's wife, Dessie Myers, the day Momma went to heaven:
"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock                that is higher than I."  Psalm 61:2.


Still sharing in love,
Chris


Mom and me; about 1968.

Me and Mom on my wedding day, November, 1970.

Tina Evans, Mom, and Me.  Christmas 2016



   


 









4 comments:

  1. Love that quote by Ravi Zacharias!! These are some really sweet pictures you shared. Will continue to keep you in my prayers!

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    1. I appreciate your prayers more than you can ever know. Thank you, Chris

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  2. Chris,

    I really appreciate reading your blog Caregiver's Journey. It has helped me along my journey taking care of my mama. Even though I don't have 24/7 responsibility, I am still the one that takes care of her needs for the last 11 years. I am praying for you and your broken heart that God will send healing very soon.

    Again, thanks for the blog and how much it has blessed me!

    Love, Mary Ellen

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    1. You are a blessing and an encouragement to me. And I know your caregiving of your Mom helps her in ways you may not see. She is blessed to have you - and you are blessed to have her.

      Love and prayers, Chris

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