Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Too tired to write a title....

So much to say...and I'm not sure I can.  My poor brain has started to hit it's limit in terms of sleep depravation.

First, to the Allegiance Health staff members I met today, and especially those I didn't.  I will never be able to thank you enough for what you did for me, my wife and my Miranda.  I learned today that grief radiates out from tragedy like a tsunami.  It knows no boundaries.  It respects no one.  It is completely unpredictable.  I feel for you and with I know you are feeling for me, and with me.  I look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

The other parts of today felt so rushed.  I'm led to believe there will never be a good way to plan a funeral or memorial service.  No matter how hard those who provide the service try, it will always feel like important decisions need to be made too quickly.  You could give me and my family 6 months to decide on some of these things and we would still feel one wants to say goodbye.  Even though we know they are not with us anymore, no one wants to say goodbye.

I find that the waves of grief are changing.  What was erratic over the past couple of days, with strong surges and times of great relief, has turned to a steady flow. It's now a steady stream with only the occasional burst.  God's grace and mercy continue to hold back the storm, but the flood waters are still rising.

There's so much more I'd like to say...but it will have to wait.

I'm home...

I can not begin to express my gratitude for, nor my amazement at, what has happened over the past three days.  Never in my life have I felt so surrounded with love.  This has been the worst three days of my life, and yet, at the same time, it has been three glorious days, full of shekinah glory.

As I prepared to hold my darling daughter to my chest this evening, I was terrified that I would break...literally break...into pieces.  My fears were unjustified.  The hand of God so reached down and touched me, that I was able to sing my sweet angel into heaven.  That peace stayed with my while I bathed her.  It covered me like a deep blanket of snow while I dressed her for the first time.  It kept a smile on my face while we took pictures and I was able to introduce her to her extended families without all those wires and tubes sticking out of her.  You are all responsible for that peace.

God's miracle to me was giving me strength beyond my own.  Endurance that I could never have mustered.  Helping me carry my daughter proudly down long, silent corridors as we approached the gathered family and friends who were singing upon our arrival:

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

I am blessed, truly blessed this early morning.

I do realize that dark clouds are on the horizon.  The hurting will not go away, or end, just because today is done.  It's 3:45AM, and Stevie, our 10 year old cat, is wandering around the house crying for his "mommy."  All he knows is that he hasn't seen her in 3 days and misses her.  His simple desire to sit on her lap and enjoy a good scratch brings tears to my eyes.  No matter how hard I try, I know that I can't provide for him what he'd grown to love and desire from Sara.  He sits on the step to the family room, watching me type, and I can the questions in his eyes, "Where is she?  When will she be home?"  He occasionally glances at the back door, as if he expects her to walk in any moment.

This house already feels like a shell, an empty reflection of what it once was.  I've had this same feeling every time I looked at myself in a mirror over the past 3 days.  I just didn't recognize the man who was looking back.  He seemed familiar, but not quite the same as what it felt like he should look like.

The only thing that keeps the dark waters of despair and depression from flooding over me at this time is the levy of Christ's love.  A levy woven from the fabric of your prayers.  While God may not have given me my heart's desire, He has stopped up the floodwaters. He has thrown me a life jackets that keeps me from drowning in the deep pits and pools that Satan would love to pull me down into.

Thank you, one thousand times, one million times, thank you!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Chad Cole