Approaching Iona of the Heart when the sea is so rough is daunting. I sometimes feel as though I am drowning. Since Joe died so suddenly I struggle to stay afloat…drifting. Sometime drowning seems so much easier than fighting through the storms. My tears seem to add to the depth of this sea of grief that could easily suck me to the bottom. Yet, no, I am compelled by Christ! Float. Drift. Know that the deep strong current of your life, Cait, will bring you home.
So, I am giving myself to what I am experiencing: the loss, both aloneness and loneliness, deep grief, gratitude for the eternal nature of love, gentle memories, sensations, dreams, commitment, convictions born of Faith, convictions born of experience, of love of Joe and Rose, lessons from my parents, the affection of dogs, community, longing, sorrow, weariness, daily fatigue, sleep, communion of saints, personal attacks that rip my heart, tears, questions, hope, passionate love, the power of the Holy Spirit.
Anger does not seem to be my challenge as much as weakness and sorrow as I wait upon God. A life of melting into and finding the comfort of home in God's arms is far more my reality than anger at God's ways. My need to be in control seems comforted, satiated by experiencing God's personal love protecting me today and tomorrow beyond my ability to control life. Life and death are all part of this reality. Peace comes step by step by embracing mortality and eternal life in one passionate embrace that clings in trust, in abandon, in unspeakable love, in union with God. Peace that takes me past all I am experiencing daily... that passes understanding.
Each day is different. Some days I am flooded with memories that spill out over and over, the repetition challenging the great Charity of my family and friends who listen. Other days waves of ideas and creativity crash through into this dark place demanding I remain receptive to the Holy Spirit of God. Other days deafening silence permeates this house, isolating me inside myself, silence broken only by intermittent sobs.
Most days tomorrow seems irrelevant to me. All I seem to know is this moment. I give this moment to God, to Almighty Love and I wait, not abandoned but as a creature trusting my Creator. I wait. For death. For life. In both I expect Love for I have proof, not faith. I have experienced unexpected love and the commitment that it is stronger than death, and I know my lover, my friend, my spouse remains near, just beyond sight. And God? All this is my experience of the Living God Who comforts and restores me.
I am committed to Rose our beautiful daughter, to survive and thrive. She has a right to her mother, for her loss is also great, profound. I am trying to be faithful to my commitment to my Church family, to be faithful to what has been asked of me by them. I rely on Grace to breathe most days. For the most part I am able. I suffer my failures keenly.
Mostly I remain in survival mode even physically. I have not touched my house in months and it is in disarray as I tend to my inner house. My physical energy is gone. I am looking for ways to earn a living so as to keep my home, our home. The grief can be seen in my house, felt, heard, even though laughter breaks the silence now and then. I am very alone and very lonely. I am not yet dancing in the darkness. I am waiting for that time. I know it will come.
Some people cannot fathom such grief and loss. Yet unless it is experienced and integrated into life how are we to know and honor others with compassion? As in all life’s lessons, I am meant to learn more about love. I believe that. It is all that make sense to me. Then, amen, I say! Amen.
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LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
My pillow soaked, so much I weep,
I turned over in my sleep
And there you met me with a smile
And joy returned, but for a while.
When I sensed you lying near
Felt your touch, your voice so clear
I knew your death had been a dream,
A nightmare, or so it seemed.
I wept with joy as we lie there
Secure again without a care.
I held you, kissed your face once more
And felt our souls to heaven soar.
“My Joe, I thought that you were dead
An awful dream it was,” I said.
“A nightmare took you suddenly,
But, Oh my God, you’re here with me!”
Grateful for reality
Holding you so close to me
Our love young and ever new
The night passed, the hours flew.
Oh how real your love, your touch!
We never thought we’d have so much
A nun, a monk, so long ago
A future we could never know…
Then you proclaimed your love for me
And that’s the day we were set free.
God’s gift of Love came as a Rose
To bless our lives. How fast time goes.
So here we lie in our old age
As we prepare to turn the page.
So many years, yet more to come,
The joy of our love ever young.
And as the lark reminded us,
And woodland creatures made a fuss,
Dawn came upon us too soon,
The sun appeared to hide the moon.
You visited me here last night
And once again my world was right.
We laughed and talked till break of dawn
And then I turned and you were gone.
c. 2016 Cait Finnegan-Grenier