I haven't been sick in over a year, since we spent so much time in nearly germ-free environments, and used hand-sanitizer like obsessive-compulsives ("gel in, gel out" as the hospital signs posted everywhere reminded us). But I caught a bug this weekend, and I am at home in my bathrobe, feeling pretty icky.
I recieved a lovely column via email from one of my friends/neighbors. It was written by a priest who has taught at a local university. I want to offer it to you. Check the archive if it is past this week's date; I think he writes a new one each week. The title is "Coping with Tragedy." Here is a link: http://www.ronrolheiser.com/
These words speak a deep truth to me, one that I know now in my body. There are days when I feel okay, and days when the grieving is a physical drain on my body. It has felt that way these past days, a kind of aching hole, and there is an anger, a rebellion again, against having a painful void in my heart where my daughter should be. I do believe this is one of the worst pains there is; not that I have experienced the full spectrum of the pain of this world, but I can tell you that it hurts beyond what I had ever imagined it could.
I am a woman who has been given many gifts and opportunities in this life, and I had a full, good life before becoming a mother. I was given an education; I have worked, traveled, and have been privileged to be able to donate my time and talents to others. I have had the joys of good relationships and the pain of betrayals, mistakes and many disappointments in life; experiences of grief for loved ones who have died and for lost love; the pain of childbirth and surgery...yet I have always had a positive attitude that carried me through. I believe that attitude was rooted in my hope and faith in Love itself; love as a verb, and Love as a noun. I haven't lost that hope and faith, but I can't find words to tell you how tired I am as a result of this particular pain. It is a real weight on my heart.
To all of you parents and family members living with this weight, I am here beside you. You are not alone. Perhaps, together we can hold hands and wait, as Fr. Rolheiser suggests.