A PLACE OF WRESTLING
I was sitting at a table, laptop open, poetry books, hot tea, notebook, and pen spread before me when I saw a bright green dot dancing at my feet. A dozen feet away sat my son, laser pointer in hand, chuckling. Minutes later, he crossed the lobby, plunked himself in the chair opposite me and propped up his feet.
“So, what’s up?” I asked.
“Uh huh,” I laughed, and tried again. “What’s going through your mind right this very second?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Smirk. “If my thoughts were water, my mind would be a desert.”
I laughed. So did he. But he didn’t move. So I waited. And the words came. The fear.
“I have big trust issues with God,” he said.
“When did it break?” I asked. “The trust?”
“I don’t know.”
“When you got sick?”
Tears slipped down his cheeks and he rubbed them away. He didn’t answer, but he didn’t have to. I knew. He’s been in this place awhile, wrestling with God, grieving what was, afraid of what is.
“I don’t think about the future,” he finally said.
“Because I can’t see myself there.”
And then came the truth.
“I don’t think I’ll make it there.”
WRESTLING WITH GOD
Somewhere along this rocky, twisting, and unwanted road comes a place of wrestling — with God, with self, with letting go of what was, and with learning to embrace what is.
I’ve stood on that hill. I’ve been where he is, looking back at what’s been lost, what’s changed, and looking ahead toward a life of pain and limitations. Someplace along the way I resigned. I crawled straight into the lap of loss and laid in a heap. A few weeks later, a friend asked me to describe my heart in words. My fingers reached for the keys, reluctant to wrestle words from the gray, yet one-by-one they formed and landed on the page in a torrent of tears.
I had resigned. I had given up hope. I was unable to go back and afraid to go on.
RELEASING CONTROL • READY FOR SPRING
The words blurred as I finally released control, I didn’t have the answers, and I couldn’t fix this. Surrendering, I opened my hands and my heart, grieving what was, finally ready to accept what is. Ready to breathe and live and rejoin the dance.
My son now stands on that hill between resignation and acceptance, wrestling with God and self. Grieving what was and not quite ready to accept what is.
But it’s OK. Because spring is almost here, hope watered in tears, ready to push through the grief, through those last few, stubborn, dirt-encrusted banks of winter to burst into light.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
Cindee Snider Re
Author, Designer, and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®
Cindee is married to the man she loves most in this world, mom to five adult kids plus a son- and daughter-in-love, and Lolli to an adorable grandbaby. She and four of her kids have Ehlers-Danlos and myriad co-existing conditions. While a life steeped in illness is not what she would have chosen, through it, she’s learning that the deeper the valley, the greater her capacity for joy.
In the Midst of Grief
Navigating loss, suffering, pain and sorrow.
Grief is no stranger to those of us affected by chronic illness, pain, and suffering. While there are no rules for grieving chronic loss, there is a road map and there are fellow travelers ahead and behind us on the journey. Grief often precedes growth.