Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Loss: Are we dying or are we living?

I don't even know what to write.  I don't know why I'm writing this right now.  But, I did say that I wanted to share my heart.  I warn you, my heart is in a strange place right now.  My heart currently feels somewhat lost and yet found at the same time.  I can't explain it.

Sunday I woke to an email from my dad that Nancy (my amazing step mom) was in the hospital.  The email did not sound too serious; it sounded as though things would be okay.  In fact, when I called my dad he said that I did not need to come by the hospital.  Something told me that I needed to be there.  While in the hospital Nancy suffered 7 heart attacks.  After about 16 hours and a ton of medicine the doctors were able to stabilize her vitals.  But every hour that passed she got worse as her organs began to give out.  A little before 8PM on Sunday, she passed away.  I will never forget the nurse that walked in and looked at us and said, "It appears that her heart has in fact stopped".

So many thoughts poured through my head all day.  It was a miracle for Nancy to survive 7 heart attacks.  It was a miracle that she was responding to us before she was put into a medical coma.  I stood by her bed begging God for one more miracle.  To wake her up and make her whole.  Eventually, the doctors said that there was nothing left they could do.  The very difficult decision was made to stop the medications.  I continued to pray that as the medicine stopped her body would come around yet this wasn't what happened.

I've prayed with a number of people grieving loss.  I know the "right things to say".  I met with a pastor yesterday and the exact things he was reminding me are the same words that have come out of my mouth to others suffering loss.  Yet, one thought remained.  I've seen people be healed.  I've held children in my arms that shouldn't be alive anymore.  I've seen it.  I know it happens.  So, why not this time?  Why do some get miracles and others do not?  Why did God choose to save the life of Martin and not Nancy?  It hurts.  And as someone told me, "it sucks.  It's supposed to suck right now".

I guess the truth really is that we do not understand death nor can we.  Our brains are capable of so much, yet the one thing that we can never understand on this side of Heaven is death.  I fully believe that we do not understand it because we were not intended to face it.  We were created by God to have life not death.  Death was a result of sin entering the world in Genesis 3.  It was not a part of the intended plan.  So these questions I have...I know I won't be getting the answers.  Or maybe what I just wrote IS the answer.  Maybe those questions just aren't important.  Perhaps what is important is that we cling to God during these times of loss and grief.  Maybe the understanding that it is not a matter of "God is letting this happen to us" but rather that "God is suffering and grieving the loss right along side of us" that will lead us to a deeper understanding of life.  Maybe in these times we should be questioning what true life is rather than questing death?

So, what is life?  Not for me.  For you!  What is your life about?  What makes you tick?  What makes you get out of bed in the morning?  Why are you here?  I think that some of my other posts answer this question for myself.  But what about you?  Are you living a life of death?  Or have you come fully alive?  Nancy was alive.  She traveled and enjoyed it (seriously, she and my dad could probably fill a terabyte hard drive of photos from their travels!).  She loved her work.  She found her soul mate in my dad.  She completed him and he her.  Nancy was not the type to sit around idly and watch life pass her by.

So, as I grieve the loss of a stepmother that I love so dearly, I do my best to focus on her joyous life.  Does it make it any easier?  No.  No, it doesn't.  It still hurts.  It will hurt.  I will miss her so very much.  But I don't want to focus on death any more.  I want to focus on life.  Her life is worthy be focused upon.  But I want to focus on living myself.  Truly living.  Narrowing down my purpose in life and doing it.  And more than that, I want to see others find their purpose too.  I want to see others brought to life!  I want to see others stop dying every day and start living every moment!

So again, what about you?  Are you dying or living?

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