I wonder sometimes if I’m a bit desensitized or emotionally stunted when it comes to my feelings. Everyone faces a loss in their family or friends. Everyone reacts differently to it. Some of my reactions though…are just weird.
In the last three years, I’ve lost nine people in the circles I run in. The last one was my step-grandmother. A lot of my later childhood was spent with her. Casey and I spent part of an afternoon with her a month before she passed to find hope was fading fast.
I heard about it through my sister when she died. The first thought I had was that I’m out of grandparents. I text my wife to tell her what happened. One of her replies was apologizing that I have no more grandparents. I hadn’t told her I had thought that.
I chuckled at that. Over the years, I found that dark humor is a misunderstood coping mechanism. It helped me through the other losses. Especially if I couldn’t find anything to laugh at, I would’ve lost my mind probably.
I did feel like crying. Of course, I can never seem to actually cry. I choke up at the most while the tears stay in hiding. I kept the information to myself about grandma. Instead, I retreated into my habit of bearing it mostly alone.
I wondered where she was now. Present with the Lord or at the other place? I think everyone wonders that in one sense or another. “Is this life all there is?” At the funeral, her chaplain at the hospice eased my mind on that. He had spoken at length with her about her relationship with Christ.
The funeral brought me face-to-face with my past. Instead of scary, I found it to be sad. In hindsight, I should have hugged my stepfather, expressing my condolences. Instead, I hovered protectively around my mom. I also retreat into ‘doing’ to avoid ‘feeling’ sometimes.
Not mom, though. She burst into tears when she hugged her sister-in-law after passing the casket. Casey consoled her while I stood awkwardly to the side.
We left immediately afterwards. While I drove, I thought of the figure that was laying in the casket. To me she looked much different. Life energy makes all the difference it seems. Have you ever noticed how living things have a glow that manmade things do not?
Later that evening, I was at Deaf Den for Prayer night. While I waited for it to start, grief finally hit me. Good timing, because I wanted to be alone so I hid between two rows of chairs.
Am I the only one who does not want to burden others with their sadness?
In Galatians 6:12, the Bible says to bear one another’s burdens. However, that is in the context of sin. It still is a good idea to be there for friends in pain. I have done it for others. They have done it for me when I actually do tell them what is going on. Maybe it’s stubborn pride…actually, that is what it is. Not wanting to show weakness. I will have to work on that.