How can I exist? How can I continue? I cannot have the past, and I cannot see the future…at least not right now. My day-to-day is sustained by prayers, words of encouragement, keeping myself from a state of panic… Pain, pain all day long. Always on the cusp of tears. With a few words or a particular memory, I become emotional.
What happened? Every so often, I feel like I “wake up” and I want to scream, “what happened?!!” I know people die. I was a hospice chaplain for years. I have ministered to many individuals in those last moments. But, Jana?? This is not easy to comprehend…at all. She wasn’t exempt, we’re all marching toward the end of our earthly existence. But, I never dreamed I would watch Jana exit this world…and certainly not at 46.
Simple things bring the tears on. I found myself thinking about a particular occasion that we went to have coffee on a Saturday morning. I remember the rings on her fingers as she lifted the cup to her lips. Her hair was done where she could wear a ball cap. We sat on bar stools at the tall table by the window, musing over some advertisement flyers left for patrons. The sun was warming up and we had the day to do whatever we wanted to… There, that’s all it took. Tears are rolling down my face and dropping on my shirt. I miss her.
God, I have to know this pain will not last forever! Please, Lord, comfort is what I need. I need to know you care and you have purposes. I feel like I have been kicked in the teeth and thrown into the ditch. Sometimes, it is a struggle to look up and see anything positive. Feelings are actually all over the place. I know I cannot rely on feelings…
“Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her. Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:23-26 (Emphasis mine)
She will rise again. Jesus said, even if she dies, she will live again. And…do you believe this? Well, do I? My feelings, comprehension of her death, and intense sorrow all take on a different appearance when I answer Jesus’ question in the affirmative. Yes! Yes, I do believe! This is how I exist. This is how I can cry, letting out those deep emotions and end on the promise of life! Thank you, Jesus. I need to hear you say these things…I need your voice to remind me; Jana will never die.