22
Mar
10

2 weeks later

It is not getting easier. Grieving is hard work. It is vulnerability. It is wearing one’s skeleton on the outside. It is stretching so thin that God light can get through—in and out, back and forth. It is like my ancestors making phyllo dough, the talented women rolling it thin enough to look like paper. It is hills and valleys, plains and mountains, oceans and deserts. And mostly it just is….

I begin the last week of preparations for my adopted daughter, Bettina’s memorial, on legs both sturdy and shaky. I am ready and not at all ready. I hear the opening song…Listen, God is Calling…and imagine carrying in her ashes…walking up to the altar and placing them there, just so. Then I sit down with the remainder of my family. There will be beautiful, wondrous music, dancing, poetry, scripture…and there will be the remembrance I’ve written. I will read this as a lullaby inviting all to listen: This is who she was to me. I will do this wholly and partly awake and asleep, for the pain of it is unbearable even as I think about it.

God will grant me grace. God’s Jesus Spirit will cover us all and she will be hovering, just like she promised. It will be wonderful and terrible all at the same time. I will be closer to my sister now than ever before, because now I have lost a daughter just as she did fifteen years before. Now we have so much more in common than cancer and mother/sister relationship. I am unable to catch the words as they tumble through my solar plexus.

Just a word to all who want to connect with me…who want to see that I’m okay or not okay, or whatever: Please don’t ask me how I am. Please don’t say, “How are you?” I cannot answer that question. There is no proper bottom from which I can reply. Just tell me that you are glad to see me, or that you love me or pray for me, or whatever is true for you. All I want is to know that there are people out there who see me and care.

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3 Responses to “2 weeks later”


  1. March 28, 2010 at 5:07 am

    i honestly enjoy your posting way, very exciting,
    don’t quit and also keep creating for the simple reason that it just simply worth to read it,
    looking forward to browse through a lot more of your current web content, thanks!

  2. 2 Aaron Barnhart
    March 28, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Oh man…this is the hardest part of reintegrating to your old workplace, social life, etc., after major disease — as you and I both know. “How am I?” Well, there’s only one acceptable answer most of the time, and that’s “I’m good,” whether or not you really are “good.” I even prefer the cliched “You look great,” because everyone likes a compliment.

  3. 3 Aaron Barnhart
    March 28, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Also, my condolences on your loss, Naomi.


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