Posted by: bandaidchild | November 21, 2010

On Grief.

I searched for a good quote to sum up what I’ve been feeling lately, but I could not. Dickinson is just a little too….. over the edge. Narudo doesn’t write about death (just love. Pshh.), even Lewis’ statements are too brash. So I’m just using my own words for this one.


For the last week or two, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a dull state of grief. Grief over so many things changing….people getting engaged or married, divorces, death. Financial woes, job eliminations.

If spider monkeys could weep as much as they play, it would seem I’d be a spider monkey for all the crying I’ve done at various points of any given day. Kinda makes me feel like I’m in a perpetual PMS state. . . Not exactly fun.

Everything is changing. Sometimes I think as the leaves jump to the ground and this side of the earth gets grey and the days shorten, it is reflective of abandonment. God must be hibernating amongst the bears.

But He’s not. I know this. And I don’t just know it because the Bible tells me so…but because I have been witness to his faithfulness over and over again.

“It’d be so nice to look out the window and see the leaves on the trees begin to show. The birds would congregate and sing; a song of birth, a song of newer things. The wind would calm and the sun shine. I’d go outside and I’d squint my eyes. But for now I will simply withdraw; sit here and wish for the world to thaw.  . . .And you gave us the most beautiful of days, ‘cus when it’s always winter and never Christmas, sometimes it feels like You’re not with us, but deep inside our hearts we know that You are here, and we will not lose hope.” (Relient K)

A professor at my old college wrote something last week that struck me. He talked about the power of sadness; of how it bonds people together in a way that’s difficult to describe but simply happens through shared experience. Shared grief. And how the Bible does not explain the way Jesus’ smile looked (I bet he was a crooked smiler. Personally.), or how He laughed….it conveys Jesus much more as the “man of sorrows” than any other trait. I found this to be deeply personal, and these thoughts have been swimming in my psyche like lone fish for days now.

Tonight I found out a dear family friend passed away today from a viciously rapid cancer. This afternoon I was eating chicken fried rice and having a discussion about what it means to fear God. I said,“Am I supposed to be afraid God could kill me right now if He wanted? Is it sheer pride that I have the audacity to be apathetic about whether God smites me down in this instant or takes me when I’m fifty?”

I loved her a lot. Sue was kind, gentle, compassionate, joyful, beautiful, vibrant, thoughtful, humorous, faithful. She loved and trusted Jesus implicitly, even when it was hard. She was courageous in her faith. She taught all of her kids in the way of the Lord, and I loved her. She was interested in my life and where God was taking me. Her daughters brought me more life learning and fun than I could’ve asked for.

Sue’s oldest daughter, Katie, was my mentor in High School. She taught me the importance of authenticity. She never took herself too seriously, and I always wished I could be half as cool as her. I am just now learning to laugh at myself. Katie taught me to serve in the inner city and jump in where I could; that it wasn’t a specific skill set that made you eligible to serve others, only a willingness to learn. During some of the most formative years of my life, Sue shared her daughter with me, and for that, I am deeply grateful. Deeply.

Sue’s other daughter Tori and I had lots of fun together. We played guitar together, we laughed until we fell on the floor. I had a completely different relationship with both of these beautiful women, but I always laughed substantially harder with Tori. She too manages not to take herself too seriously. I’d imagine they inherited that from their Mom.

Both of Sue’s daughters always had a hunger to learn, to get better, to grow closer. They were constantly growing, and I find this a testament to how Sue lived her life for Jesus and how she taught her family.

Sometimes I thought Sue would see me at Church and ask how I was doing because she knew Katie had taken me under her wing. Though honestly, I think she just cared about me. Just because I was a human being, and I was important to her daughters, and so I became important to her. What a gift.


Well, she passed away today. And I’m angry and sad about it. I’m typing through hot tears. As I squint, light is reflecting off my eyes like when you drive downtown at night after it has rained.

In my head I am stomping my feet like a four year old. “but it’s NOT FAIR.”

Like Veruca Salt, I’m even a little snotty in my head. She was too gifted a person to die today. Too young. She had children and grandchildren and an incredible husband. That’s not fair. IT’S NOT FAIR, IT’S NOT FAIR, IT’S NOT FAIR.

I figure if I stomp, snot, yell enough it’ll make a difference.

What difference? I dunno. Maybe if I do it enough I’ll be like Dorothy with those slippers and everything will go back to normal. I hate death.

Sue was ready to leave I think. She so loved Jesus, and was ready to see Him. I wonder what she’s doing right now.

Maybe taking a new spin in that new body of hers that no longer winces from walking? She is seeing what we only sing about from powerpoint slides and read about in the Bible.

To my friend, thank you for being an absolute joy to those that knew you. Thank you for sharing your daughters with me. I am a better woman for having known you and your family. I miss you already. . .


Tears have a wisdom all their own. They come when a person has relaxed enough to let go and to work through his sorrow. They are the natural bleeding of an emotional wound, carrying the poison out of the system. Here lies the road to recovery.

— F. Alexander Magoun












  1. Her death hit me hard, too. I feel like it’s nearly impossible to think of a memory from ABC that doesn’t include her or a member of her family. Death stinks. Hope you’re doing ok. Miss you, my dear friend.

  2. hi love. thank you for sharing your emotions in words that most of us can’t describe. the crazy thing about emotions is that they’re really hard to describe; that’s why i think they are so overwhelming somtimes. i love the way you express yourself via word. it’s really beautiful! please do something valuable with this gift. share it. spread it wide. i love you spu.

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