Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The August of Loss
I've been alluding to it, I know. Facebook is an amazing connecting tool. Post a status that hints at tragedy, and you have an instant community of supporting friends. I love that.
August was a hard month; I think if it in terms of great losses. Tremendous, numbing ones, all blended together, overlapping, leaving no time to breathe.
My Aunt Ann, diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer in early July. My only aunt, my father's only sibling. What a joy it was to venture out to Washington State with my father to visit her, although of course the visit was mixed with unbearable sadness. Here are snapshots from our visit there: Friday Harbor and Artist at Work.
In Washington I got to see my cousin, Scott, whom I haven't seen in 30 years, and meet his wife and girls. There we all are. Three weeks after this picture, Aunt Ann passed away in her sleep.
But before those three weeks were up, we lost Adam. My father and I arrived back home from Washington on a Friday, emotionally exhausted, and then Randy and I got the message on Sunday morning that one of our best friends from college had died during the night.
Adam? Dead? There are things that don't seem possible. We haven't seen Adam in years, but we've always known that we would see him again. He is part of our very fiber, part of who we are. He was witness to the History of Us, of Randy and Sarah. How can he just be gone? I took some comfort in the thought of Adam hanging out with two other college friends who have passed away, randy and Dee Ann. I like to imagine them all laughing together, and what I love is that I can still hear each of their laughs. We had some good times.
Adam died on a Sunday. A few days later, our world shifted abruptly when we learned that our beloved minister was asked to resign. Suddenly, we were in the midst of what quickly became the most life-changing loss for us. Church refugees, mourning a decade of investment and fighting to keep bitterness, malice, and anger at bay.
So you see why my blogging has been sporadic at best. I ache. Then I want to punch something. Then I have moments of clarity and go about the business of life. And then it starts all over again.
But I'm ready to write about it all now. Leaving church you've devoted a quarter of your life to? It's not for the weak— or for the sheep. Stay tuned.