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The Dark

Seven months after Daddy died, so did Mom.

Dad’s sickness then death was sudden but Mom had been ready for a while. Mom was tired of fighting for breath and she wanted to die. She wasn’t scared of dying, only of suffocating.

We surrounded her as she lay on her bed at home when she ran out of breath. And that’s what it was like. No gasping. No struggling. No fear. Her breathing slowed…..a gradual peaceful stilling of her chest……….then her breath was no more.

Mom was gone. Mom and Dad were gone.

We sat in the same room at the same funeral home with the same young funeral director as we had seven months earlier and I thought about how nothing was how I thought it would be.

Nothing.

But I thought about it as if I was looking on, separated from all of it somehow. Everything was muted……..kind of dulled………what I heard, what I said, what I saw, what I felt.

In between the deaths of my parents my marriage took another hit. We’d struggled for a while and it was already so fragile. I was really scared for my marriage this time. A real kind of scared.

Maybe that was the last time I’d felt anything full-strength. Maybe a part of my heart shut down. Maybe the Zoloft was doing what it was supposed to do.

As I sat there with my sisters around that table choosing the hymns to be played at Mom’s funeral service I remembered comments Mom and Dad made. Some of them to me. Some to others about me.

Mom and Dad had noticed my fading. My distance. I wasn’t myself and they were worried. I told them over and over I was fine. I think I thought I was fine. I think I thought everything would be fine. But they saw what I couldn’t see.

The thing about fading is that it happens slowly. So slowly you don’t feel it or see it. It goes unnoticed at first. Then the heaviness gets heavier. The darkness gets a little darker. And you get used to walking around in the dark.

And I kept doing what I knew to do. What I had to do. Because the world doesn’t stop when your marriage is crumbling or when your Dad gets sick and when you just need time to think about things and feel things and mourn things. The world doesn’t stop.

Then it was heavier and darker and I was tired. The kind of tired that goes into my bones. I woke up ready for each day to be over.

As we reviewed the order of the funeral service, the words of one of the hymns came to mind:

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, My Savior, God, to Thee
How great thou art, How great thou art
Then sings my soul, My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And I wanted my soul to sing again. I wanted to wonder again at all that God has made.

I’d not lost all hope. There was still some in there.

How great you are God, my Savior God to Thee, How great you are!

 

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

No Comments

  1. baliinfoblog on May 23, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Beautifully expressed…there is always a positive side, however bleak things may seem at times

  2. Claudia Hernandez on May 23, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    “She wasn’t scared of dying, only of suffocating” So heart-wrenching.

    • mariegriffith on May 24, 2016 at 5:40 am

      Yes and her fear was real. There were several times she felt like that was happening. Thank God it didn’t.

  3. Joy Waters Martin on May 24, 2016 at 6:24 am

    I understand … love you and thank you for sharing light in the darkness. We are never alone…new mercies every day.

    • mariegriffith on May 24, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Yes Joy…..great is His faithfulness! Love you. Thinking and praying for you often.

  4. 52fearlessfridays on May 24, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I am grateful for the way you described the slow fade that we all go through sometimes. We really believe that everything is okay…we’re just a little tired. Everyone else can see that somethings wrong way before we can!

    • mariegriffith on May 24, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Thanks Charlie. That’s one of the many reasons we shouldn’t isolate ourselves. So that others can see for us what we don’t see and speak life into us.

  5. brucewmartin on May 24, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I never knew. I must have been a little checked out myself. But like you, I have found God to be faithful in the dark. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself Marie! It is appreciated.

    • mariegriffith on May 24, 2016 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Bruce. I hope it helps others going through the dark to know that there is light and hope. God is with them there.

  6. Intentergy on May 24, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Your honesty about your “fading” is admirable. It is so hard for so many of us to admit that we are weak from suffering or “fading” because of that suffering. I am so glad you were able to grasp on to something that brought light and strength to you. Remember those all those worlds, stars, and thunder were created for us to live in the fullness of God’s grace. Take that grace and be full again. 🙂

    • mariegriffith on May 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you for those words of encouragement. Yes I will take the grace and be full again.

  7. dawnlizjones on May 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Wow, Marie! Thanks for being so vulnerable. I also noticed how the Zoloft seemed to damp down some of the emotional part of my chemistry. May I ask how recent this tale is? Could you share sometime any other lessons you experience as you moved through this time?

    • mariegriffith on May 31, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks Dawn. I’m out of the dark now but still processing and letting God do His thing. I decided to quit the Zoloft about 9 months ago after taking it for a little over 2 years. Mom passed away in January 2015. I definitely plan to write more about my journey.

  8. kristinakoti on July 7, 2016 at 11:35 am

    So sad but strong and beautiful!

    • mariegriffith on July 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you Kristina. I am stronger because of that season.

  9. […] Full-Time The Dark […]

  10. shwetaspree on November 30, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Beautiful story. The way you have described the process of fading is amazing. I admire your strength. True. The world does not stop.

    • mariegriffith on November 30, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you. I’ve had several of those moments and/or seasons…..when I wanted everything to stop while I got my bearings. It doesn’t work that way. Who knows how many hurting people we encounter daily who are experiencing that same feeling?

      • shwetaspree on November 30, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        True. Absolutely agree with you. You are such a sensitive person. Such deep understanding of life. Bless you.

  11. The 2016 Rundown | Full-Time on December 31, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    […] I was finally able to put into words some of the difficulties of 2013, 2014 and part of 2015. I’d start the posts, then stop. Try to start again, but no words. They just wouldn’t come. More times than not, something is worked out within me when I write and I knew I needed to write about these things. At last something broke inside of me and the words came for the first post called Linger. It took months for the other healing posts to happen but I found the words. I’ve received more comments on those posts than others because everyone has experienced loss, grief and heaviness. Those posts are called Gone and The Dark . […]

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