Raw Reflections from the Journey

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good Grief and Misc. update

Three months is a long time to be absent from a blog! Sorry...

July was the trip to India. Click here if you missed the blog.

August was recovery from the trip. September was...??? (what was September? Where does time go?) And now we're nearly 1/3 of the way through October? Hmmmmmm....

We are finishing our book, "How to Coach Your Marriage: Skills to Heal, Strengthen and Protect Your Relationship", developing our recently approved not for profit organization Great Relationships, Inc., managing a counseling case-load, planning and praying for a Church leadership retreat, a series of suicide prevention for the US Air Force, and preparing for a combo trip to California during which we will cultivate relationships and share a Marriage Coaching taste and see with trained coaches and couples passionate about marriage ministry. THEN we will relax as a couple for 4 days by the ocean to commemorate our 25th Anniversary (12.25.85)!

And now for the grieving.

Tears began to flow in earnest this past Thursday upon receiving a call from my step-mother that dad had been hospitalized and that his Dr. had advised calling family. So, after adjusting our schedule, Jill and I embarked on a 600 mile journey to NE Iowa. Eleven hours later we fed dad supper, then adjusted his bed, lighting and curtains for his evening nap.

It really stinks to see this once robustly healthy man bed-ridden, and plagued with unrelenting pain. Never again will he tour a golf course, mow the lawn or even see his home. Disease is having its way and it appears that he soon he will transition from time and space to eternity.

We're all grieving (I feel some sting and burning in my red eyes as I type), and we're all reminiscing. Grieving is unavoidable and it stinks! (and its a blessing!) Just below is a note I wrote to our personal prayer partners

"Thank you for allowing us to continue to communicate with you by email. As you know, grief is hard, but to live well we must grieve well, and that means going with the thoughts and feelings provoked by loss and change as they come…and come they do, relentlessly, just like ocean waves.

Dad hasn’t made his transition to heaven yet, but after an opportunity to speak with his Dr. at length it seems that it won’t be long. He has chronic, severe and irresolvable pain in his back, shoulders and hip. As the Dr. said, the parts are worn out. Therein lays the problem. Resolution of pain could come from surgery, but he isn’t strong enough and well enough for that. Even if he was, recovery from hip surgery would be prohibited by non-functioning shoulders. And on it goes.

As Susan says, “Faith makes the difference.” We grieve, but not as ones without hope.

Ironically, a golf course is beside the hospital. After talking with the Dr., Jill and I said goodbye to dad (Susan and her mom took our place), and took a walk on the golf course. Some of you know the significance of that. Golf was special to dad and me. He taught me to play at a young age, and it was a sanctuary where we could meet peacefully to enjoy the game and each other through the difficult years following his and mom’s divorce. Dad in the hospital dying, and Jill and I walking down a fairway that can be seen from his window….it was a beautiful day, and a flood of memories and tears ensued. I kept thinking that the final thing I want to say to dad is, “Wait for me on the first tee.” There’s got to be a golf course in heaven."

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your love and support.

The Raw journey continues as do the Raw Reflections from the Journey.

Love and blessings, Jeff