Do I Suffer, Well?

Actually kind of creepy

The words stung.

The question was hard.

“Do I suffer, well ?”

The words sank into me. Quietly. Thoughtfully.

Could I answer this? Honestly?

Being a GriefShare facilitator, walking with others through the darkness ……. faced with questions that are often times difficult to answer…

“Do I suffer, well ?”

The question was not asking do I suffer. I could have answered that, easily.

I do. You do. We all do. The question of suffering is deep seated, in the heart, of all.

Sometimes I  suffer in the glaring lights of hospitals, the nurse urgently yelling “Code Blue”.

Then the sounds of stillness. No breathing. No life.

At other times the suffering is in silence, locked in my own thoughts, left to wonder if fear is ever anything, but raw?

So, yes I suffer…but, do I suffer well?

The room is quiet. I can hear myself breathing, ever so softly.

Well?

When suffering comes, and it always comes in some form…..

Do I run to God?  or away?

Because isn’t that what suffering well, really means? That I know who to run to for comfort?

Going to the One who understands what it is to suffer, so much better than I do.

When the hurt is all consuming and my thoughts are incoherent….

When the cry can’t escape my throat…

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26  KJV

Isn’t it important who my weary soul searches for?

If I must suffer, and in this world that is not even the question…

I want to know that I’ve done it well.

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Living With The Dead

nokak thurston funeral home, n high st

In the spirit of spookiness during the month of October. ….

I have visited funeral homes, more than my fair share during my lifetime. Never a fun experience.

Well, except for THAT TIME.

1. My sister and her new husband lived in a small apartment.

2. While my brother in law worked on his Masters degree.

3. An opportunity presented itself, to live in a large (entire second floor) apartment in a beautiful old home for little or no rent.

4. Only one catch.

5. The beautiful old house was a funeral home.

6. And their job would be to help keep the downstairs clean, instead of paying a huge amount of rent.

7. Hmmmmm………

8. My sister and brother in law decided why not?

9. The work wasn’t hard.

10. And the neighbors would be quiet.

11. Right?

12. So, they found themselves vacuuming around “Mrs. Jones” as she quietly laid in the front room.

13. Or dusting the tables, where “Mr. Smith’s” flowers were setting.

14. It was peaceful. And quiet. Good neighbors.

15. While they were living there-

16. My (late) husband and I visited, with our toddler son.

17. My husband was a bit freaked out.

18. I thought it was kind of cool, but I’ve always been kind of freaky that way.

19. Just as my husband and I were getting snuggled in bed  one night…

20. My sister pops her head in the door and says—

21. “Hey, don’t worry about it if you hear the garage door opening tonight.”

22. (The guest room we were in, was right over the garage.)

23. ” That will just mean one of the guys that works here had to go pick up a body tonight.”

24. Alrighty then.

25. And yes, we did hear the garage door that night.

26. And yes, my big, strong husband was totally freaked.

27. Mu wah ha ha!

28. On this same visit my son wanted a picture taken with his aunt.

29. As she parked a hearse.

30. How many people can say that?

31. Unless your family happens to be in the biz.

32. I also got a little tour of the embalming room.

33. Very clean.

34. In a stainless steel kind of a way.

35. This satisfied my desire for a little spookiness.

36. I know. I’m weird.

37. I couldn’t be a funeral director.

38. I think it would get to me after awhile.

39. If I had to be there everyday.

40. But it was fun, to visit

41. Especially, since everyone that I loved at the funeral home…was alive.

42. That made everything so much better.

43. The fun all came to an end when my brother in law got his Masters degree.

44. Then he was off to get his PhD.

45. In another school, in another city.

46. The new apartment wasn’t nearly as interesting.

47. The complex was a lot more crowded.

48. And the neighbors were a lot noisier.

49. Oh well.

50. It was fun while it lasted.