My Mom died of malignant melanoma in 1991. She gave her heart to the Lord just hours prior to her death. During her 10 year bout with the disease I spent lots of time with her. During that decade Gene and I married, and had our first two children, my sister married and was pregnant with her first daughter, my brother's two boys grew out of babyhood and entered school. It was a long period of time and she really only became sick in 1989 and then we still had two years with her. It was so different with Gene's illness.
But something I learned about personal grief from my mom is that odd things can trigger it and those triggers allow you to release some more of the grief so that it in itself doesn't kill you. There are cases where death had be attributed to 'Broken Heart Syndrome'.
When she was getting sicker she was leaning over in her room to retrieve something and her cat [nicknamed Rudy for Rudolph as he had a most remarkable red nose!] jumped full square on her back and feeling somewhat unsteady, dug his claws in to secure his position. This HURT and my mom straightened up with a jerk making Rudy cling all the tighter and as he dropped off a wash of tears came flooding from her. she was alone and cried for a long time. Later she told me about the incident as a way of discussing her feelings of her impending death. That Rudy, by ....em....providing her with extra pain stimulated a release of her fears and tears and that the hard cry had been healing to her.
I have not yet cried in that hard way except the day that the doctor confronted me most unexpectedly with making end of life decisions for Gene. All my tears have been gut wrenching and choked back and in little spurts. I sometimes wonder if that will be how it all goes, just littles at a time to take the pressure off and gradually come to a normal but no explosion.
So last night I went to bed feeling sleepier than I have been. I skipped my sleep aid to see if I could begin a more normal sleep pattern. [I have skipped it a couple of other times and had terrible nights but....] Well it took 3 hours before sleep joined me and in two more hours I was awake, now with a cold. Poor poor pity me! Now I want to cry and cry but I strongly suspect it isn't the cold but the wisdom my mom gained from her experience with Rudy. I think I will stay home from church this morning and allow the ministry of tears to take it's course. The scripture says we weep with those that weep and we rejoice with those that rejoice. The two sides make up the whole.
Today I give thanks for tears......soon again I will give thanks for joyful remembrances. I already give thanks to God for the many faithful friends who are hanging in there with me as we walk this path.