Friday, March 8, 2013

Finding Closure

Two weeks ago a friend called me and said they were going to church in Cary, NC at Colonial Baptist Church and suggested that I ought to head on down there as well. So I did and I am so glad I did. There was a baptism of an NC State student and a great film on their local Awana program. It was so amazing to see how Awanas has grown and stuck around since the days we were in it as kids in Hong Kong.

Pastor Steven Davey would get up to preach in a kind of subdued melencholy manner as he just lost his kid brother to a brain tumor. He made the statement that you can't rush grief.

Wow! How true. I don't think everyone understands this as each person in life has their own experiences and we are all differant. I've had people tell me that I need to stop sitting around and feeling sorry for myself. Well, that may be partly true, but I do think I have been bearing a grief that is no differant than losing a loved one in death. In this case, the passing of my wife or the passing of January. I called her January because we met in January and she was born in January. That girl is gone. The one still living in her body I no longer recognize or know. Really. I guess I can see where there was a growing rift in our marraige, but we had a very close love and she rested in my bosom for years....and then one day I looked around and she was gone, but there was no one there to meet me at the hospital or at the funeral home. Like vapor ascending into the all just wisped away. In many other marraiges I hear about how there is so little love lost and how quick and painless it was for them. This was not the case for me. I really loved that girl and the rejection I faced in the face of that love, that at one time was so close, just sent me into a tailspin and into the recognition that this was death, the death of a long love that I thought would have lasted forever. I discovered, even this love must die and I must live on.

Still, that same friend who invited me to church told me something once that greatly helped me find closure. The person said they had to go to the graveside with flowers to find closure on a broken relationship that had lasted for years. When I first heard that a great peace settled into my heart, but I was not ready to do this until recently. I did go to the graveside and sometimes still do, talking to January and I sometimes find myself singing this song to a person who no longer exists and has died.

I then of course had to ask the question: How do I face the future? I think often of an old favorite movie of mine from back in the 80's that I saw during the time I was in the Marine Corps. In fact I remember watching it in the barracks at Camp Lejuene years ago with some other Marines. The Highlander. I think of the scene where he carried his dead wife up the hills to bury her and envision myself doing the same thing with my wife and burying her. We were so close in just the same ways as he was with his wife in that movie. Still he had a problem with the future. He couldn't die until he faced an ultimate battle 500 years or so later. After he watched his wife grow old and die while he remained young he realized that he could not open himself up again to another woman, and I have found myself in the same dilemma and the main reason is that you do not wish to deal with this grief again. The grief of death and so at this point, you lay your loved one to rest and you find closure there, but realize you cannot go any further than this and that you must stop and find your peace here.


Johanna Sawyer said...

You can't rush grief is an excellent word.

Divorce is far worse than losing someone to death. It lacks the formalities you mentioned that help us to process the pain. And it has the viscous side of the betrayal itself.

I think it's very reassuring that one of the Psalms, I think 88 or 89, looks carefully at the grief, as other psalms do, but never turns from the grief. Its like God wanted us to clearly know what his thoughts and feelings were regarding grief. That He didn't sign on to the short circuiting of grief and denial that won't give it the time needed.

The Psalms are so reassuring for me.

I'll be praying, Brian.

Bhedr said...

Thank you Johanna. Your encouragement is very timely. A little while ago I received a private message from a family member that I have not seen in years, telling me to get over myself and try to discover who the real Jesus is and that I make them sick. So thank you kindly for being an encouragement and understanding what divorce truly is.

Tony said...

when my husband's mom died ..he was told to get over doesnt work...take time to grieve..time to heal..get counseling...real counseling..

Bhedr said...

Thank you, I will and I have been.

Johanna Sawyer said...

We are really living in a twisted age. That is shocking that Christians can be that cruel.

I agree that a wise counselor might really help you walk through and really process the grief over all this. Someone wise might help to legitimize the grief since it sounds like some in your support system are sending the opposite message and inflicting Job's friends type wounds. Don't listen to bad counselors. Are you inclined to consider the counseling option?

usernametodd said...

Good thoughts Brian. Keep healing. You look like you are moving forward. Nice job. No hurry. Sorry about your loss brother.

usernametodd said...


The "graveside" idea, by the way, makes perfect sense to me. We know God's mind on divorce and adultery. He says he hates divorce and very often reserved a harsh punishment for those chose not to understand it with Him, true to his gracious word. As you knew long before me, being reborn into the spirit of his Son, when we see divorce, we see a death brother. But we, our spirits, have that resting place amongst all that death in this life, in Christ's spirit, all day, at work, or play, or study, or even when we sadly waste our time. And we have "spiritual remedies" through our Lord for painful memories in this life, and I don't think it is to forget them. I think it is to deal with them in the Spirit, with Him. He will make them work out in some way for good. Perhaps with the end of making our joy complete.

Hopefully, that other family member(you mentioned above) remembers that we all know there is only one Jesus, in all and through all, and He is aware of our impatience with each other.

Just as He said it would be, it is tough down here. Someday there will be a grave of some sort for each of us, until the Lord returns, and in the meanwhile, what could make more sense than a personal burial place for spiritual things as well(I appreciate that thought), that were once alive and precious to us, did not vaporize into thin air, and now need their own proper resting place in our minds. True, we've been given memories that have the masterful ability to distort and dismiss. The Lord's memory is not selective and the broken marriage still resides in His. I like the idea of giving the remains of your marriage a proper burial pal. Not to forget, but just to put it somewhere. A graveside - symbolic or real. Spiritual. I really like that idea. The marriage had a spiritual substance that, ripped apart, still reserves space somewhere with the Lord. Give it back to the Him with both thanksgiving and sorrow. To me that is better than asking the carnal and selfish memory or ours to repackage it and push it away somewhere.

Anyway, I like the idea.

The boys can go forward as well, having not forgotten, but instead placing things in their respective places, understanding both the potential preciousness and the painful failure that awaits their choices in marriage.

I do wish I could meet you at the morgue Brian, and go with you to the graveside. You and the Lord. But, if I have learned anything from Paul, and the Lord, I think I will be with you there in spirit no less.

Bhedr said...

Thanks Johanna, Yes,I have talked already with professional counselors and aslo I am enrolling in a Divorce Care support group as well and will be taking courses in that. I researched some of the info already and it is helping me to define the boundaries I need in my life right now and the direction I must head.

Bhedr said...

Thanks Todd. I truly value your input and friendship. Your words are encouraging.

usernametodd said...

Hey, I didn't mean to go on and on there, but I care about you. And I know you already have a good plan. Take care.

Bhedr said...

Not at are a blessing brother. Gives me a chance to read and re-read. I like doing that. Care about you too bro

Bhedr said...

And we shall meet one day, if not by this side of the grave, then on the other side of the open tomb in our ultimate resurrection.

David Wyatt said...

Bro. Brian, I am praying for you as well. I love that statement by bro. Davey, it is true, and God will walk with us through it no matter how long it takes, He is in no hurry. Steven Davey is a great brother as was his brother. I truly see Christ as you share His grace as you grieve. We as your brothers and sisters grieve with you, and one day we'll rejoice together.

Bhedr said...

Thank you so much bro David. The Davey's truly are a blessing. My parents used to attend the Colonial Baptist in Va Beach where his other brother Dan Davey preaches.