There are not many people with whom I feel I can share the essay that I wrote on the 18th of January. My parents, my grandmother, my sister, my brother and his wife have read it.
Richard, my brother, gave me his response in writing, and I found it very helpful. I think it's wrong to quote from his letter, so I will just say that there was much in it that was helpful to me, but the part of his letter that I found the most helpful was when he was talking about the solution to my fears of ongoing loneliness being full submission to God.
Since receiving Richard's letter in the 28th of January, I've felt that my grief has moved on to a new phase. It seems that previously, my mind and heart were locked together and the heart was ruling with urgent needs and wants, most of which would have been inappropriate to put into action.
But now, the mind seems to have separated from my heart sufficiently to see what's going on. My intense loneliness never ceases, but somehow, the need to find another partner is less urgent, less all-consuming.
I am not quite able to give it all to God in full submission, although I would like to, and I know that it would be the right thing to do. But I am afraid. What if God makes me go through with it? The Bible is full of precedents:
Sure, Abraham was given a reprieve. He had to prove that he was willing to give up his son, the one who was going to fulfil God's promise to Abraham. But once Abraham showed that he was willing to do what God told him to do, he was given a reprieve. His son Isaac was spared.
Others were not so fortunate.
Stephen remained faithful, but did not receive a reprieve. His reward for his faithfulness was that he was stoned to death.
Hosea had to go through with marrying a prostitute who was then unfaithful. Hosea then had to buy her back and be reconciled with her as a way of illustrating how God loved the Israelites.
Hosea chapter 3 says, “The LORD said to me, 'Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites...' ”
I am afraid that if I fully submit to God and say that I am willing to forgo another relationship, that he will make me go through with it.
Meanwhile, I am physically exhausted by the week that has just passed. It seems that no matter how early I wake, I still run out of time to do all that I need to do before I have to leave for work and Daniel has to leave for school. Some people have said that I should make lunches on the previous day, but I am too tired in the evenings. Others have suggested making a week's worth of lunches and freezing them. But I am not yet ready to compromise the freshness of my lunch.
There are two other matters that I will write about. One is that I wish there was something other than my grief to talk about when I meet with other people. There are days when I am sick of talking about it, and yet the subject of conversations always seems to go that way.
The other topic of concern is that although I am very grateful for the practical help I'm getting from various people, especially Stacy with respect to house cleaning and Mum with respect to washing and ironing, I am feeling that I am a burden to everyone. I am aware that everyone has their own lives to live - their own busyness - and yet people keep putting themselves out for me. I wish that I could stop having to rely so much on everyone. If it was a temporary problem, I could stand it. But it seems like it will always be this way, that I will always need people to help me just live.
I understand now when Grandma says that she wishes she wasn't a burden to us all, and yet I know for myself, that when I drive her home, it is my pleasure to do so, and I would do much more for her if there was anything that I could do. This, after all, is what love is. Of course it would be easier not to drive to Roseville for Grandma every week. But because I love her, I will happily drive her home because that weekly outing gives her such pleasure.
So I should see in the same light the help that others give to me. This is their way of showing love to me. And yet, the feeling of wishing I wasn't a burden on everyone will not go away.
I am glad that my mind has moved on from the state it was in last month. But it is still a long haul, and I remain intensely lonely.
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