Thursday, February 28, 2013

6 months - weakness

I am humbling myself to try and write today.  I am broken, in constant physical, emotional, and mental pain, feeling barely conscious, so the waves of grief have once again washed over me with profound and powerful force...

I am two days shy of the 6 month mark.  The energy it takes for me to be even slightly aware of that fact has sapped me of strength once again.  It's amazing how I can think I've moved mountains in the last few months, but still seem back in the very same pit, the very same place, with the very same mountain of grief staring me in the face.  Every day, I conquer it, climb it, push myself up and over it or fight to believe in God's ability to carry me over, only to wake up the next morning and find it staring me in the face once again.  I want to scream at this mountain, GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!! Stop staring me in the face every morning of my life! But the truth is, I grieve because I love.  If there was no mountain of grief, there would be no love.  I grieve because I love Lynn, because he is worth grieving.  I am happier to grieve him than to pretend he didn't exist or that I don't still love him, or brush his death under a carpet, and move on to something else...

6 months... I can't handle it.  I can't cope with it.  I can't comprehend that reality... the one that logically tells me it has been 6 months since my husband was alive (on earth)... 6 months since I last saw his face, felt his touch, heard his voice...  How can it be?

I want to hear his laugh again, listen to his ridiculous rants on any particular subject, but especially politics.  I want to hear him shaking up trouble in the kitchen, dirtying every dish in the house to make up some new concoction he got into his head. I want to hear him break into a Pres Medders impression in a group of Baptists who have no idea what he's talking about and watch him not care the slightest bit.  I want to laugh/cringe when he embarrasses me in public by making all kinds of lewd remarks and dangerously approaches the VERY INAPPROPRIATE zone right in the middle of church (my line is pretty conservative, just so you know :)...) I want to walk the streets of Rehoboth and tease him for breaking out into his weird, cool kid, American strut while he starts carrying on in spanish, or with a latino or mexican female accent???  I want to hear him come bounding up the steps, jump on the bed while I'm reading, his smile taking over his whole face, his eyes gleaming with love and excitement, just to see me and tell me about his day...  I want to hear him at the piano, see him talking people's ears off, watch his gifts in action.  I want to see him break into laughter that sends his head down and to the side, a hand goes in front of the face, and his body contorts into this unique, delightful expression of hilarity and joyfulness... I want to know the world is going to be a better place, because Lynn is going to influence it.  To be an Erskine means "to do better than I have already done before"... Lynn Erskine would never have rested before his dying day, no matter how long or not long that would take to come, because every day was the best day of his life, and life was for living, and living was done with excellence.  It always meant being a better you today than you were yesterday.

6 months... It has been 6 months since I've had Lynn to come home to, or moved through my day anxiously waiting for him to come home to me... It has been 6 months since my girls had a father to love on them, to pick them up and throw them around, to read stories and discipline them with that firm but tender fatherly touch...

How do I live with this reality?  wrap my head around 6 months...?  And how can I face what logically follows? ...that another 6 months lies ahead, of being suffocatingly lonely without Lynn, listening to my children play-out Daddy's death, needing his smile, his encouragement, his life-giving energy, but coming up lacking, the black void of emptiness existing in his place? Where he once lived and breathed and loved, is where blackness now threatens to swallow me whole.  Every night I end the day alone, swallowing the monstrous weight in my throat that reminds me Lynn's not here.  He's not coming back.  I had to climb the mountain again today.  

My friend Tanya (a very beloved sister in Christ!) wrote to me about a time when Lynn climbed Mt. Katahdin with a group of friends, maybe Fall of 2005?, (Tanya being one of them).  She described him hiking up the mountain, yelling at it the whole way, You don't know me!! (Definitely said with his Mexican, female-ish attitude accent...)  I absolutely adore this memory of Lynn, though I wasn't there to see it with my own eyes... I want to do the same thing, yell at my mountain, You don't know me!! You think you're big and strong and intimidating, but you don't know me!  

But I also recognize how weak I am. I guess like anyone, I'd like to hide my weakness and only reveal my "inspiring" strength.  I would like to think I am strong.  But it is much more honest to be weak.  I want to be weak in the context of God's perfected strength.  His strength is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Cor 12:9) I want to rest in His ability to make change and power to bear on my life... (Graham Cook)

In the honesty of my weakness is where I find the strength to keep climbing. I am honored to bear my husband's name, to be an Erskine, and "do better than we have already done before."  I am even more honored to be a child of God, a co-inheriter with Christ, who left me a similar legacy, to do greater things than these... (Jn 14:12)

But It is Christ in me the hope of glory. (Col 1:27)  It is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord (Zech 4:6).

6 months... I cannot wrap my head around 6 months without Lynn, neither the 6 months past nor the 6 months coming.  I can't even wrap my head around waking up to face another day tomorrow.  But I can wrap my head the love of God, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)  I can wrap my head around His faithfulness and blessed assurances...

So I will rest in this storm of catastrophic loss, once again.  I will bury my head against the onslaught of pounding wind and crushing waves.  I will rest in the sovereignty of God.  I will say to my mountain, You may know me, but you don't know my God.  With my God, all things are possible.  With my God, we always win.

And one day, I'll lift up my head, look up to the sky, and see the sun...


  1. I think this is my most favorite post. I miss Lynn terribly, and I miss the way your eyes would roll when he was being 'Lynn'. Thank you for your words of remembrance, and how they remind me of what a funny guy, wonderful husband, loving father and great friend.

    6 months.... wow! It's hard to believe. Keep climbing!

  2. Wheew...this is so tangible, and thick, and real and rich Natasha. Thank you for sharing so much. And the memory of the mountain, it speaks deeply to my own heart today! Praying you are flooded with peace today. You're a mighty woman - and yes, I echo the thoughts above - keep on climbin!

  3. I'm a 6 1/2 months right now. I wish I could have captured the feelings I have had in words like you have.