Unexpectedly Death Came Knocking (Death and Dying) Part 1

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When my heart is overwhelmedUnexpectedly death came knocking, literally days after the highly anticipated dinner where I was finally introduced to him for the first time.  I had no idea what we were all about to encounter together.  The next time I saw him, he was laying in a bed in the ICU with tubes everywhere, machines beeping and an oxygen mask on his face. He flashed me the biggest warmest smile that he could muster then just a few short moments later we were ushered out of the room and he slipped into a medically induced coma.  I spent the entire two weeks that he was in that hospital ICU either by her side, by his side or thinking about them. Despite all the medicine, prayers and well wishes, he still died.  The experience solidified for me everything I’ve always heard; about life being short, here today gone tomorrow, and not taking people or anything in this life for granted.  This isn’t the first person I’ve known that died, but this death and the way it happened was so up close and personal for me and I felt personally invested in the fight for his life. She spent every single day in that hospital, she lived there with him for those two weeks, and for a lot of that I was with her, crying and praying there, sleeping there, eating there and practically living there for a few days too.

This loss was especially difficult because from the moment that I met this girl she and I had a connection and it was clear to me that our paths were meant to cross for a reason and in the two weeks I spent at that hospital I now knew exactly why.  When we first met we clicked instantly and in many ways she became like a sister to me.  One of the reasons why I felt our paths were meant to cross was because our lives ran parallel to each other, or at least to me it seemed that way. When she and I first met we were both pretty comfortable in clearly uncomfortable relationships, meaning we were both in relationships that needed ending.  At that point I already knew I wanted out of mine but the timing never seemed quite right.  However, with a lot of prayer and a shocking revelation my relationship ended quite abruptly by my choosing.  Having cleared my own hurdle I urged her to do the same, but as the saying goes you can only lead a horse to water. As always, timing is everything and hers was coming very soon I just didn’t know it then.

Four months after my relationship ended things between an acquaintance and I began to get pretty interesting and I got to know this acquaintance much better and fell hard for him.  This happened for me in February and for her in April.  So, I now saw another parallel in our lives begin.  When I finally met him they seemed to fit perfectly like two puzzle pieces and they were so happy together, this was the happiest I had seen her, ever.  They were in love and had just been married, so when he died so suddenly it crushed me because I knew what she had found in him.

After he died, she said to me that they had a lot of beautiful memories and that she has absolutely no regrets.  Her statement made me realize that length of relationship is not always equivalent to depth of relationship, and I can agree from experience that this is true.  They were in each other’s lives for less than a year. During that time together neither of them had been happier and then just like that he died and it was over.  As she struggled to come to terms with the reality of the situation, so did I. However, I had come to the realization a long time ago that I will live and die and have many of my questions unanswered. So in order to gain some sort of peace I had to just accept these circumstances and just be grateful for the gift of life because for right now it was still mine, still hers, and for now it’s also still yours…

Ecclesiastes 3
King James Version (KJV)
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 2 A time to be born, and a time to die…

God has a reason

God is there

God is our refuge

Relatable song:
Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns

Follow me on twitter: @MerakiBlog

Big Big Plans (or so I thought!)

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and this is the partThe accident was devastating for me. The year 2013 was supposed to be my year, I had big big plans, this was supposed to be the year that everything in my life finally came together, everything was so close I could just see it!  I had my goals all laid out; in 2013 I was getting a better job, I was in a great relationship that was certainly headed for the next level in 2013, and I was starting a house re-modeling project and eventually moving, these were my plans. The accident halted all of that almost as soon as 2013 began.  Everything happened so fast and so suddenly and absolutely through no fault of my own. I didn’t even know who to blame, God or the devil.  Now I was facing 3 to 6 months of physical therapy at a frequency of 3-5 times a week, no high heels (are you kidding me!) and no lifting – carry nothing over 5lbs. I felt like the proverbial rug had been pulled from out under me just as I was on the brink of a great year and that I had been literally crippled because of it.

I’m very independent and self-sufficient always have been, how am I supposed to do anything now…rely on others, yeah right?!  Thinking of the months ahead seemed like my worst nightmare come true.  The experience has not been fun, to be completely honest; I’m still dealing with this, still working through it, still coming to terms with my new reality, many months after the fact.  But, the good news is God never fails and he placed people in my life to ensure that all my needs were always met, even needs I didn’t even know I had.  Yes, the pain was excruciating but it did not match or come close to the pain of losing my independence. It felt like my essence had been taken from me, like everything that makes me who I am had been taken from me, or almost everything.  In short, I hated it.  I don’t feel like the situation broke me, but I felt broken, this is blatantly contradictory, I know, but its my reality. Of course the situation could have been worst, much worst and I’m absolutely grateful that it wasn’t but I still hated the way that in the blink of an eye this situation immediately and drastically changed my way of life.

I know who I am, independent, self-sufficient, can do it all and in 6 inch heels and now since the accident I was helpless, dependent and very very humbled.  The circumstances forced me to focus on whose I am. I knew God would continue to take care of me as I dealt with this and that he probably had some lesson or lessons to teach me in this experience, but at the start of this I was nothing short of furious, I had my own plans for this year and the accident was not at all a part of it.

The moral of the story is that we can plan all we want throughout this life, but we will oftentimes receive a subtle (or not so subtle) reminder that we are not in control, God is.  As I started to end this post I was reminded of the Apostle Paul, perhaps his attitude is one of the lessons that I needed to learn and adopt during this experience.
 
Philippians 4:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

“11 …for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Paul’s secret was simple, he knew that no matter what state he was in, God was in control and that he would be taken care of, so why worry, why fret, why get upset. God is in control!

Let us also be reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV), because no matter what we encounter, God has a plan, his plan, which many times is not the same as our plan…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ”

Serenity Prayer

Relatable Song:
Click on the link below
Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets

Follow me on twitter: @MerakiBlog

Aside

The Unspoken Truth (Suicidal Thoughts)

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most comforting words

In general, and definitely within the circle of people that I knew, no one liked to talk about it, think about it, or really even acknowledge its existence.

Whether you believed it was an escape from all the crushing burdens of life that you could no longer bear or whether you believed it was a guaranteed one way ticket to Hell where you would be damned for all eternity, even if they will never ever be honest enough to actually admit it, I’m sure that the majority of people that have walked this earth have at least once, even if only fleeting, considered suicide.

I know I have, and today, I considered it.  Not in the sense that I had my note ready and my rope, or razor, or gun, or life-ending weapon of choice picked out and prepared.  But in the sense that today, life was feeling very much like a crushing burden I could no longer bear and even worse, a crushing burden I simply no longer wanted to bear. I was just tired, mentally and emotionally spent.  I was tired of the trials, the failures and the unmet expectations.  Today I wished that someway, somehow, even if just for a little while I could just escape the constant dull ache in my soul that I had been feeling so strongly for the past few days. I wasn’t happy today, and I couldn’t generate any thoughts in my head that would lead me to believe I would be happy anytime soon.  Each day was just more of the same and I had absolutely no enjoyment in life. 

Sure without fail every single day I got out of bed, went to work, met with friends, watched TV, etc. etc. etc. I went through all the normal motions of life.  On the surface I was absolutely fine.  There was no way of telling that I literally felt on the brink of ending it all.  No one would suspect me of these thoughts either because I was always the strong one, the funny one, the responsible one, the one that encouraged everybody else, and that in and of itself is a tiresome burden to bear.  Even though I do not at all condone their actions or choices, I do not judge drug addicts or alcoholics because after all my time here on this earth I truly deeply understand the need to escape reality sometimes; no matter how misguided the direction of that need is met.

It was really astounding to me how life around me went along as usual, when I felt like my entire insides had been ripped out and that I had died somewhere in the process.  I felt like I had been wiped clean of all joy, and the ease of myself being drawn and slipping into a very dark place.  I knew but didn’t seem to comprehend or care that everyone in life is carrying some type of burden, no matter how happy they seemed with their present life, just like me.

If you can relate to any of this at all or even if you can’t please join me in praying for those who are facing and have faced suicidal thoughts.

For those of you who have faced those thoughts, know this; 2 Corinthians chapter 4 (NIV) verses 8-9: “8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Also, Matthew 28:20 King James Version (KJV) ”…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. “ 

God is always with us, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

burdens prayer

The lonely path

Relatable Song:
Click on the link below
Need You Now by Plumb

Follow me on twitter: @MerakiBlog