This is a stream of consciousness. Maybe it is only for me. I’m not good at deciphering these things since I’ve become uncertain…

My faith has been in hospice for a while. I listen to James Blunt’s “Carry You Home” over and over, and I grieve.

“As strong as you were, tender you go. I’m watching you breathing for the last time. A song for your heart, but when it is quiet, I know what it means and I’ll carry you home…”

This weekend I spent time with my best friend, Angela. She is grieving the loss of her kids who returned to their birth family. A beautiful new beginning, a heart-rending ending. It feels close to me. It feels earth-shattering. It feels as if I can hardly catch my breath from the fear and the loss and the end. Choking tears racked her body and I held her and tears coursed down my cheeks as well.

Today, I look in the mirror and I see my shiny new red hair, a nose ring, and large uncertain eyes. The same eyes I’ve had my entire life, but hollow, too telling, I think today.

This weekend, I talked to Matt, Angela’s husband. His faith is quiet and certain. He “knows that he knows that he knows” when it comes to faith. I can’t say the same. I weep a little over this uncertainty. I envy his acceptance.

But… my faith is in hospice and I’m not sure it will survive this crucible of doubt I have put it through. It’s not that I’m sorry for the loss of acceptance; it’s more that I’m sorry for the loss of certainty.

I feel floundering and lost, wishing that my hope would return, wishing that God was not so distant. And, if I’m honest, I grieve the loss of all the things I was once certain about: being a mother full-time, my marriage (now 7 years dead and buried), my youthful dreams of a fairytale ending, my relationships that have been lost or gone along the way, and my faith-label: such a cornerstone of who I was once, now just a reminder of who I am not.

In class last week we talked about ritual, and transitions, and “honoring the end”, and I wonder if that would change this place I am in. It’s the “in-between” space, the “waiting place”, and around me haunted eyes remind me I am not alone, but still a nagging feeling persists:

it’s just me here.

I want to make a change.
I want to quit my job, dread my hair…
I want to throw my clothes on the floor and walk barefoot in hot sand.
I want to hoop and I want to sing and I want to cry and
throw myself on the grave of everything I feel is ending
weep uncontrollably…
then get drunk and raise my glass and drunkenly toast whatever it is I’m leaving
(whatever is buried in that grave)
and wonder if I really ever knew it at all.
I want to smash something and punch a wall
and look at it as it turns purple and black and green.

I want something meaningful to hold onto… and remember, or move past, or … bury? burn? … whatever I’m leaving. My body feels too tight for me, I feel like running away from everything that I am or ever have been… and instead, I persist, asking questions in my head that have no answer.

My friend’s loss (not even my own) throws me over into the official category of grief.
I email her today: “Are you ok? Have you shaved your head yet?”
And… “I envy Matt. His faith is so quiet and certain… and mine is just shards.”

She responds that the clippers are waiting… and that grief is working its way through her heart… and that she understands.

Our friendship is beautiful.


3 thoughts on “hospice faith

  1. Oh Jonesy this made me weepy and reminded me of my own passing through of the faith crisis. Of course our paths are not the same, but they are eerily reminiscent. One of my personal heroes has this to say, “If you have to slow down, slow down. If you have to put the weights down for a beat, put them down, just DO NOT STOP.” Of course, that was Jillian Michaels and she was talking about working out, but that’s solid advice for any occasion! The point is, keep going and going because your happiness is worth the weight and fear of not knowing, the uncertainty. You’re the only one that can give that happiness to you and if you want it, you gotta fight for it. Luckily, I bet you have a strong right hook.

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