Sponge of Grief


I’ve started once again to write a post,
and find my fingers and my heart caught in a vise.
I think of friends I love who are suffering so much
In ways that I cannot begin to comprehend,
And I am so ashamed of myself.
I almost think I shouldn’t write,
And yet . . .

My cousin Ken calls it “The Sponge of Sorrow”
And I find the word picture so fascinating.
Something in my heart,
Soaking it up and soaking it up
Until it can hold no more.
And if I hold really, really still,
And if no one touches me,
I can hold even more.
But if something jiggles my heart,
Or someone hugs me unexpectedly,
The sorrow pours out, running down my cheeks,
Flooding them and me.
And they don’t always understand.
And they don’t always want to get wet.
And sometimes their own sponge is so full
That they can’t hold any more, either.

My Beloved Daddy’s Twin
Is suffering the ravages of an enemy named Lou.
Lou Gehrig, that is.
Every day it seems that one more thing
Falls before Lou’s relentless, ruthless onslaught.
Mobility, agility, independence, writing, reading, dignity.
But he still smiles and encourages his family.
He still laughs.
There are pictures to prove it.
Does he cry?
There are no pictures of that.
My heart breaks to think he might.

His family has rallied around.
They are wonderful people,
My beautiful Auntie, My steady, courageous cousins.
Their lovely, supportive families.
And they are doing everything right.

But everything is so wrong.

I do not  have the words to say
How much I HATE IT.

I feel so selfish.
I feel numb and slow and introspective and sad.
I feel like I’m grieving for my father all over again,
And I miss him more acutely than I ever have
in these last three years.
He would know what to say.
He would know what to do.
He couldn’t FIX this,
But he could help me wrap my faith around it.
He would suffer with us, but he would be strong.
And even though I know he would weep for his brother,
He would not let his grief make him stupid —
(Which is how I feel–)
And he would comfort us.

I’ve seen it happen often,
Where grief made it impossible
To look at life through the eyes of faith.
I don’t want that to happen to my heart.
And maybe this post is part of how I deal with it.
I know that people care.
I know that people pray.
And I believe that God’s grace was meant for times like this.

And I am thankful that
God isn’t afraid of The Sponge of Sorrow.
He holds me fiercely.
He always understands.
And He isn’t afraid of getting wet.

 

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Sponge of Grief

  1. Life is so difficult at times.You have a beautiful way of expressing your feelings with words.I too,am glad that God isn’t afraid of “The Sponge of Sorrow”! 

  2. The  phrase”Sponge Of Sorrow” certainly describes it well. My younger sister deals with the ravages of Parkinson’s Disease and she does so gallantly. She is not yet in her 60’s.  She never complains. Yes, all of us in the family hate what we see is happening to her……..we hate it! You have such a way with words my Friend.

  3. Ahh, Mary Ann, you’re right!  This IS what God’s grace is for!  It’s why your Uncle Luke can laugh and smile and encourage and why his beloved family is “doing everything right.”  It’s why He lovingly helps us carry that Sponge of Sorrow….

  4. What a blessing your words and thoughts are to all – I am certainly glad that you continue to use your God-given gifts to bless us all here on xanga – will be praying for you and your family!

  5. I love your word pictures…feel hugged because of the pain.  I admire the way you work thru things…taking the time to process, but allowing God’s grace to carry the load in the end.  I wonder what you would think of the book “The Shack” by Wm Paul Young.  You may not agree with everything, but in a”Pilgrims Progress” type of way it portrays the bigger picture of the Trinity and It’s big picture work in LIFE.  If you’re into reading, it’s a good one.

  6. I still don’t understand why there is so much suffering. I do know it has nothing to do with doing everything right. “Rain falls on the good and the bad the same” is what comes to mind. Sorry you feel so low. All I can say is I do know the sponge part.

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