Monday, 19 May 2014
Timelessness and Fading Horizons
Ten weeks ago, though we didn't know it at the time, Suzie and I were sharing our very last precious day together. In my mind I try to replay every detail of that day, but it seems more distant now and increasingly hazy. It was a Spiritual day during which we shared a very special bedside Holy Communion, Suzie received anointing, and prayers were offered for her by two of our lovely Priest friends. I wonder if Suzie knew that she was so close to death, and whether she sensed it as a day of preparation for that next step of her journey into eternity. I try so hard to to hold on to my precious memories of those last few days but it's like peering at them through a descending sea mist.
Now, as I type this, I'm conscious that yet another week is unfolding, and is relentlessly increasing the distance between then and now, yet any concept of a meaningful future is becoming ever more elusive and intangible. I feel like I'm lost in a void of timelessness.... My life with Suzie is slipping further and further into the past, and my future without her is on a distant horizon that is increasingly beyond my reach. I'm somewhere between the two, as though trapped in a timeless bubble, watching helplessly as the horizons on either side of me gradually fade into the distance.
Anxiety and panic attacks continue to be a severely debilitating issue, and tears are still a frequent daily occurrence. Although I'm weary of it all, I think it's getting more bearable when I'm at home on my own. These things often take me by surprise as they seem to start so suddenly and unexpectedly. I get very frustrated by my inability to control my emotions in company, and I often find myself avoiding social contact because I don't want to face crying in front of people. My family, and a couple of very special friends have been a great blessing though, and during the last few weeks I've shared some very enriching times with them over a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a meal.
Yesterday morning I went to Church with my Auntie B and then back to hers for lunch. The Church service opened up my emotions again, and the music and prayers made me particularly tearful, but I did sense that it was very slightly less daunting than the last time. I'm hoping I will soon feel able to face going back to the Church where Suzie and I worshipped together. I tried attending a service there a few weeks ago but it was just too painful. Suzie was such an integral part of the church, and everywhere I looked I was hit by images and memories of her previous presence there. As I walked up the aisle to receive Holy Communion my mind was taken back to the last time I'd walked up that aisle following Suzie's coffin at her funeral. It was unbearable. My tears flowed silently and uncontrollably throughout the whole service, and I made a discreet exit during the last hymn. I haven't been back since, for which I feel rather guilty because it feels like I'm somehow letting people down and failing to show my appreciation for all the prayers and support they offered throughout Suzie's illness. I will keep trying.
In fact, I'm constantly trying to stretch my comfort zone and push my boundaries, gently but with determination. I make myself go out on the days that I feel able to, and if I can do something for someone else's benefit I find that the greatest motivation of all.
The most precious gift that sustains me through these days is the knowledge that I am not alone, that God is with me and has already made plans for me. Even whilst I was typing this I received a most beautiful message of encouragement from my friend Sheryl who always seems to have just the right words for me, as if sent directly from God Himself. Her message from Him today said:
"I want you to know how safe and secure you are in My Presence. That is a fact, totally independent of your feelings. You are on your way to Heaven; nothing can prevent you from reaching that destination. There you will see Me face to Face, and your Joy will be off the charts by any earthly standards. Even now, you are never separated from Me, though you must see Me through eyes of faith. I will walk with you till the end of time, and onward into eternity."
I can't really add anything to that. Thank you God for such precious friends.