Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Desiree's Funeral

Today is Desiree's funeral.

She was 25 years old, and died of a suicide and we are supposed to comfort each other when we gather.

The normal platitudes don't really fit. Are we going to remember the good times, the laughter, the joys of her life? To remember her is to sorrow, at this point. To revel in our lapses.

The mother, who gave her life, but also caused her to be born with AIDS.

The grandmother who cared for her, but also let her slip through her fingers so she would live in the street for years.

The pastor (me) who would support her on the street, but was too busy to reach out and connect with her when she was spiraling.

The long term boyfriend who made sure she was taking the proper medication and in a safe apartment for a while, but who left her.

The caretakers who watched over her, but didn't make sure that she wasn't overdosing on her own medication.

On the surface, we all seemed to care, we all prayed for her, but in the end we all failed her. She had a terrible life, a difficult life and we did what little we could. But if one of us could have done more, sacrificed a bit more for her, perhaps she would still be alive.


LeeAnn said...
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LeeAnn said...

This is so sad and tragic. Can only imagine how you all feel.

Disclaimer: I'm a bit preachy here. But mostly out of empathy & it's indirect: it's about my experience. Maybe it's already occurred to you.

I decided a few weeks ago that if I let go of my sister and my favorite two people in the world: her boys, who are little, I could survive and grow. (Yes, I am looking at me, and not just her faults: she kicked me out of her life, not the reverse, and she will not talk about simple solutions.) I did not have much choice: she made the decision for me. -That story is in process: learning to look forward for God's provision in this loss. I had fortunately read about someone who was told that if he did not let go of the issue troubling him, it would control, -ruin him.

Various perspectives role through my mind. One specifically: "Am I personalizing?" -seeing events as if I were the center or responsible for anothers' choices?"

HARD not to rationalize that "If I'd only done more..." is NOT the way to think. OF COURSE we can do more. And with prayer, WILL do more, and use our time well. Yet personalizing does not give me the strength I need to move beyond my short comings, or human need for rest and balance. And at least for me, likely for many people, it assumes that God is not completely in control: that I am the lone rescuer, and that God will use only me. -That I am God, in a way.

If my thinking does not reflect faith and God's grace toward me and care for people I let down, then is it a thinking pattern that God wants me to have? -That draws me to dependence on Him vs. independently rescuing people? That has been a lonely place for a lot of people, including me, to be.

Grief is a separate issue. Will I grieve well if I'm personalizing? For me, I know I'll be confused and overwhelmed unless I let go of the personalizing. I won't hear God.

It's so hard to be still at times like this. Maybe much more so if I'm personalizing vs. asking God to show me if I have sinned, repent, receive forgiveness, and let go. If I do not let go, (not for everyone, but for me) pride is telling me that I AM GOD.