Trigger Warning: Contains Profanity…


I told myself I’d write a blog post today. And all I can think about is my dear friend’s father, who is dying. Less than a month and the stupid tumor has stupidly doubled and is stupidly squatting all over his pancreas squishing the life and all possibility of treatment out of him.

And I am remembering when my Dad died, suddenly, with a phone call and a word to finalize it. After eight years I can watch the actions of the day with something solid and apathy-like in front of me acting as a filter. And they are all there, this family. I remember them standing next to us in the room, exclaiming out loud when we told them, crying with us seamlessly as one family.

I remember this man’s daughter coming to me in my backyard and saying the only thing in the whole week that was any help at all. “What the fuck?” she said. Exactly. What the fuck.

And my siblings are driving up right now, managers notified, half days taken. Our only plan is to walk in and stand with them because we have been stood with.

I find myself wondering how different it is, watching it happen, not knowing exactly how many days you will have to live in this limbo. When my Dad died the world stopped. The suddenness of it was gratifying to my grief. And the whole church showed up at the memorial. How gratifying that was. It was as it should be. The world should mourn with me.

I know what they will go through. Yet, I wonder at what they are going through. I want to bear witness to the life. I want to bear witness to the grief. I want to bear witness to the voice of Mary in me that cries, “If you had been here, Lord!”

And I bear witness to Jesus’ own tears. Because that is how the goodness of God was proven to me in that week. He wept. When my Dad died Jesus wept. There was no trite pat on my head. There was no image of a “Footprints” meme impressed into my brain. Jesus wept. He was with me.

Even now, Jesus nods with my husband when he says, “This is fucked.” Yes, fucked up. This isn’t how it was supposed to be at all.

Even though Jesus knows better than anyone that the resurrection is coming, that Lazarus will be walking out of that tomb in two hot minutes, still he weeps.

What the fuck? This isn’t how it was supposed to be at all.

5 responses »

  1. I’ve been thinking about you. I was riding in a car when I read this post. I think my ribs nearly came apart. The truth of what you express here helped carry my own grief as I realized “oh yes, there are so many others who are being deeply affected by the horrible reality of death. Although it brought me to a deeper level of feeling & being, I realized I wasn’t there alone. As humans maybe the most difficult thing ever is thinking we are alone in what we see, feel and experience. We don’t want to be alone but being our real selves is always a risk. So thank you for taking the trouble to put your anguish into words and shaving away some of the weight of grief. I can’t imagine how it was for you to lose your father, I do know that I think of him so much, picturing the George’s showing up for you at that time with their own shock and grief took me to a deeper level of understanding but OF COURSE, I can never know the magnitude of what you felt then and are feeling now. All I know is that I agree with every word. Thank you. Is this was art is all about? Is this why we do what we do?
    I would love to hear what you have to say about it.


    • I love asking the question, Tonia, and I think I would be very disappointed if I ever discovered THE answer. I do know that I am very very thankful that God has seen fit to give us so many avenues of expression, and processing, and that they should be beautiful and helpful to other people ever is one of God’s great mercies. Love to you, friend.


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