Today is the 40th day since Shayna passed and my life completely changed. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is nothing has changed and everything has changed. The world goes on as if Shayna not being here doesn’t matter. Things run on time. People have fun. People plan events. I participate in events, but everything I participate in is just slightly different. Even if it’s something Shayna wouldn’t have been at anyway (which was a lot since she had her own social life), I find myself thinking “Shayna isn’t waiting for us at home.” The surreal feeling has subsided. I no longer have to convince myself that Shayna is gone. It’s been replaced with a bone deep sadness and weariness.
I get up and get my walk in. That’s the number one priority for each day now. Meditation is second. I have to get those things done to have any chance to maintain my sanity. Now it’s time for church. If nothing else, church is a place where I am guaranteed to get a good cry out. And, it’s dark so hardly anyone can see me.
The band starts playing some crappy song like they play every week. It’s a good chance for me to just drift away into my own thoughts. I cover my face as I think about where I am in life now and where I’m going and if I even want to go. Then, they introduce the next song “It Is Well With My Soul”. On top of that they give the background for the song which I already know. It is one of my all time favorite songs and it usually brings me to tears even pre 06/24/15. I just know I’m not going to be able to make it through it today. The only question is “Can I even stay in the room?”
In case you don’t know the story:
This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer
and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that
was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were
further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had
planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre.
In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed
on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago
Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn,
and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and
sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. Shortly afterwards,
as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write
these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.
They barely get the first line out when the tears begin flowing down my cheeks. By the end of the first verse, I had to sit down (we stand while singing). I sob through the rest of the song and I just pray. I suck at praying, but the words are coming easy now. “God if you wanted to break me, you’ve broken me. If there’s something you want from me, something I’m supposed to be doing, some lesson I’m supposed to learn, I’m here. You’ve got my attention. I am at the end of my rope. I have never felt this type of despair before. Maybe I made this agreement. Maybe this is “well” with my soul, but this is not well with the human part of me, the body here that no longer wants to carry on. If I’m going to do this I need Your help.” The song ends, I dry my tears and make it through the rest of the service.
Then, we’re supposed to meet my brother and his family for an early dinner up in Dayton. I’m drained. We’ve been doing a lot of socializing lately, something not easy for this introvert anyway. And, we were out to dinner last night with friends. I’m not sure I’m up for dinner with 8 people today. We’ve made the commitment though so there is no turning back now. On the way up, Ty asks me if I’m OK. No I’m not OK I tell her, but it is what is is. She and Kayla want to do this and so we will. It turns out the restaurant is nice, the food is good and we have a good time. Well, except I was thinking about Shayna the whole time since this was a dinner with her favorite cousins. It’s just not the same without her there. How am I supposed to keep on doing this?
We return from dinner and I go out on the deck to read, pray and meditate a bit. I’m watching the sun get lower in the sky thinking it can’t move fast enough to put an end to another day. I’m praying “OK, God, guiding spirits, angels, Shayna, whatever or whoever is out there who is supposed to be protecting me, I’m asking you now for your protection, your guidance, comfort and peace. I need help. I’m asking for you to help me.” I’m kind of whispering this out loud, eyes open looking out into nature in my backyard. Just as I finish this prayer, a hummingbird flies up just from my peripheral vision on my right side. I am startled. I turn to look and it’s well within an arm’s length of me. It’s no more than 2-½ feet from my head. It just hovers, looks at me for just a second or so, then flies off across the yard.