Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Loss as a part of life

Our family has been mourning the loss of a loved one, Lil, who died two weeks ago. Lil came to live with us when the A.L.S. became too much for her to handle on her own. In the last eight months, we cared for her physical needs and surrounded her with love. The Citrus Valley Hospice team supported her and us, and our church families blessed us with prayer and strength. As I look back, I can't help to wonder if we did enough, or if there were other ways we could of made her more comfortable. This is normal in the mourning process, you perhaps have had the same kind of thoughts when you have experienced a death in your own family. Of course we could of done better given more resources, more time, more energy, however at the time we were doing the best we could, given our human imperfection. I am glad to have had the time with Lil, of how she allowed us to care for her, how we were surprised by joy in the most unexpected times. She called me her LVN in training when I would reposition her in bed so she could rest more comfortably. She would always remember to thank us, and tell us she loved us, no matter how she was feeling. It was hard to watch her body give out bit by bit, and be helpless to stop it, only provide temporary relief. I know I am forever changed by the experience, and only now can I begin to express what I feel. Without the strength of God, of our family and friends, I am not sure how I or our family could of cared for Lil, so I give thanks. I also send prayers to all of you who are caring for someone, it is not a task for the timid or the fearful. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage. The good news is we are never alone: God dwells with us and in us. Thank you God for your presence in my life, help me to embody your compassion so that I may care tremendously for myself, and others. Amen