C.S. Lewis kindly reminded me that there were other people suffering pain. He reminded me of the bigger problems of this world. Such as war!
I am not saying that my pain or your pain is diminished or overshadowed in any way by ‘bigger pain’, just that sometimes it is helpful for me to remember that I am not the centre of the universe. Unlike my pain medication, that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I also found out on Friday that a close family friend had passed away. They took him to the hospital on Thursday and he passed away that night. It was sudden. And, sudden is hard to deal with for those left behind, particularly his widow.
Someone recently commented that it is easier for the family when the death process is slow – like cancer. Easier for who did you say? As hard as sudden is, I’m not sure I could wish anyone a slow, painful death.
Given the chronic condition of my back, I have recently put in an order for an aneurism – a quick and painless one – done – gone – standing in heaven with my fabulous new body, saying, “Hey, check me out! Look at me dance this jig!” Or, “Hey, look at me everyone, I’m a pretzel!” At this point I picture St. Peter coming over to me, and saying, “Elizabeth, do you really want to meet God, Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, the Great I AM, in the shape of a pretzel?” And, I say, “Maybe…” But, I digress –
I think the two most lasting memories for me were seeing my grandfathers cry when my grandmother’s died. My mom’s dad was lying in bed, my aunt kneeling beside the bed, holding his hand, while he wept. It was heart breaking! Then, my dad’s father – this time it was myself and his sister, who stood beside him, each holding onto one of his hands, while we looked at my grandmother in the casket, and he cried.
My grandfathers remind me that although my loss was great, and I was hurting, their loss seemed even larger. Yes, I was grieving, but I kind of got this sense that their pain was much deeper than my own.
I know death is supposed to remind us of our own mortality – to not take our loved ones for granted, etc., etc. And, as a Christian we have the hope that we will see our loved ones again, that they are waiting to greet us in heaven when we cross over (Or so we’re told…).
And, we do! We do have hope. But, it is still hard!
I feel like the one thing I am supposed to learn in my own physical pain is to take one day at a time. Jesus’ words came to mind one morning: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NIV).
It sounds like good solid advice. I am trying it on – the trick is not to lose the lesson when the physical pain is gone!
Any comments or thoughts on pain? Anyone reading? Anyone?