Chris’s parents sent me two books to help me with my grieving process after my brother passed away. I’ve almost finished the first one. It’s called Where is God When It Hurts? Although the focus is more on how to cope with physical pain and suffering (and how to cope with those who are in pain and suffering), a lot of what is written can be applied to emotional pain, as well.
A lot of very terrible things are discussed in the book. Stories are shared about those with leprosy – a state of complete absence of pain which can ruin your life (whoever thought that pain could be a good thing?). The author talks about a leprosy patient who needs to be supervised when when doing things as simple as washing his face because once when he did this, he turned the water on so hot that he burned out one of his eyes and lost sight in that eye. He couldn’t tell that the water was too hot because he had no pain sensors. Another woman is diagnosed with leukemia, and after telling her husband of over 37 years, he packs all of his belongings and leaves their house within days. The book also discusses the ways in which people show they do care (and how that tends to taper off as the shock of the initial disease/death/etc. wears off). It was hard to read, but a lot of realities like these exist (that I have sadly faced with the latter bit) every day.
But what the book has also given me is a better sense of hope – hope that despite the fact that Ed isn’t physically with me anymore, that I can still prove to him that life was, in fact, worth living; hope that my life will get better and so many amazing things are to come that I have no idea about yet; hope that hope itself can still exist in this life. If we don’t have hope, we have nothing. You need hope to keep moving forward in life and to not stumble or be stagnant. We need hope to have love, and that’s all I really want for this life… and for Ed.