Raw Emotions

Yesterday was grueling. My body ached, I felt exhausted, and my mind was churning through my every step of this time last year. Even if my mind wasn't churning, I believe my body... my soul remembers.

"Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me." Lamentations 3:19-20


Today marks one year since my dad passed at 68 years young. The day before my dad passed was potentially as difficult as the day he passed. Though he was sleeping more than normal, all of his wits were still about him and he was still living at home while my uncle and I rotated as his full-time caregivers. Dad's liver had failed, so we had been warned that the pain would come on strong with death likely within 24 hours. Because all of our relatives live in a different state, Dad and I decided to call as many of them as possible so he could say goodbye before I started him on liquid morphine which would cause him to become incoherent.

I have a knot in my throat right now as I write this...

He didn't have the strength to hold the phone or even carry on a conversation, so I dialed, put it on speaker and did the bulk of the explaining. Then whoever was on the other end would say what they wanted to dad, and he would tell them how much he loved and appreciated them. Then we would hang up and do it all over again. Dad was one of 11 children, has 2 other kids besides me, and many grandkids (adult and children) and 3 great-grand kids, so this process lasted a while.

It was actually my uncle's night to stay with dad, but I knew I couldn't leave his side. I made him dinner, ran home to hug my kids and grab a sleeping bag so I could sleep right next to dad. While briefly at home, I got a call from my uncle saying that my dad's pain had gotten worse quickly.

I would like to say that I rushed right back over, but I didn't. I was procrastinating because I didn't want to start him on the liquid morphine. When I got back to his apartment, I sat on his bed with him and made sure he understood what was about to happen once I began to give him morphine every few hours. He understood. We reminisced for a bit, laughing, hugging, and talked about God and His goodness to us during this very hard season. I got to tell him how proud I was of him; he was a champ during his illness, he was an amazing dad, and an incredible example of what a husband should be, which had helped me choose my husband wisely.

"Augh, shoot, Halee," he responded, "you were a real good doyter." I chuckled because all the days of his life he couldn't say the word "daughter". I'll never hear anyone say "doyter" again in the same way.

Then I had to give him the syringe of morphine at 10pm, and he said good night.

The second time I administered the morphine he was already confused and wasn't really talking.

I struggled for quite some time after his death feeling like I had treated him like a pet and put him to sleep.

"Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me." Lamentations 3:19-20


Last night, the grief of so many of my losses compounded. I felt robbed of so many things. I have been robbed of my parents when they were 57 and 68. I was robbed of watching my son and daughter grow up. I was robbed of my best friend when I was 14 and needed her most. I was robbed of years of so many things because a man abused me.

I felt so angry about all these things. I wanted my teenage years back. Thinking how confused I was during my years of abuse, how my parents could sense something was wrong in my relationship with the man I now call "abuser", but rather than calling out to them for help, I fought them. When I was having morning sickness and laying on the couch at 14yo, my mom assuming I must be pregnant kept asking me questions and trying to understand my relationship with him. I didn't know how to explain it. He made me sick and scared; his manipulative words and tactics had a frightening hold on me. So when my mom kept asking me questions over and over, I yelled at her, "I'm f***ing him, mom!" I built wall after wall in my relationship with my mom because I was so ashamed, hated myself and felt I had no value, essentially falling prey to my abusers assessment of me. Last night, as I felt robbed, I wanted this moment with my mom back. I wanted instead to be honest with her about the abuse and not have years of strife between us.

Maybe if I had seen more clearly and been more honest with her, my mom wouldn't have insisted on an abortion, and I wouldn't have been robbed of seeing the beautiful daughter that was the result of such a heinous crime.

I responded to all of the pain from the abuse and abortion by trying to find self-worth in men, giving myself away many times over; I robbed myself of so many things. I wanted all those moments back last night so that I could have given my husband a gift of an emotionally and sexually healthy wife when we first got married. I was robbed of my first years of marriage... we had to spend so much time and energy wading through the muck of my past.

Last night, my arms ached as I wanted to hold Elliot; I desperately wanted to kiss his cheek or yell at him to get ready for bed. Memories with him are so limited... I want more memories. They were stolen.

"Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me." Lamentations 3:19-20


Now there is today... I woke early this morning and was instantly drawn to the word of God as if it was my breath. I found myself in Lamentations 3. How relevant.

"Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope - The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease. For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore, I have hope in Him." Lamentations 3:19-24

While my body and soul clearly conjure up these traumas, tragedies and sins from my past, there is a truth calling out to me today - God's faithfulness, compassion, and love for me is even bigger than all of these things. The weight He has carried on my behalf all these years has kept me from drowning. He was faithful to help me eventually understand the lies told to me by my abuser; He was faithful to restore my purity and give Ron and I wisdom and discernment in walking through the muck - which has made our marriage a powerful force! He was faithful in restoring my relationship with my mother long before she passed. He was faithful to give me comfort and hope in my darkest days after releasing young Elliot's body to hospital staff. He has been faithful to give me an unfathomable peace that follows me every single day of my life - even on the days that I remember all these things, I know this will not break me. I am overwhelmingly conquering through Jesus Christ who has loved me and given me all things.

So, yes, I have been crying uncontrollably and punching nothing in mid-air for the last few days as my soul has remembered so many things, but it has also helped me remember how great is His faithfulness. My tears are temporary. My hope is everlasting.

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12 thoughts on “Raw Emotions”

  1. Deep hurt
    Priceless Gifts
    All Knowing Heavenly Loving Father
    Thank You Jesus that Your provision in our lives will ALWAYS be more than the hurt of this world.
    Wrap Halee in Your loving arms and help me to remember this …..

  2. Beautifully spoken my friend. Thank you for sharing, you are a true gift from God and I so appreciate your openness and truth. Today is a new day in Christ!

  3. love you . i can relate… your dad and mom was so helpful to me when I needed encouragement. you dad and Charles welcome me in the family…that mean a lot to me.

  4. Thank you for once again baring your soul. Beautiful words of hope and encouragement for the future while remembering lessons learned through pain, suffering and grief. Our hope is everlasting! Love ya

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