It’s 2 a.m., and sometimes I don’t know how to light up the darkness. I think of a childhood book, The Phantom Tollbooth, and the imagery of conducting the sunrise in a symphony of color. But I am me, and I can’t paint the dawn, and in the dead of night I feel alone, and so very small. I light candles, 7 of them, because they make me feel warm and peaceful. Music plays softly: Lately I am partial to depressing classical music and obscure latin hymns. My roommate walks in and asks me who the vigil is for. I laugh, because she is right, my room does resemble a tomb. He has been dead for two days, but I feel oddly comforted that he is at peace. I feel quietness, I feel calmness, and that sensation of slipping into a bed of freshly washed, crisp sheets, when I try to feel him. No more worries for him, the end of pain and the end of uncertainty.

So, why then, do I fear the stillness of the night? Is it the fear of admitting that I don’t know how to say goodbye, or the threat of tears that elude me? It seems ludicrous that I sit here at two in the morning, simultaneously trying to write essays on preschoolers’ cognitive development and the Epistle of James. So funny, in this moment that could birth thoughts so deep, that I should cling to the mundane. So funny that all I can think about is achieving the minimum word count on these assignments. Strange, but perhaps it is all I can do?


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Karla said,

    Hi Mandy,

    I just lost my grandfather in March. This will be the first Christmas without him. It is a strange solemn experience of continuing life in light of death of a loved one. Life goes on when it seems it ought to stop and take notice. However, I know not even a sparrow falls to the earth without the Lord taking notice. And I know my grandfather is now free from the pain of old age and running in heaven with his siblings that went before him. He is still experiencing life even to a greater extent than I.

    Scriptures says we don’t mourn like those who have no hope. For our hope is in the Lord and in His goodness. Time begins to heal the sorrow and the memories will begin to be joyful instead of somber.

  2. 2

    kiwiofknowledge said,

    Thanks for reading, Karla. When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining, and it’s a beautiful, warm, spring-like day. Very much appreciated for November in Canada! Life goes on. Sometimes I forget that I’m still at the beginning of my life (knock on wood). Sometimes life seems so fragile and tragic. This spring, I saw 3 baby birds dead on the ground outside the mall, their nest had fallen from the roof. I cried for days at their vulnerability and the unfairness that they should be born just to die, such tragic innocence. And now, I struggle with the fact that relationships aren’t permanent. People come into your life, and eventually leave, and I feel sometimes like all I want is to cling to something or someone permanent. God, I’m depressing this morning. But it is a beautiful day. I hope it’s a nice day where you are.

  3. 3

    cb said,

    It sounds so tough for you. I loved the Phantom Tollbooth and haven’t thought about it for a while now. I think that time doesn’t necessarily heal – nothing really heals when you someone you love dies, but something that does change is that the memories get easier and the more pleasant ones return on a more frequent basis and that makes things less painful. But it does need time and everyone has their own pace.

  4. 4

    kiwiofknowledge said,

    Thanks, cb. I read the Phantom Tollbooth as a child, and then I had the opportunity to read it again in an English Lit class a couple of years ago. It was a great way to discover these books from an adult point of view and to understand things in them that I didn’t when I was a child.
    Thanks for reading.

  5. 5

    Karla said,

    God saw those birds too. The Bible says He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. Set your mind on things above the eternal things. God never fails. When we rest in His Kingdom we can live at peace in this one.

  6. 6

    Karla said,

    Hey Mandy, do you have a church family?

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