Darkness Descends Again

Original painting of darkness descending After a few days of feeling lighter than I had in a long time, darkness descends again.  Two days ago I woke sad, depressed, despairing of my life as I see it now.  I dreamed about Larry, waiting to go somewhere with him and him not ever getting ready.

Yesterday I cried for hours.  The weight of the past felt so heavy.  The weight of the present even heavier.

I cried for Larry and all the indignities he had to endure, for how hard it was for him these last four years  – with each day taking more and more from him.  I cried for myself and for all I had to endure, for the years of worry, and how hard it was to keep on trying to create a good life for us.

I felt critical of everything I’d done or not done, and angry at world, and at the healthcare system for making everything so hard for us.

What do I need today, I asked myself, to find some comfort?  I feel so…. so depleted.

I tried to think of what Larry would have said.  Immediately it came to me.  He would have told me to stop worrying about the past.  What happened had happened, and was meant to be.

I read a passage in the daily affirmation book Healing After Loss, by Martha Hickman.  She quoted Julian of Norwich:

“I was wholly at peace, at ease and at rest, so that there was nothing upon earth which could have afflicted me.   This lasted only for a time, and then I was changed… I felt there was no ease or comfort for me except faith, hope and love, and truly I felt very little of this.  And then presently God gave me again comfort and rest for my soul… And then again I felt the pain, and then afterwards the delight and the joy, now the one and now the other, again and again. ”

I was particularly struck by the aptness of this reading.  Also the serendipity that the quote was from Julian of Norwich, who a dear friend had been studying for several years.  My friend has just returned from a trip to the Church of St. Julian in England to visit the anchorage in Norwich where Julian wrote and lived.  As my friend sat there imagining Julian (and herself) being walled into the space, she felt the darkness of her own mortality.

How strange that these meaningful words  came to me from someone who lived from 1342-1416, and in whose abode my friend had just sat for hours.

I read recently that emotions are meant to be temporary solutions, and apparently centuries past, Julian knew that to be true.

Julian’s quote is followed by Hickman’s comment: ” Just when we think we have ourselves in hand and are going to be able to manage this, we are suddenly plunged into despair again. ”

Yes, darkness descends again today.  But I know, I hope, this too will pass.  It is all part of the process of healing.   I can’t rush it.  It will take its own time.  Damn it!

“He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.” – Shakespeare.


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