Her voice was so empty today.
It broke my heart.
When she said it, I already knew it, because I knew that feeling I could sense in her voice, no matter what she said.
"I feel so empty."
All I could say was, "I know."
I don't know, really.
I don't know what it is to lose a spouse and feel that kind of empty, rattle around in a too quiet house.
But I know what it is to be so distant from someone that you feel like they are gone from your life. I know the emptiness that depression brings.
So maybe I know, just a little.
We were on the phone. I didn't have the time to go to her house to visit for the time that she needed, and get back to church for an evening meeting. So I had to settle for talking on the phone.
I wanted to give her the hug it seemed like she needed.
I don't know how to help her.
I want to help her.
At the same time I am hurting. I am sad. I am grieving too. Not in the same way she is. I have my own set of things going on too, that add to this new grief.
The memorial service was so wonderful this weekend. It was exactly as they had planned together before his death. It was a celebration of his life, the dignity of his death, and the anticipation he had of seeing Jesus.... the peace and joy that permeated the two of them those last weeks - even in the midst of tears.
The couple who always walked hand in hand are separated now for a while by death -- though he still lives -- they are separated, and she is longing for him and feeling so much like half of her is gone now.
As new as personally grieving is to me, so is walking with someone through their own grief. Much less walking with our small group together through this loss. Right now it's her, myself and one other couple, and a single young man who comes when he can.
My head hurts, my back hurts cause I am holding in all this tension. My stomach just aches. My throat has a big lump in it, but there are no tears to help relieve it all.
I want to run away, go hide somewhere, and really there is no where to go. Because I have to come back. I have a husband, children, a job, people counting on me.
I can't run away and hide somewhere alone. My husband already hardly has any activities outside of work and home. I have work and home, but also our small group once a week and am on worship team once a month. I can't run away and leave him with the kids, even for a day. I feel guilty. I have laundry a mile high I need to do, and other things around the house, and I don't want to do any of it. I just want to hide.... dive into a hole and pull it in behind me.
I want to ignore what happened this past weekend. Forget it and ignore it. I was able to today, until I talked to her.
In an email I wrote to the other couple in our small group I said that I feel dry, my prayers feel dry, and I feel like they are just a laundry list.
Yet at times, there is a little bit of comfort from His word. Just enough to keep me going. So that hopefully I won't feel so empty either.