40 Days. May I write it out for 40 days? Will I commit the time and energy?
I started blogging for lent several years ago and have lapsed for several years as well. What makes this year different? My 92 year old grandmother, Nanny, died on March 4, and I have spent the better part of every day since writing: writing obit, writing Eulogy, and writing the perfect FaceBook post to announce to friends and family.
In the Facebook post, I punned March 4 as “march forth” as I had seen elsewhere on the internet, but it seemed especially poignant for her.
The 1980s-1990s Nanny was a swiss army knife that could do anything–artistically, professionally, domestically: drawing, crafting, working under 20 Army Commanding Colonels, her fried chicken and potato salad–nuff said!! The late 1990s-millennial Nanny seemed to have forgotten herself and all that she had or could accomplish. As someone so deeply religious, she held on tooth and nail and displayed a lot of fear and worry in her life. I only have the eldest grandchild’s point of view–which does not display the complexity and messiness I now know life holds as a 40 something adult. I’ve decided not to wonder why, but to focus on the fact that Nanny’s worries were soothed and quieted as she “marched forth” into the arms of her Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. I just know it in my heart. Honestly, the whole paradox of Nanny’s faith and worry in the same body makes me feel better about having doubts in my faith journey. It is okay to believe but hold back; to turn it over to God, and take it back; to trust, but doubt. These things make us human. God made us, and through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God understands.
Writing someone’s end-of-life summary and being tapped as the designated family member to do so–while a daunting task due to its significance and and magnitude–is an honor and a privilege. The part I like to laugh about is that no one in the family can cross me because I always have the last word. The honor is being trusted to craft the narrative of someone’s years. When I feel unsure that the person would want me to share information or draw conclusions I’ve drawn, I remind myself that funerals are for the living–the dead have gone on to glory–somewhere waaaay less petty than Earth. The privilege is forcing myself to contemplate the “space between” birth and death. Does what I am doing matter? How am I using my time? Am I squandering time? Am I just sucking wind? How do I look from outside myself?
I hope blogging again will give me a jump off point for the space between. I know that God will sanctify my time if I stay focused on God and God’s will for me.