Friendship in Unexpected Places

Me and Kim

Two years ago last May my mom passed away after only a short 11-week battle with cancer.  Those 11 weeks were filled with happiness, sadness, laughter, crying, fatigue, frustration, sorrow, and many, many more emotions.  Of course, at the time, we did not know we would only have 11 more weeks with mom.  Luckily, I have three dedicated sisters and we rotated 24-hours shifts with my mom so she was never alone.  Reflecting on this time, my mom was the happiest I had seen her in years because she had constant companionship and love.  But I am not going to lie, it was painful and hard and exhausting.  Not to mention I was just exploring the possible causes of my recent slurring of speech, wondering could it really be ALS.

During this time, I was also working full-time.  After mom passed away, I was overcome with grief.  I would cry at inopportune times.  I didn’t know what to do with my emotions over her death and the emotions about my own looming prognosis.  Then I remembered that Kaiser Hospice, who provided excellent care for my mom during her 11-week battle, offered bereavement counseling.  So I made the appointment, a bit apprehensive about what it would be like.

My bereavement counselor’s name was Kim.  I immediately sensed she was a kind-hearted woman with tons of compassion.  As I recounted my experiences of grief with her and shared my fears about my own health issues, I felt at ease with her.  As I processed previously unspoken hurts and emotions, I experienced her empathy and could often see tears of compassion in her eyes.  I do not really recall exactly how many sessions we had, I continued to see her until I took a leave of absence at my work in Vallejo to deal with my health issues.

Much to my surprise, I received a phone call from Kim one day telling me that she was conducting a bereavement group in Vacaville and wanted to stop by and see how I was doing.  I just assumed that since she knew I didn’t want to drive to Vallejo for continued sessions, she would bring those sessions to me.  We continued to meet at my home whenever she was in Vacaville.

Each time we met, our time together felt less and less like a “session” and developed instead into an unexpected friendship.  With Kim, I am free to be fully me.  I am free to be transparent, honest, raw.  She understands my emotions and is not afraid of my tears.  She doesn’t ignore the fact that I have an awful disease or pretend that “all is well”, but instead has helped me process my grief as I encounter new losses.

Then one day, she informed me that she was retiring and moving to Louisiana.  I was heartbroken.  How could I lose such a marvelous friend now?  Why another loss, I asked myself?

Then I remembered telling Kim about the Open When Box I made for my mother for her last Mother’s Day.  I wanted to give my mom something meaningful.  I had heard about it my from my friends’ daughter.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it is simply a bunch of letters and/or small gifts with a simple instruction on the front of each envelope to “Open when……”  For example, “Open when you need to see something beautiful” and I put in a note along with a compact mirror, telling my mom to look at how beautiful she was to me.  So I decided to make one of these for Kim’s going away gift, because she had been so touched by the story of the one I gave to my mom.  When we met, we had our usual 2 hour chat.  Then I presented her with the Open When Box.  When Kim began to open the box I could tell she was excited about receiving a gift, but as soon as she opened it and saw all of the envelopes, she realized that it was an “Open When” box.  She immediately burst into tears.

So off Kim went, assuring me that whenever she opened an envelope, she would call me to let me know.  Kim has told me she cherishes her box of letters and opens it, flips through the closed letters, and then closes the box.  When I asked her why she doesn’t open them, she told me that she is purposely not opening them because I need to be around for a LONG time so she can share the opening with me.  So, she is making them last.   I think she has only opened 2 or 3 in the year and a half or so that she has had them.

I honestly thought that our friendship would wane with the distance.  But God is so good!  Every time Kim comes back to California she contacts me for a visit!  We pick up where we left off.  She is patient with me and my computer voice.  She is comfortable with my tears.  She is my very unexpected friend.

I am thankful that she sought me out.  I am grateful for her wisdom.  I am filled with joy at her smile and her laugh.  I am blessed beyond measure.

Be bold.  Seek unexpected friendship.  Bless someone with the gift of you.

Kim, I will hang around as long as possible to enjoy those envelopes with you!  I love you!

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Undignified

UndignifiedI have heard in the ALS community that this disease can be very undignified.  I have not, until recently, experienced the first pangs of this undignified disease.

You see, my tongue is now totally dead.  By dead, I mean useless.  I cannot lift it.  I cannot move it side to side or up and down.  I cannot lick my lips or touch my teeth.  It just lays lifeless in my mouth.  Ironically, I can still feel it.  It feels normal.  But no matter how much I will it to move, it just won’t.  But what does a dead tongue mean, you ask…..For starters eating.  Eating becomes an impossible chore with a useless tongue.  Do you know how much work that little sucker does when you eat?  If not, just close your eyes the next time you take a bite of food and really pay attention.  It is mind boggling.  I often sit back at family gatherings and just watch the ease with which people shove ungodly amounts of food into their mouths without a thought in the world.  Two chews and down it goes….really?  Oh what I wouldn’t give for that ability!

Second, brushing my teeth is now a chore of epic proportions!  Hold it in your mouth?  Forget it, it runs straight down my chin.  Spit?  Yeah right, where’s my suction machine?!  Floss….can I grab that damn floss amidst the river of spit that runs across my lower teeth.  Ugh.  If you know me, oral care is VERY IMPORTANT to me.  And it has become a new ritual to keep these pearly whites…..well…. pearly white.

Third, that small rudder of a tongue helps you swallow your saliva.  Imagine that!  Without the use of it, I am destined to the most undignified symptom of all…..DROOLING.  Up until now I have been able to successfully manage it with two drops of Atropine  (eye drops, go figure!)  underneath my tongue.  (which I undoubtedly have to lift up with my finger).  Unfortunately, these drops don’t seem to be working as good as they used to.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot control that dribble that appears in the corner of my mouth…..Or when deep in thought, the large dribble that escapes my mouth and down the front of my shirt.  At home, my family has grown accustomed to the perpetual paper towel stuffed into my mouth or the washrag hanging limply from my lips.  **Sigh** Who would have thought that the once career minded, able-bodied woman would become an undignified drooler?  Certainly not me.

But even as I sit here writing this monologue of doom, what enters my mind is the refrain from the song It is Well by Bethel Music:

And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And through it all, through it all
It is well

And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me

But how can this be?  How can I, in a moment,  go from the pit of despair to marvelous worship and peace?  Even my mind cannot comprehend the goodness of my God.  Draw near, cry out, ask, just do it.  So every day, I make it a PRIORITY to spend time with God in His Word.  It is a discipline that started as a difficult task to one that tugs at me…..pulls me to my little desk for study…..that my heart yearns for every day.  A place that I find,  it is well.   To a place where I am known.  Where I am loved.  Where I am seen.  Where I am heard.  It is my food.  The food that no longer requires a tongue.  A place where I am not required to have spoken words.  A place getting to know the God who knows it all.  Who gives me breath.  Who has a purpose for my pain.  I can’t explain it.  I can’t duplicate it.  I don’t understand it.  But it is real.  And it is powerful.  And it restores my dignity.

What purpose is there?  Why is this happening to me?  Why, why, why?  That is the question bound in the human heart when life is hard or painful or difficult.  I don’t know why.  And I really don’t care to know anymore.  God knows and I trust Him.

Freedom

 

 

Can’t I Just Take a Pill for That?

jetsons

When I was young, I was a terribly picky eater.  Being hungry was a bit of a nuisance to me.  I remember thinking, “I wish I could just take a pill to eat.”  How foolish that statement sounds right now.

As the years rolled by, I began to venture out in my eating habits.  Jesse and I have become what people would consider “foodies”.  We talk about good food, we cook good food, we go out to eat good food.  And all this good food makes us dance our happy dance.  No joking, we really dance this little jig around the kitchen when we are about to devour our latest and greatest recipe.

Unfortunately, eating is becoming more and more challenging.  You would be amazed at how much work the muscles in your mouth and tongue do to chew and swallow just one bite of food.  My tongue has become so weak that I can no longer move food around my mouth to push it to my teeth to chew.  I have to use a fork to manually move it (several times in fact) for each bite.  I can no longer chew on my right side, only on the left and when doing so I constantly bite the right side of my lip and/or cheek.  Meals are becoming increasingly long and unenjoyable.  Even the food doesn’t taste as good.  If the food is too soft, it gets stuck on the roof of my mouth, which is, in the words of my new bulbar ALS friend,  “no mans land.”  This requires a quick push with a finger or fork, whichever is most handy at the time.  The back of my tongue has become increasingly weak, so much so that often the food I am trying to swallow gets “stuck” at the back of my throat.  Several turns of the head and hard swallows later it finally goes down.  All this I, for the most part, endure in silence.  I do not want my family to know how really hard it is and feel sorry for me.  I try to be strong.  But the truth is, it’s just not worth it anymore.  Trying to get enough nutrition to maintain my weight is not fun.  It’s work.  And it reminds me of when I was a kid and just wished for a pill to take away my hunger.

But hope is not lost.  Monday I go in to get my feeding tube placed.  I struggled with this decision for several weeks.  I thought when the time came, it would be easy.  No big deal, I would think, Dad had one.  Well, as I found out, it was a bigger deal to me than I thought.  Sure I fear the pain, but I know that will subside.  It’s the big, bulky tube smack dab in the middle of my belly, that doesn’t sound very becoming.  Admittedly, my vanity is rearing its ugly head.  Will I be able to wear cute shirts anymore?  Or will I be banished to the over-sized t shirt?  But realistically I think the hardest part of coming to terms with this next season, is the reality that my disease is progressing.  This disease is having it’s way with me, no matter what.  And it’s just so crazy because as long as I’m not talking or eating, I feel so ALIVE.  I forget that I’m dying.  Yeah, sure, I know…..we are all dying.  But I know what this disease does to people.  It steals and ravishes.  It imprisons.  It limits.  Not to mention the toll it takes on our caregivers.

I’ve researched and talked to other PALS who have already walked down this road and have a feeding tube.  I am more settled with my decision.  I am looking forward to eating food for pleasure again and using the tube when eating is just too laborious.  It will take the pressure off of trying to meal plan soft, easy to eat foods.  And ironically I will somewhat get that wish I had when I was a little girl.

I am in no way feeling sorry for myself.  Just grieving another natural loss.  I had a massage today and my friend and masseuse commented at how strong my body still is.  For that I am grateful.  I am thankful that I still have the ability to write, type, walk, dance, hold my grand babies.  I may be losing some pretty significant things, but I have gained so much on this journey.  Insight, love, compassion, empathy, friendships.  I am a different person than I was two years ago.   And although I wish I didn’t have ALS, I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned having had this disease.

I encourage everyone who is reading this to ENJOY your life.  Light those candles.  Drink that “special” bottle of wine, laugh with friends and family.  Forget about the dishes or the mopping that needs to be done.  Eat good food.  Take care of your body.  Give more than you receive.  Make this world a better place.  Because when you take your last breath I guarantee you won’t be saying “Gee, I wish I had kept a cleaner house or worked more.”  You will be saying “I wish I had loved more.  I wish I had forgiven more.  I wish I had lived more.”

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

dorothy-big

“What did you say?”

Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore!

The reality of this awful disease has been smacking me in the face lately.  Every where I turn, there is a reminder that my disease is progressing.  I can’t escape it.  The bipap, the suction machine, the cough assist, the thickener, lengthy meals just trying to move the food to my teeth to chew, drooling, and most importantly, every time I open my mouth to speak.  It’s still rather shocking to even me, I can’t imagine what others think.  It sounds so utterly normal in my head, but then out it comes….a garbled mess, the quizzical looks, the “I don’t want to ask her what she said” nod of understanding.  People, I know when you don’t understand me, so why don’t you just ask me to write it down?!?

Me and Jesse have been arguing more than normal.  We don’t want to, I know, but it is becoming so frustrating.  I know he is safe for me, so I guess I lash out more at him.  It’s not fair, I know.  I don’t mean to.  But I do.  Grace and forgiveness are abundant in my home right now.  Thank goodness for cleansing tears to wash away some of the frustration.

I attended my ALS clinic appointment last Thursday.  I will start with the positive.  In the waiting room I met someone who TOTALLY understands me.  I was talking to my sister and a woman across the room made eye contact as she brought her hand to her heart.  She then began eagerly digging through her bag and found her boogie board.  (for those of you who don’t know what a boogie board is, it is a board that you can write on and push a button to erase.  A great tool for those with bulbar ALS).  She crossed the room and we embraced.  There was something beautiful about it.  Knowing she knew EXACTLY what I’m going through.  We quickly began using our boogie boards to speak to each other.  The respiratory therapist had to practically peel us apart to call me into the room for my appointment!  Luckily, we were able to exchange numbers and I was overjoyed to make a new friend!

My clinic went fairly well.  My respiratory (which I am most worried about) was still in normal range.  It went from 103 to 95.  (Normal is 80-100).  This is good news.  I was really striving for the 100 range, but for some reason my stupid epiglottis was not cooperating and impeded my ability to breathe properly.  The perfectionist in me was not happy with a 95.  LOL.   Next my doctor arrives.  She indicated that she was surprised that my speech has declined as much as it has since my last appointment.  She gingerly approached the subject that although she cannot say for certain, the Radicava (infusion) may be the culprit.  She said that based on my previous trajectory of decline, she was concerned that the Radicava may not have slowed progression as it is purported to do (and may possibly be the cause of increased progression).  Unfortunately, because ALS is such an unpredictable disease, she cannot say with certainty that the Radicava is the cause of the accelerated decline in my speech.  It could simply be my rate of progression.   Surprisingly two of her other ALS patients had clear decline on the treatment and she stopped the infusions on them.  Since she cannot determine for certain with me, she left the decision up to me on whether or not to continue.  Later that evening, Jesse and I decided to stop the infusions for now.  My Dr. did say I may resume in the future if I choose to.

Then the dreaded speech therapist and nutritionist enter the room.  Ugh.  I know this is the hardest part of the appointment.  Discussion and examination ensue.  The topic of a feeding tube comes up.  Apparently, ALS speeds up your metabolism.  As it now stands, I am still eating and drinking and trying to maintain my weight.  I’ve had to add a daily Ensure drink for extra calories.  But because my tongue and soft palate have weakened, everything I eat or drink becomes a challenge and takes a lot of work to manage.  I may be eating less due to the laborious nature of chewing.  Coupled with the increased metabolism they are worried about weight loss.  Since I’m small, a small amount of weight loss of 5-10 pounds could be significant.  Additionally,  I’m beginning to dread the idea of eating or drinking on some days.  And weight loss is a no-no with ALS because it can trigger faster progression.  I asked them their professional opinion on the feeding tube because it sounded ludicrous to get one now when I’m still eating.  They tell me they would suggest it now, to take the pressure off of the labor of eating.  They explained that I could get the majority of my nutrition and hydration from the tube and eating can become more pleasurable.  It would also allow me time to get used to using it before it is completely necessary.  It is a difficult decision.  I thought that when the time came I would not have a problem with it.  I am familiar with a feeding tube from my dad having one.  But I am having a hard time.  I just don’t know if NOW is the right time for me.

The rest of the appointment was thankfully unassuming.  I don’t need OT, PT, Psychiatry, etc.  I am so thankful that this awful disease has not begun to rob me of any physical use of my body.  See…..even I can find gratitude in even the most dreary of places!

I have been spending a lot more time alone, which I don’t mind.  When I am surrounded by quiet and don’t have to talk, I feel normal.  I am able to forget, for a bit, that I have ALS.  I keep busy.  I read, write, pray, craft, cook, sew.  I enjoy these times the most because I am able to commune with God in my head and I don’t have to feel the frustration of difficult communication.

I miss going through the drive thru when I get a craving for fast food, buying a coffee when I’m by myself, and talking on the phone.  Right now I’m getting used to my assistive tools with family, but they are more challenging in public.  My sister Stacey is going to “help” me brave the coffee shop to order with my assistive talking device to get me more comfortable with this.  She has been my ever present rock throughout the past year and a half.  I am so thankful that God has allowed her to walk with me on this journey.

I have so much to be thankful for amidst the heartache.  I have THREE beautiful grandchildren that I can hold and love on.  Two of them are brand new granddaughters, Grace Kelly-Ann is 2 months old and Mila Beverly is 2 weeks old.  My big boy Noah Riley is 4 years old and a constant joy to be around.   These little people are such precious gifts to me and Jesse!  I am thankful for the friends who have hung in with me, providing emotional support and prayer.  I am thankful for a husband who carries not only his burden, but mine as well.  I am thankful for my children who make family night dinners meaningful and special.

Please pray for us.  Jesse is considering taking a leave of absence so that we can get control of the new normal and alleviate a bit of stress.  Pray that God will reveal Himself to us daily, give us strength, peace, joy, and laughter.  That we won’t let ALS defeat us but that we will live each day with courage and love.  That we will learn to communicate better and it won’t be such a burden.  And that most of all, we will create lasting memories and a legacy for our children and grandchildren.

 

Amazing Grace

My second grandchild was born on April 2, 2018 at 9:34 am.  She weighed 6 lbs. 6 oz. and was 20 inches long.  I was blessed to have witnessed the miracle of  her birth firsthand, by my daughter Brittany’s side.  Her name is Grace Kelly-Ann Kyde and she is so perfect and beautiful.  I pray that God does indeed bless her life with Grace and Mercy!

Last night, we had all of our children and grandchildren over for a family meal.  It was a night filled with laughter and joy as we all marveled at the new life He has blessed our family with.   However, as I struggled to communicate, I was overcome with sadness.  Sadness that my grandchildren may never hear me speak.  I had so many dreams about what kind of a grandparent I would be.  I purchased children’s hands-on activities to teach about Jesus’ birth and resurrection years ago.  I wanted to create memories for these special holidays.  But this year, I had to have someone else read the stories to my grandson, because I just couldn’t do it.  I dreamed of hosting a “Granny Camp” when my grandchildren were old enough, where I could spend quality time with them.  Creating memories that would last a lifetime.

Holding Grace and looking into her face, it broke my heart that she may never know my voice.  Trying to talk to Noah and seeing the first indication that he can’t understand me wounded me.  I worry that in the future, they may dread coming to see me and think of me as “scary” grandma who can’t talk.  All my dreams for what grand-parenthood would look like are just being crushed.  And it just outright makes me sad.

It is at times like these that I have to choose to trust God’s plan for my life.  The path that he has carved for me to travel may look very different than the one I’ve conjured up for myself.  I guess it’s ok to be sad.  I can still trust God’s goodness in my grief, for He most of all, knows my humanness.

Things for me are changing more rapidly than I would like.  Articulation is increasingly becoming more difficult, so I am having to repeat words frequently or write them down.  Eating, at times, seems so much of a chore, I would rather forego it.  I’ve lost a slight amount of weight and need to get extra calories with Ensure.  I know that the dreaded feeding tube is not too far in the future.  I have succumbed to the grim reality that my water must be thickened so that I don’t choke on it.  My mouth muscles are so weak, I’m beginning to drool.  (I know….GROSS).  But these are my realities.  Many around me do not see the struggle.  But the struggle is real.  And it is frightening.

My only defense is to look to Jesus for my strength.  I fervently seek His face daily as I draw near to the only source of strength that is eternal.  There is no time to waste in getting to know better the Author and Perfecter of my faith.  His mercies are new every morning!  Great is His faithfulness.

So today, I am thankful for my beautiful Amazing Grace!  And I am looking forward to meeting Baby Mila, when she arrives sometime in June.  I will be the best dang
Ga I can be talking or not…..and leave the rest to my Creator.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound- that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved,
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.

Ditch the Mascara

Somehow this morning, I knew that putting on non waterproof mascara was going to be a problem.  I only put it on so I wouldn’t look as bad as I feel on the inside.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.  I just feel like crying.  I feel sad.    But there’s really nothing drastically different to make me feel this way.  I just want to cry.  The problem is, nobody wants to be around a crybaby, so I try to hold it in.  I feel like I’m going to explode!  I feel like running away to someplace totally deserted and scream to the top of my lungs.  No people, no phones, no civilization.  I don’t want to hear anything but quiet.

 

Maybe it’s the weather.  I don’t know.  I just keep on doing what I know to do and pray this fog lifts.  That God turns my mourning into joy.  Today is just my day to cry.

I know without a doubt that I am surrounded by people who love me and are praying for me.  I am so blessed.  I hope each of you know how much I love you.  Please don’t take it personally if I decline a coffee or lunch date.  Or cancel last minute.  It’s not that I don’t want to visit.   It’s just that the thought of having lengthy conversations is just too much for me right now.  Maybe that’s part of my sadness.  The realization that things aren’t ever going to be the same for me.

So if you happen to see me out and about and I look like hell….it’s not because I’m sick….it’s because I decided to ditch the mascara.

That Beast Called Grief

grief

Webster defines grief as:  deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement (the state or fact of being deprived of something or someone)

In the past, whenever I heard the word grief, I would think of mourning over the death of someone.  I am learning, however, that we grieve not only over the death of friends and family, but sometimes also the loss of jobs, relationships, dreams, abilities.

And grieving doesn’t have a time limit or rules.  No one gets to tell us when grieving should occur or when it should be over or what it should be about.  Grieving is a process as individual as each of us.  We all grieve, we just may not recognize it as that.

Grief can be overwhelming, especially when those around us do not understand.  Oftentimes there is no safe place to share this grief and it gets stifled and bottled up.  But, it can’t stay there.  It won’t stay there. Grief must be released in some way or it will consume us.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve suffered many losses over the past six years.  First, my father was diagnosed with ALS and four short months later that ravaging beast took him.  So devastating.  Too quickly.  I wasn’t prepared.  Then I lost my beloved dog of 12 years, Claire.  I was awoken at 5 am to her convulsing…..I rushed her to the hospital to learn she had a brain lesion, was blind, and there was nothing that could be done.  I sat alone in that room and had to make the awful decision to let her go.  I left that place without my best friend.  Then along came Ginger.  The dog I rescued who was skinny, scared, starving.  I nursed her back to health.  She loved me so endearingly.  I only had her a short time.  She was a bonified scaredy cat and during a walk one evening, was scared away, leash still attached, as Jesse fought a dog off of Zeus.  She disappeared and was found two weeks later by a hunter in a field a couple of miles away from our house.  My poor baby died alone on a cold November evening.  Next, my mother’s devastating cancer diagnosis.  The 11 weeks she lived are filled with precious memories.  I was not ready to lose her.  Why, oh why?  Then last December,  my beloved surrogate dad, Frank was diagnosed with cancer and passed away within a couple of weeks, followed by my own ALS diagnosis.  April rolled around and my beautiful grandma Beulah went to be in the presence of the Lord.  The loss of my job, social interaction with co-workers, friendships I thought existed but are no where to be found, my voice, my ability to eat certain foods…..

So much loss.  How much more can one handle?   Just when I think I have a grip on my grief, a conversation, a thought, a memory, a new loss……. and it all rises to the surface and I become a blubbering fool.  But….I am so thankful for those safe friends who are able to withstand the wave of grief that comes crashing down on me at the most inopportune time.  For the friend who does not retreat, but listens without judging.  The friend who offers prayers without ceasing and let’s me feel the grief that washes over me.  The friend who is unwavering, nonjudgmental, loving, and kind.  The friend who doesn’t think in their mind, “get over it already” or try to give me a solution.

I don’t even understand my own grief.  I’m not asking others to either.  I don’t know when or if it will ever end.  And it doesn’t matter.  Because today I may be okay and tomorrow I may grieve over the fact that I can’t eat soup anymore.   Or that I can’t visit people as much as I would like because it’s just too hard to talk that long.  Or a song reminded me of my mom.  Or that I can’t call my dad and ask him for advice.  Or Facebook pops up with an old picture of my faithful canines-Claire and Ginger.   I know I have so much to be thankful for.  I do have joy and peace that comes from God amidst this suffering.  But having joy and peace does not mean that I still don’t grieve.  Because I do.  Everyday.

Just remember–let people feel what they are feeling.  You don’t have to have a solution.  Just lend an ear.  Pray a prayer.  Send a note.  Give permission to grieve.  Grieving is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.  It means we are PROCESSING what is going on and that is healthy.  If I cry, I’m crying because I’m processing my feelings, it doesn’t mean I’m feeling sorry for myself.  If we allow ourselves to process our feelings, the waves begin to calm and reside and a bit more healing is realized.

The Beast is real.  It serves it’s purpose.  So next time you encounter that grieving friend, acquaintance, co-worker, family member….don’t minimize the grief.  Just let it be what it is.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.