Thursday, December 9, 2010

Of Life, Loss, And Exhaustion

I'm stalling out, at least today, on the Reverb posts. This is just a post for posting's sake. Since Sunday, I have worked right around 57 hours. That's 10+ hour days, five days in a row. I'm not the only one, and I hope that my coworkers are carving out some time to breath tomorrow. It's been a busy week.

That is a ridiculous understatement. It's been an relentless week. I am exhausted, though I am content that it was work well done. But I have missed my home and my family. My dear, darling husband coaxed me home via a phone call tonight, telling me that it was all worth it. The time away matters, he said, because it was for work that became such a blessing to so many through the church.

Is it possible to receive such encouragement from the very one who was robbed the most? What a gift I have been given...

We held two Blue Christmas services this week. Tuesday night we were hosted by a traditional church in a neighboring town. I only knew about half the people in attendance. We offered a gentle blessing, the gift of our music and a brilliant message from our pastor. Grace covered us.

Tonight, we did the same service at our facility in Powhatan. We were "home" and there was a different sense of calm amidst the grief, something that spoke of safety and security. I love the people I work with through PCC, and to share music with John and Lindsay tonight, to weave "O Come O Come Emmanuel" around Jackie's recitation of a deeply hued Emily Dickinson poem - these things gave my heart a cushion.

Eric Heebner, my friend
I grieved tonight, carrying a hurt that was not present Tuesday during our first service. Tonight my heart hurt, not only for the grief that loomed large in the room, in the faces and hearts of the people in attendance. I hurt tonight for the loss of my friend Eric, who died in a car accident Wednesday morning in Texas. He was a dear, gentle friend, one whose kindness always graced my life. There are some people in my history who never, ever did any harm. Eric was one of those. He was a good man, a kind soul, a good father. And he is gone. I am shocked by how wrenching this is to my soul. We had not talked in over a year, but he was my friend. A good friend.

In honor of Eric, I am seeking peace tonight. Contemplating his death, I consider the opportunity for life that we still have; the things left undone and unsaid. How many others will slip the bonds of this life and move on to the next, taking with them a small piece of my heart? It will happen again and again, and we will mourn again and again.

And the sun will rise again, and again, and then again. And we will be left to consider all that remains.

4 comments:

Hope said...

Hugs to you tonight my friend.

annie said...

I'm so sorry, Beth.

J said...

I knew Eric when we worked together and I too remember his kind and gentle spirit. Comforting to read hour words, Beth, thank you. Prayers for Eric's family and beloved friends. Jean

Connie K. said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this.

Your gift of the Blue Christmas service this week touched many hearts.

John's ability to turn his terrible loss into a gift for us through song and service was deeply felt. I had no idea you were going through fresh grief for a dear friend as well. I hope Brian's message brought you some measure of healing and hope. I know it did for me, as did all aspects of the service...just being around other people who have struggled with loss was comforting.

You're in my prayers, as is Eric's family today.