Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hast Thou No Scar?

We've been busy.  Travel, trying to put some semblance of a normal life back together (why do I feel like I've been trying to do that for years?), preoccupation with these things, passing a virus around on top of it all.  Life goes on, as it must.

Someone said I must feel as though I cannot go on at times.  I personally don't recall feeling that way from this up to this point, at least not anything close to literally.  As though I don't want to, yes, a bit at times.  Or, why couldn't it have been me and not him, at times?  Yes, from multiple angles.  But after thinking of each of those, I think immediately of my children and I think I might know why. 

But, to be honest, lately I've been in a phase of almost feeling nothing at all about it. 
I think I'm somewhat coming out of it now, as I've found myself near to tears again on occasion in the past couple days.  Writing about it is odd.  It is to attempt to nail down an elusive mist.  I have known feeling was somewhere, deep down, yet I have not been in touch with it.  I think it had a lot to do with the fact that it was just so necessary to think of other things.

But to feel nothing at all?  Not even when I wanted to, not even when I dwelt on the fact that he was dead?  Not even when I repeated to myself like some bizarre mantra, my brother is dead, trying to make myself grasp reality?

What kind of sister does this, I thought?  What kind of daughter comforts her crying mother not only without shedding a tear herself, but without any feeling, as though a hug were a mechanical action a machine could perform?

Perhaps a daughter like her father, you might say.  The father who preached his own father's funeral, and who could have preached his son's had he thought it necessary.  I would be flattered, but I know better.  I am like him, but not.  As with Clint.  We are all alike enough to be compared, yet unlike enough for me to feel ashamed at too much comparison.

And I certainly will not preach my father's funeral!  Assuming there ever is one.  Which one should not assume, by the way.  Just so you know.

I do not usually speak for my father, or either of my parents.  I am not comfortable doing so.  I did it in the time surrounding the funeral more frequently than I felt comfortable, and continue to do it to some extent when people ask how they are doing.  But it's still not comfortable.

But this is my blog, not my father's.  If my father started a blog I would be dumbfounded and maybe even concerned, because it is so unlike him.  What does that say?  It says that I am not like him in this regard.  So there you go.

So I would never claim to know just how my father feels.  Or how either of my parents feel.  How could I?

I do know that he gave a great sermon Sunday about suffering, with no apparent sign of difficulty.  Any stranger walking into the meeting would have never guessed that his own son had died less than six weeks ago.  An older woman in the congregation came up to me afterward with tears in her eyes and said she didn't know how he did it.  I don't either.

He's walked with us all through most of this just about like that.  But I know it's hard on him.  And I'm so thankful to God for the daddy He gave me,  who taught me about Him, and who still teaches me.

I want to share a poem Dad read in his sermon, which I will leave you with for now.

No Scar?  

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?

by Amy Charmichael


  1. I am still thinking about you guys every day, a lot actually. And praying, of course.

    I'm glad you're able to write about the way you're feeling. One day (or even as early as next week or next month) it might be interesting to look back on it and see what you were thinking and feeling at different intervals of the grief process.

    You do have such amazing parents. And the thought of your dad starting a blog made me chuckle.


  2. I'm hung up on the idea of your dad starting a blog. I truly did giggle out loud. :)

    And while I've never experienced a loss like yours, a part of me thinks you feel what you feel (or don't feel, as the case may be) and that's just the way it is. There's no one way you are "supposed" to feel. Each day and each person is likely different.

    May God grant you peace and comfort, friend and sister.

  3. God has truly given you a gift of expressing thoughts. I know from experience that this is very therapeutic.
    When I lost my Dad and then latter my Brother I had days when I could not grasp it and others when I felt certain God was allowing me to feel it more than I could bare. That is just the process of grief and there is nothing wrong with you for feeling that way.
    My Dad has been gone from our sight for almost 29 years but I had a dream of him this morning that felt like he was still here. The best dreams of him are the ones when we get to speak to each other. This was one of those. It seemed to go on and on. I woke up with the contradictory feelings of great comfort but also deep loss. It has left me feeling detached from my current life all day. Is this a taste of Heaven? Makes me wonder.
    Bless you Amber!

  4. You are a virtuous woman, and virtue means strength. I believe your emotions are following your convictions. If we believe what God says about death and the Christian, it takes precedence over our normal feelings about losing someone we love. God bless you, Amber - you are doing the Lord's work.

  5. Beautiful words Amber, it appears that you and Clint shared the ability to put your thoughts to paper........I heard a phrase today that made me think of your family, "There are no boundaries to grieving." Who is anyone to tell another how to grieve? There are no rules.
    I don't believe there is any harm in feeling "nothing." As zero holds a place value, nothing is filling a void.
    God Bless you and yours

  6. I'm still thinking and praying for you. I am glad you share your thoughts about what you're going through. I think they're edifying, and although I can't be sure exactly when they'll come to mind in the future, I'm pretty sure they will comfort me someday.

    I've noticed you referencing The Wallflowers, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan. I heard The Cure ("It's Friday, I'm in Love") on the radio a couple of times in the past month, and as usual, I think of you when I hear all of these groups. I think of that time in our lives (early/mid 90s), and how different/carefree it was back then. Clint comes to mind, too, as a cute little boy, impressing alternately with his energy or his newest feats of childhood genius. I know we are wiser and have some amazing things in our lives now, as well as some awesome responsibilities, but I definitely smile when I hear those songs still.

    As to your Dad, he is one of a kind (well, like everyone is, but you know what I mean). I could picture his blog, but it probably would not be much to say about himself or his feelings. I would definitely like reading what he was thinking about assuming he would write in the manner he speaks, filled with knowledge and conviction.