That's what happens: I get so tired I can, quite literally, barely move.
I love so much of what fills my life. I love being a pastor: preparing and preaching sermons, planning and leading worship, spending time with people through ordinary moments and crisis moments, helping with outreach and events, nurturing a visioning process. I love teaching in a college, watching those young people just beginning to figure things our and watching their passions ignite. I love doing spiritual direction, listening to stories and opening the doorway for those interested to, as one friend one described it, "learn to pray in 3-D."
And I haven't even mentioned my family life: the husband moving toward retirement, the young adults stepping into the future, the father approaching a final decade, or maybe two.
It's a varied, fascinating, engaging, and very full life.
But every moment of it is undergirded by the loss of my son, the young adult who is not stepping into the future. And I get so tired. Every day, an onslaught of reminders. Pictures, articles, posts, songs, dozens of them, about places and things he loved. Every day, at least two or three, sometimes many more, conversational moments in which I can feel the curtain thump down between my inmost feelings and the pleasant facial expression I adopt.
I guess it's the crushing weight of what I know now. I re-posted an article on FB yesterday about a young Ivy League student who died of suicide. A couple of friends responded that her story is sad and heartbreaking, as it is. But my thought? It's OUTRAGEOUS. It's outrageous that the world works ~ or doesn't ~ like this. It's a heavy load, to know that helpless outrage every day.
I am still learning, six-plus years later. What to do with some time off. (Nothing.) What to do when the days get too full. (Cancel.) What to do when the phone rings one more time. (Ignore.)
I am sleeping full nights now, for the first time in six years. Seven, eight, consecutive hours. It's as if my entire body is groping for rest. I would not call my sleep peaceful. But at least I can put the hours in.
Six years. Just sayin'.