Grief That’s Too Much To Bear by Angie Arndt

Surely he has borne our griefsMy favorite aunt was sick, but I couldn’t come to the hospital because she didn’t want me to see her this way. I laughed in spite of my anxiousness. Just like Aunt Polly. I called daily to see how she was. My uncle kept repeating the same song: “About the same.” I asked for prayer at my church and from you, too.

Seven long days later, she said I could come. I was shocked by her appearance: skeletal, weak, scratchy voice. I could see it in her eyes: “this is why I didn’t want you to see me.”

But I did see her. Week-after-week her condition worsened until her death six weeks after she was admitted to the hospital. I won’t describe her condition in the hours before she died. It’s a horror I can’t get out of my mind. Even after seeing her slowly die, my mind couldn’t believe my strong, opinionated, lasso-the-moon-if-you-needed-it aunt was gone.

Mesu’s Anippe was fictional, but can you imagine the impact it would have on a small child to see your mother fine one minute and gone the next day? You know how children think the world revolves around them. The grief and guilt would only be tempered by the horror of seeing the bloody way she died. Her world was turned upside down and that changed her.

What has changed you? What horror have you seen, what grief have you borne for too long?

He can carry it for you. He’ll go with you when you relive those moments. He understand the words: smitten . . . afflicted . . . wounded. Let him carry your wounds today.

  • Lord I bring all our grief before you today and lay it at your feet.  Help us to put one foot in front of the other and find joy again.

 

Angie Arndt lives in the middle of a big wood with her husband, Charles, and three dogs. She loves writing, mysteries and writing mysteries.

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Comments

  1. My Aunt also succumbed to cancer in January, after 6 years of hard fought battle. She was a very strong, opinionated woman as well. We called her General T. She refused to let anyone visit her at the end, even sending my mom, her only sister away. People like that seem invincible and when they go, it makes you look at life in a whole new way.

    • It sounds like she was quite a character, Kate — a lot like my aunt. The only reason we got to come see her is because my uncle overrode her decision.

      It’s so hard to believe she’s gone, isn’t it? Strength, independence, weak, frail — we all go the same way.

      But here at Easter, we cannot forget that our Lord provided a way to be reunited with those we love. One day we’ll see them again!

  2. Grief is so personal. The person who’s dying grieves as uniquely as those around him/her. I don’t think any of us know how we’ll react to death–our own or someone close to us–until it touches us. Angie, I’m so sorry you went through this with your aunt, but I know what a comfort you were to her and are even now to your uncle. You are a beautiful example of God’s comfort overflowing through you into the lives of others.

  3. I type this with tears in my eyes and send sympathy to you both, Angie & Kate, but wanted to brag on my dear 78-year old aunt. Many years ago she had melanoma and after the surgery the chemo and radiation were brutal. Years later she developed a serious infection in her bones that is rare that may or may not have been caused by the port put in for her chemo….almost losing her she rallied back and had her arm, shoulder, collar bone and two ribs removed. She is such an inspiration doing her own yard work and when most would give up because they only have one arm, she has not. She is my inspiration and I am so proud of her and wanted to share a small part of her journey with you all! Thanks for listening! Linda

    • Linda,

      Thank you so much for the sympathy and the tears you shed for our aunts. They are so appreciated.

      What an amazing woman your aunt is! I can’t imagine losing all that she did and still being strong enough emotionally to want to do her own yard work. Yes, I can see where she’d be an inspiration to you. and I’m sure you’re a great support for her.

      Thank you for sharing her story with us!

  4. I can grieve with you Angie & Kate. My mom showed such strength in her final days. She had many problems with her health including what was called an encephalitic episode when she was 42. She recovered with little impairment only to have a heart attack sometime later. He second attack at 54 put her in bad shape. The nearby hospital nearly killed her by letting her potassium level get too low. She had quadruple by-pass surgery and spent the next 10 months in and out of the hospital. She had a rough time at the end. I won’t tell you about that. I loved her and miss her so much even nearly 27 years later. I stayed with my dad until his death 13 years ago. My mom was the strength of our house and the business brain. I wish I had inherited that part of her DNA,I am more like my father. Her example has helped me deal with my own health issues. My solace is I will see them both when I get to Heaven. I had a great example how to live with problems in life and to lean on God whatever comes.

    • Oh, Connie, I can hear the grief in your voice. To see your mother go through all that — not one, not two but through at least four major health crises and then the despair of watching her die when you were so young must have had a huge impact on your life, too. But you rallied enough to care for you father until his death, and you were his strength when he had none. Don’t diminish the strong core passed down to you from her.

      And even though her example helps you meet your own health obstacles, it must be scary to see them come — the great “what if” looms over you.

      Never forget on those days that God has you in the palm of His great and mighty hand. He is your strength on those days when you have none. He loves you, keeps you and will never let you go.

      Mighty hugs, sister!

  5. Oh, Angie, this brought tears to my eyes. There’s nothing worse than seeing a loved one wither away. I grieve for you and I know that our loving Father is holding you now.

    • Thank you so much for your prayers, Michelle. I’m sorry I’m just seeing your comment. It’s been almost a year since she passed away and the pain (for me, at least) is better. Please continue to remember my uncle, though.

      Thank you again, sweet friend!

  6. Hi: i am looking for answers of how grief make my heart to painful to bears after my dear husband dead life was not the same as it was ,how can i stop the grief inner pain in my heart ? The words miss my husband have bring to painful each days , please help me on how to make the pain less painful . From rose

    • Rosalind,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I had some perfect prescription to make all the pain go away but I don’t. Just tell Jesus how you feel — day-by-day and even minute-by-minute. Isaiah 53: 3 says that, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
      He knows grief and pain. He sees our sin and yet he loves us and has a plan for us.

      I’ll be praying for your comfort and that Lord will show favor to you.

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Angie

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