Excerpts from Lamentations of the Heart
THE GREATER OF THE TWO
It is written in Ecclesiastes 7:1 that the day of our death is greater than the day of birth. I contemplate this, as I continue to heal and come to terms with the unexpected loss of my only child, Grant. He was almost 26 when he passed away. He had been ill and had come home for a visit before seeking further medical help. None of us, including him, realized how serious his illness was. He had been bitten by a spider near his heart while on a pipeline job in Pennsylvania. He went to a hospital, was treated, and spent a couple of days resting in his motel room.
He finished work, told us he felt better, and drove back to Kansas. He was an uninsured contractor, but he had full medical coverage through Indian benefits in Oklahoma just a couple of hours away. The plan for more treatment as needed relied on those benefits.
In retrospect, Grant looked bloated when he walked through the door; I assumed he had gained weight eating junk food on the road. His appetite, however, was off, and he was experiencing some swelling and low energy. I've gone over and over the details since I found him in his bed...
THE REST OF OUR JOURNEY
We are fashioned and formed
by what works upon us;
much like the cliffs, gouged beautifully,
as great waters
pulse their waves and slam debris.
Life cuts an image, and deep.
We move at a chosen pace
or toss about in winds of the unknown,
torrentially, or at ease.
We wade out, arms swaying, into the deep,
and only then, realize where we are.
And only then, for many,
in a loss bigger than the sea,
will we search for clefts,
and rise upon the Rock,
to hold fast for the rest of our journey.