This morning the Shuttle Discovery left Kennedy Space Center, riding piggy back on a 747 airplane. I was totally unprepared for my own reaction. This final flight means the space program is officially over for the US.
As the shuttle passed over our home, I cried. It was as though I was losing another part of my husband, who worked for NASA for 45 years.
The grieving cycle fascinates me. I’ve studied it for years and tried to understand the process. During this past year, I’ve found myself marveling at my reaction to my own grieving. I cry at the most unexpected times and for the most fascinating reasons. On Resurrection Day, I cried because I realized that this would be my husband’s first time to celebrate this day in heaven.
Later in the day, I cried because I no longer have to be worried about him. For seven years, each time I left the house, I prepared myself to find him dead when I came home. This was a sub-conscious reaction but it was extremely real. On our anniversary, earlier this year, I cried because I was so angry that he died a few months before our 50th anniversary. Silly, of course. But a reality.
During the years my husband was ill, I continued to work. For five years, I did a daily blog. Even during the 9 months that he was dying, I continued the grind. Since Christmas of 2011, I have not been able to keep up the schedule of blogging each day.
For about a month, I fretted about my failure to do the work that I’d committed myself to do. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that this is probably another result of my grieving. During Frank’s sickness, I continued to continue. Now, physical tiredness has caught up with me. I am simply tired.
“I wonder how I was Frank’s full-time caregiver and I still worked full-time,” I said to a partner in ministry a couple of weeks ago. ”I can’t get my work done; and I don’t have the extra stress of taking care of my husband.” Verbalizing my inability to do the work helped me to pick up the issue, hold it to the light and examine it in a realistic way.
There are times we are simply tired. Your reason may not be grief but some other concern. Perhaps this is God’s cue to you that it’s time for you to trim back and rest.