>Please excuse the “downer” title. But that’s where I am right now. I am dealing with death. This is not the death of a relative of mine. This is not someone I have known my whole life or grown up with. It’s the death of a friend…a friend who happens to be connected to our church. And it comes on the heels of a death two weeks ago of another person connected to the church. Both are tragic. Both are families I’ve grown to love over the last 10 years.
This is a difficult place for me. It’s difficult because most of the deaths I deal with — in the community or fire department — I kind of come into persons’ lives at the moment of their deepest grief and then fade away. Their friends weren’t really my friends. They were passing through Girdwood. They were not part of my church family and the call for ongoing pastoral care was not really there.
These are different. I’m emotionally invested here more than usual.
And it’s affecting me, emotionally, more than usual.
It’s interesting as all the words of advice I normally give to the families who have lost loved ones I have to listen to myself. “Get sleep. Eat well. Get some exercise. Take care of yourself.” It’s a lot easier to say than it is to do.
It’s like I know what to do with everybody else but I’m not quite sure I know what to do with myself. Do I want to talk about it? Do I want to be by myself? Do I want to write about it? Should I go into Anchorage to meet with my pastor friends for some care or should I get out in the sunshine for a walk to take care of myself? (Today I’ve chosen a walk).
It’s interesting that I’m really not doing “OK” with this. This is, I think, the first time in years I’ve been here that as many people have asked if I’m doing OK or have asked my lovely wife if I were doing OK. I guess that they assume that I’m having some trouble. They’re right. I’m not OK. I will be. And, for now, I’m not sure what it is that will move me in that direction. But I will be OK. It may, however, take me a couple of weeks to begin to feel like normal.