11 June 2009

Observing Grief

When one is young - you know - like my age - and one is in a process of discerning various things about life, the truly wise people listen to you and try to offer only one caution - 'the discerning never ends.'

I'm starting to believe them.

Paul and I have both been wrestling with things now, since, oh, I don't know, we met. The currently most consequential, along with Ada Brooks's education, is our church life. Since we moved to Jackson, we've been members at the Chapel of the Cross - an Episcopal church in Madison. We were married in and Ada Brooks was baptized in the Episcopal church, so it was natural that we would continue in that tradition when we moved here.

But, life is ever changing. (This is why the discerning never ends). Different stages of life bring different priorities, concerns, loves, worries, and experiences. And thus demand further thinking, pondering, praying, talking and listening.

We've been experiencing a frustration, although that word doesn't seem quite right, at the Chapel for a while now. Its difficult to describe because its not anyone's fault, per se. It is best explained as a diverging of us from them. We are focused on developing Godly young people in our household, and we aren't feeling like we are on the same page with very many people at the Chapel about how to do that. We don't even feel like there is room for conversation about that issue.

(That is the very beginning of a much longer conversation that I don't quite have time to develop at the moment)

The point is that we've decided to spend the summer visiting other churches. Specifically visiting Immanuel Presbyterian Church (who imagines Paul as a presbyterian...). I am shocked at the effect this decision is having on me - the grief I am almost observing from an outsider's perspective. We haven't made a permanent decision, but I am grieving for my relationships at the Chapel - for the very place that it is. For the fact that my son was baptized there. It is like I have a relationship with the very place - much like a relationship with a person - and we are having a trial separation - an estrangement.

It is a grief, like most grief, that I have not expected. A grief that I am having trouble describing. It makes me feel guilty and makes me feel lonely. I think a big part of it is that most things about which one grieves are out of that person's control - a death, a job loss, etc. But this is entirely of our doing - and not out of anger or anything that we feel is 'forcing' us to make this decision - but its just coming out of where we are in discerning our path.

We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. I came across you blog today. I enjoyed it. It was your mention about the stage of life that triggered my interest.

    We're always looking for people willing to share their stories so others may benefit.


    Eric Thiegs
    Stage of Life