Saturday, March 9, 2013

8:46 and thoughts on death

Just finished watching the movie 8:46 on Netflix.  If you have an hour I recommend watching it. (It's only 50 minutes) It fictionally recounts six people that lived through the day before and day of 9/11/01.  It portrayed people that worked at the world trade center, people who had kids in the World Trade Center's Day Care, people that worked in the restaurants in the World Trade Center, emergency response crews, family members of those that were on the highjacked plane.  It is truly amazing how our lives have all be affected and change by that one day.  I was only in 7th grade when it happened.  The first plane hit  \when I was in my first period math class.  I did not even know what the World Trade Center was so it did not hit me as hard as it was for people who had family/friends that worked there or in New York.  The footage of those precious buildings smoking and then collapsing played on the TVs in each classroom for three days. 

Watching the attack on the Two Towers today makes me weep.  With a soldier husband, I recognize the enemy that he will one day be called to fight upon.  I have great respect for those that have served our country since 9/11.  The sacrifices they and their families have made is immeasurable.  Death however does happen.  I just read this blog post after watching the movie:

As a Christian, a leader, and a human being I have lived a life that has left me with scars.  A car accident in 1996 left me with a compound fracture in the right arm, a shattered left femur, and memory loss due to a head injury.  17 years later, I still walk with a limp.  A childhood with an abusive father that neglected his daughter and used her to get dates.  A mother that loved me but carried injuries from the car accident as well.  Often forgetting times where she said she would be to pick me up.  Often, not showing up at all.  As a defender of her status as my birth mother, I would fight my dad to give her one more chance to make it on time.  Little did I know that I had learned not to hold my breath.  Fast forward to 2003, my dad remarried and I got a new mom and a stepbrother.  As an illegitimate child, my step-mom immediately cut me out of the family.  The wounds she gave me run deep and often resurface with certain words/actions are done towards me.  I am now happily married to my prince of a husband here on earth and I am fully in love and awed by my King in Heaven.

The Death I am speaking of did not happen to me externally but internally.  My step-mom severed ties with every member of my family.  After about 7 years of not speaking to them and my parents moving without telling anyone, it was up to me to begin rebuilding relationships.  It was easy to bond with my grandma on my dad's side because we both had gone through similar pain but with my half siblings, my aunts and uncles it has just been funky.   I have not been able to just call up one of them to see how things in their life are going.  It feels like a giant chasm is in place between them and myself even though I may be sitting right across the table from them.  Feeling in the space is never an easy task whether you're meeting someone for the first time, going through a counseling session, or sitting across from someone who you know loves you.  Death can creep into any relationship if we let it.  In our marriages, our families, our friendships, our relationships with our children, our church.  We can be so preoccupied with pain and hurting that we may not realize that the people around us may be feeling the same thing.   Grieving is a process and it is never easy to regain the piece of your heart that is broken, hurt, or missing inside of you.  God gave us grieving as a time to reflect and rebuild but if we say in grieving we will cease to live normally.  I was lucky enough to be dating my, now, husband during this time of pain and speaking to him and gaining his insight on my issues was extremely helpful.  Not because he had necessarily gone through extreme dysfunction like my family had but because he could offer his knowledge from his semi-stable family.  I say semi because no family is perfect but there is a difference between unhealthy and healthy love.

Now I get to the point where I just have to talk to someone when I am hurting or when old feelings resurface because if I don't, the pain will engulf me.  I encourage you hurting ones, to reach out and have coffee with a friend, set apart time with your spouse, get prayer from your pastor or those in your prayer group.  I am lucky enough to work in an Army Chapel so I have someone to talk to whenever I need it.  I think the church is the best place to get help, not because its perfect but because there is a lot of hurting people filling the pews.  If you've had a bad experience, I encourage you to reach out again.  If not to a person, then to Jesus himself because the healing He gives us is lifechanging.

Death is not the only option when everything in us hurts.

Our God is always here:

Further thoughts and reflection:

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”
Virgil Kraft

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