I spent most of yesterday in my car. I drove one of my dearest friends down to Massachusetts and back into New Hampshire (mind you, New Hampshire's border is closer to my home state) to get a new car. However, my dear friend is a boy. He felt no need to print out directions. I was ready to affirm his faith that he would remember the way (as he does have a scary memory) but we got lost -- and so I spent more time than I would have liked driving back and forth over the NH-MA border. And then, on our way back home, the fan belt on his new car broke. I had the joy of driving him home after this very defeating journey.
This story somehow matches the rest of my week. After burying my grandfather and feeling that I need a vacation from my vacation, I came home to the whirlwind of church life. I was greeted by the four Confirmands remaining in the process. I found myself pushed to love them. There were emails and condolence cards from church members. Somehow, I told my SP that I was thinking about a search process. That was not planned -- but it is evidence that I feel bounced back and forth across this strange border in my life.
And then, a church member committed suicide. Fuck. I learned the next day because the widower didn't want to burden his pastors. I cancelled everything and waited for him to emerge from difficult conversations at the funeral home. I couldn't cry. I wanted to cry. I really, really wanted to cry with him. This is a church member that I love dearly. And of course, his story is too close for comfort. And so while I watched him hide behind sunglasses in my office, I told him the truth. I told him that I can't understand what he is feeling -- but it's familiar ground for me. I told him about my brother and told him I can't imagine the pain he is feeling now. We talked about love and loss. Still, I could not cry.
After he left my office and I tried to catch my breath, the funeral home called. Another church member had died. This was expected. Her health had been failing for a long time. The family wanted to meet with someone -- namely the SP. He was out of town. He's not available for the service. My long road leads me to their side in a matter of hours to tell them that I will be walking with them through this journey. Their disappointment was palpable. I had to yell for this widower to understand anything I said. I wanted to scream as I yelled my assurances and asked about his loving wife. I felt my energy levels sink. Still, I could not cry.
Of course, I carried all of this with me to our state capital to lobby for immigrants in our state on Thursday. I wanted to do this because I love doing this kind of witness. However, I got there to find myself speechless and on the edge of tears. Still, I could not cry. I was thinking about how I could get through these next few hours. I was thinking about the mammogram that lay ahead that afternoon. It is finally behind me and I am fine. It just feels like a long road -- and still, no matter how much I might think it would be a wonderful release, I cannot cry.