Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quit chasing the sunset

I've been feeling very tired the past week and somewhat lost. I couldn't figure out why. Tonight while reading the book A Grace Disguised (a neighbor who lost his wife to cancer gave me the book) I've finally figured out why. The author of A Grace Disguised lost his mother, his wife, and his 4 year old daughter in a horrible car accident. That kind of loss is unimaginable to me.  He survived the crash with his 3 other children.  In one terrible moment, he became a parent less child, a widower, a single parent, and a parent who lost a child. 

He explains that we never recover from loss. I will never recover. I am an amputee. I will never have my life back.  It's gone forever. Life will never be good again, because the life that I deemed "good" is gone forever.  I need to let go of that definition of a "good life" because I am defining it with what was, not what is.  

He also talks about chasing the setting sun, frantically running west, trying desperately to catch it and remain in it's fiery warmth and light. But he was losing the race. The sun was beating him to the horizon and was soon gone. He suddenly found himself in the twilight. Exhausted, he stopped running and glanced with foreboding over his shoulder to the east. He saw vast darkness closing in on him. He was terrified by that darkness.  He wanted to keep running after the sun, though he knew that it was futile, for it had already proven itself faster than he was. So he lost all hope, collapsed to the ground and fell into despair. He thought at that moment that he would live in darkness forever. He felt absolute terror in his soul.

Later he realized that the quickest way for anyone to reach the warmth and light of the sun is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes upon the inevitable sunrise. 

I think this is why I am so tired. I've been running towards the setting sun and I'm exhausted. I need to turn around and head into the darkness. Because that is the only way I will find the warmth and light again.  I think there is great wisdom in this lesson.  Only time will tell.


  1. Very good thoughts, my friend. Not only have you been running towards the setting sun; you're running to keep up with doing both yours and Chrissy's responsibilities without just breathing. Perhaps if you stop to breath, you feel you may lose your breath?

    Love you,

  2. I've been watching videos and grieving more now than ever. The work around the house is therapy for me, but it's masking my fear and dread of the darkness. I'm easing my way into the darkness. One tentative step at a time. It's very lonely there and full of pain. I hope the sunrise really is there.

  3. Frank, you captured something here for this grieving mother. Thank you for your willingness to share your deep, personal thoughts.

  4. Ah Frank, you captured this so well. I think you are right - it's plunging in to the darkness that will bring us more readily to the light on the other side.

    Keep up the great writing and hang in there.