Friday, August 16, 2019

On the Porch with My Sister

My soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning:
great is Your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion: 
therefore I will wait for Him."
Lamentations 3:20 - 24

In recent days, we've sat together on uncomfortable chairs, in unmowed grass, on carpeted floor.

We've texted and talked and wept and laughed.  We've wrestled with unanswerable questions and wondered over the unknowns and the what ifs.

This weekend, my sister and I are on the porch.

This is where she wanted to be.

I am grateful I can offer something.

Beside my broken heart.

We're remembering Jessica.

I'm so grateful for all your emails and comments, texts and cards.  Especially those heartfelt prayers.  You've come bearing love and empathy and kindness.  I feel less alone because you're sharing in our sorrow. 

So many of you truly get this.  You've been through the valley of the shadow, too.

I couldn't be more grateful to do community with you, especially these days when life seems so very raw and tenuous and fragile.

Hot tears brim over as I read this post to Marilyn before hitting the PUBLISH button.

Thank you, precious friends, for being Jesus with skin on ~
(1986 - 2019)


  1. Thank you Aunt Linda, we love and appreciate you.

    1. xo xo

      Love and hugs to baby girl from Great Aunt Linda today, ok?


  2. How precious are your tears to the Lord and how dear you are to so many of us.

    1. Your presence here is precious to me, friend ...

  3. Love you, Linda . . . Prayers for you and your family continue as you move forward on this journey of grief and loss.

    1. Moving forward. Not getting stuck in the pain. Thanks for praying for my family, friend ...

  4. I'm so glad you and your sister have each other on the porch, Linda. It doesn't remove the grief, but it makes it a little less lonely. Praying for you all as you grieve Jessica.

    1. You're so right, Lisa. We weren't meant to grieve alone. A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken.

      Thanks for that needed reminder.

  5. I had missed the post about Jessica's passing. I am so sorry.

    This is specially for you, and Marilyn, and all who knew and loved Jessica. God bless.

    The saddest days slide slowly by
    in cadence with a weeping heart;
    they say He's near, grace is nigh,
    but I'm flayed, and torn apart.
    Would that I had but known
    of the short cruel race of time,
    I'd have treasured more the days now flown,
    the days when you were mine.
    I trust I'll see you once again,
    restored with all your dreams,
    but 'till then, I'll take the pain
    and the sobbing silent screams.
    The rain will come ere night-sky clears
    and even God is offering tears.

    1. Andrew, I told my sister that you had written a poem. Needless to say, it means a great deal to her. Thank you ...

  6. OH, Linda, I truly know where you are! My dear niece, Victoria (my brother's daughter) was brutally murdered, and my great-niece, Ashley, died suddenly from an overdose (my sister's grand-daughter), and our family has lost so many others, and I surely understand sitting beside a loved one walking through such anguish. You are not only dealing with your own grief and deep loss, but trying to keep up your courage to minister to others who had even deeper ties to the ones who have passed on. It all makes no sense, and that is why it is so hard to find closure or peace. Sometimes, all you can do is hold hands and cry together and share the sorrow. Sometimes, there are no words. My heart goes out to you and Marilyn and all you are feeling and walking through. Thank God, you can walk through it together. Sending love and hugs your way and hopes that the God of all comfort will hold you extra-near to His great, loving heart.

    1. Oh dear Lord. I am so sorry for your searing losses, Cheryl. Our lives are never the same when our next generation loved ones are so cruelly taken from us.

      Lord, have mercy.

      Your vulnerability in sharing a bit of your story today has touched me somewhere deep ... and I know that other people in this community will feel the same.

      Bless you ...

  7. My niece, Kasey, died at 33 also and there was so many other feelings to deal with besides grief. The what ifs, regret, as a godmother, did I fulfill my duty, and all the baggage with my brother. Thankfully Linda and Marilyn, you have each other. That is a treasure to sit on the porch TOGETHER. And I know that porch door is open for others....great place to sit with Jesus too. Heal, sisters.

    1. I remember that season, Carol. Yes, yes.

      I guess grief offers that opportunity to evaluate, not to beat ourselves up, but to look at what was and how we responded to it.

      That can be a very good thing ... as long as we don't get lost in the woulda / coulda / shouldas and pick up all the baggage yet once again.

      I love your last line.

      Made me smile.

  8. Linda, the grief is overwhelming. No one escapes the shadow, but that does not lessen the pain. It seems when it is someone young, it is much harder to understand. Prayers for your dear sister and you, that the peace and comfort from the Heavenly Father would hold you ever so close.

    1. 'No one escapes the shadow.'

      You are absolutely right, Pam. We are all in this together. Every story is different but loss and grief can emerge as a great unifier.

      In families, in churches, and even in online communities.

  9. Words fail me now, Linda ... I wish I could be there on that porch with the two of you right now, just sitting in the quiet. Sending love, hugs and prayers ...

    1. Sitting in the quiet. Those are the best kind of friendships, aren't they, friend.

      Rare as hen's teeth ...

  10. So Pooh started to climb out of Rabbit's hole...

    "The fact is," said Rabbit, "you're stuck."...

    Christopher Robin lived at the other end of the Forest, and when he came back with Rabbit, and saw the front half of Pooh, he said, "Silly old Bear," in such a loving voice that everybody felt quite hopeful again...

    "Use his front door again?" said Christopher Robin. "of course Rabbit will use his front door again."...

    "Then there's only one thing to be done," Christopher Robin said. "We shall have to wait for Pooh to get thin again."...

    Bear began to sigh, and then found he couldn't because he was so tightly stuck; and a tear rolled down his eye, as he said: "Then would you read a Sustaining Book such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?"...

    So for a week Christopher Robin read that sort of book at the North end of Pooh, and Rabbit hung his washing on the South end...

    and in between Bear felt himself getting slenderer and slenderer. And at the end of the week Christopher Robin said, "Now!"...

    So he took hold of Pooh's front paws and Rabbit took hold of Christopher Robin, and all Rabbit's friends and relations took hold of Rabbit, and the all pulled together...

    And for a long time Pooh only said "Ow!"...

    And "Oh!"...

    And then, all of a sudden, he said "Pop!" just as if a cork were coming out of a bottle...

    And Christopher Robin and Rabbit and all Rabbit's friends and relations went head-over-heels backwards... and on the top of them came Winnie-the-Pooh -- free!

    I share these lines from Winnie-the-Pooh with you, Linda and your dear sister, Marilyn, as you sit alongside one another and provide comfort to one another during this time of "Great Tightness". With prayers and empathy, Carla

    1. Sitting alongside one another and providing comfort to each other ... oh yes.

      Thanks, Carla ...

  11. I'm glad you are able to comfort one another. Sending love to you both, and prayers that you know God's comfort and faithful love.

    1. Oh Lesley, yes. His powerful comfort is mine, is ours.

      I'm so grateful ...

  12. Praying God meets you right there on that porch, my friend!

    1. Don't you just love that He meets us right where we are, messy and weak and weary.

      What a wonderful Savior.

  13. Linda,
    You are giving the very best gift to your sister...sharing in her grief and weeping with her. i believe that's just what Jesus did...prayers for God's comfort and peace...
    Bev xx

    1. Jesus wept.

      That little verse gives us permission to go there. And we are. And it is well with my soul.

      Bev, thanks for being here with me this morning. I'm glad.

  14. Sending prayers to you and your sister as I sit on the porch with my sister, Linda. Weep with those who weep.

    1. How blessed we are when someone is willing to freely weep with us instead of working overtime to hustle those tears out of sight ...

  15. Wishing right now that we could collapse New England and bring our homes closer together so I could give you a big hug. So sorry for your loss--and thank you for sharing your tears here for the benefit of others who are also walking through the valley.

  16. Sending you lots of love through the inter webs. Prayers for you and your family.