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Mark to Sue 5

Thursday, April 17

Dear Sue:

         I'm  sorry my questions took you to the edge of the abyss. I'm well acquainted with that abyss. I decided shortly after Glenda's death that I wouldn't deny myself the privilege of experiencing the full range of the emotional process . I'm not sadistic, I just thought that I would not do her death justice and honor if I didn't experience the depth of pain that was waiting for me. Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself too - I don't know. Still, on a daily basis, I'm pulled aside by the feelings. Did my probing pull you aside, too?

          As I'm sure you experienced, many people have given me things to read (most I have disregarded), but I chose to read A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, and A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Van Noughton - a most difficult book. I'll never forget reading those books (especially the latter), both by men who have lived my experience and have no better answers than I do. Amazing that I now feel as though I stand shoulder to shoulder with Lewis - too cheap an achievement for such a high price - or so I feel.

          I'm amazed that your feelings (shock, deep freeze, out of body experience) are so similar to mine! I crash through days in emotional neutral. I realized a couple of weeks after Glenda's death that I was having so many thoughts and feelings and I longed to share them with someone who CARED - but she was gone. So much has occurred to me in the last 20 months, and it's bottled up. Consequently I, too, feel like I'm in "deep freeze'.   About 12:30 last night I paused from some work, thought you might be still scrambling to prepare for your trip, and I heard the movie "Nixon" on the cable channel. It ended and over the credits, I heard an old familiar melody -- "Shenandoah". I used to love that song, but now the ache and longing of the music burst the grief dam that I'd worked so hard all day to build and I cried.  Maybe that's where God is refining the gold. If self-analysis is cheap entertainment, then I should be thoroughly entertained. But my little inside hunch is that God has got such a grip on us that we can't "lose it", if that makes you feel any better.

          I wish I had some cheap amusement. . . something to really feel joy or excitement about. I miss being enthusiastic and focused. I, too, have decided that many needs are not essential. I miss having feedback about an idea. I miss being connected - intimate (not sexual). The moments that should be fun go begging because I'm the only one experiencing them. Maudlin introspection - maybe? Glenda's death was slow - in contrast to your experience with Roger. What was his passing like for you? Sometime I would like to hear about it. I'm also wondering how the news was given to the girls.

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