I have been very privileged to participate in 4 Widow’s Walk groups via phone. One of the widows in my last group is Patty Kline. As part of our work in the group we were asked to write a letter to “Alone”. Patty’s letter was so poignant that I asked her if I could share it here on my blog.
I put the word “Dear” in quotes because I’m using it facetiously. You are anything but “dear”. Dear was my husband, my big, strong, handsome, loving, and flawed-but-lovable husband. You are ugly, mean, and silently relentless. You’re not the sort of alone that one might welcome, such as when a busy mom has the house to herself for a few precious hours, or when someone wants time alone with God. You’re the totally unwelcomed, unasked for kind, the kind no one wants; the kind that tries to make me feel sad, lonely, vulnerable, helpless and insecure, and often succeeds for a while; the kind that makes me jump and feel scared and unsafe when I hear a noise I can’t identify; the kind that causes me to have to figure out how to deal with issues regarding our house, cars, yard, and finances; the kind that hits me afresh each morning when I awake and see Dwight’s empty pillow and undisturbed side of the bed, and every night when it’s only me going to bed; the kind that makes me sad every time I visit our kids and grandkids by myself, especially for holidays or special occasions, and brings on the tears on the lonely drive home and upon entering our empty house.
You often cause me to feel sluggish and unmotivated. It is an effort to make myself go places with only you as my companion. You’re a very poor companion for this girl who likes people! I don’t like your attitude or your tone. You are rude to me and I know you don’t care about me. At times I feel you mock me and taunt me. “You’re alone! You’re alone! Don’t forget that, Patty! It’s never going to change, and you’ll always be alone now. Hahahahaha!” Grrr! You make me so mad when you say that! You don’t know me so well, do you? You don’t know how much it makes me want to fight when someone tells me I can’t do something, or that something will never change.
You, Alone, are unkind. I do not like you. You may think you’ve taken up permanent residence in my house, my mind, and my heart, but I’ve got news for you, you haven’t. Don’t get too comfortable. I happen to know God, with a capital G. He’s actually my Dad, and He can whup you (and your dad) any day of the week. He tells me He’ll be with me always, even to the end of the age, and I believe Him. So, you see, I’m not ever alone, not really, not the way you try to make me feel, even though I do miss the physical presence of my husband terribly. There’s a spiritual realm you can’t win in.
There is a kind of alone I can appreciate, though, stated so beautifully in the song, “In Christ Alone”. We used it in Dwight’s memorial service, remember? The first verse goes like this: In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease. My Comforter, my All in All, Here in the love of Christ I stand.”
So, Alone, you and your kind can get lost in your own sinking sand, because it’s on Christ the Solid Rock I stand!
Sincerely annoyed with you,