Following her husband’s death, Lore Powell, PRiME contributor, kept a journal she refers to as “The Grief Project.” She is graciously allowing us to share her entries with our readers. You can begin with her first essay here.
Last night I had a meeting with Pastor Squires, who, because of spell check, will now be referred to as Pastor Squirted. Pastor Squirted wanted me to come in and pray with him. He’s a lovely person and because, for the most part, I consider myself a healthy sinner, I agreed. Pastor Squirted provided my husband and I premarital counseling, married us in his church and then performed his eulogy, all within two years. I’d say we got our money’s worth from the guy.
I love Pastor “Squirted” because my husband loved Pastor Squirted. One of the many memories of my late husband is of him teasing the Pastor, challenging his beliefs and mostly testing his patience. Premarital counseling was a circus. I’m sure the good Pastor took a quick swig of the holy juice prior to us coming in once a week.
During our visits, my husband would sit back and throw out completely inappropriate comments; whereas I would likely follow up with a “what he meant to say” clarification. He would request the Pastor change the church worship hours on Sunday so that he could get in more golf, concluding that he would be willing to add a few extra bucks to the donation basket if that is what it required.
Yes, he tried to bribe the pastor, and did so often. He would declare himself a “bad Lutheran” but make no excuses for his lifestyle. Particularly his previous marriages, his love of women and his “keeper” wife (me). He ranted and argued about the church founders, the history of the church, the role of God in his life, but could easily identify and recall every part of the Bible the Pastor discussed. Admittedly, those times were frustrating for me. I wanted so badly to get through the hour without the strong desire to slug my fiancée.
Last night, the Pastor and I recalled those memories of my late husband, and I admitted they weren’t always easy for me. I truly wanted to feel the love of God during those visits, but it was mostly trumped by wanting to feel my hands around my fiancee’s neck. Pastor Squires commented that he knew our love was real because I had not acted upon those violent desires.
And so, as these things go, I didn’t leave Pastor Squirted’s office yesterday with a sense of peace or guidance. I didn’t expect to. It’s too much to ask of God or anyone else at this point in my life, with memories of my late husband thick in the air around me. What I did leave with was a respect for the human spirit…my own.
To walk into the church that you once walked through holding the hand of the man who loved you like no other man ever did; to sit in the seat where he once sat, full of spit and vinegar and mischief; to cry as if you had been physically beaten from the inside out; to walk out on a frigid winter night and promise yourself that life will get better; you will be happy again – that is the human spirit at its best. That is the place from which you begin again.