Richard paced around his room, his hands clenched by his side and his face covered in sweat and tears. He had been pacing around his bedroom for hours. He paced from one side to the next, back and forth, around and around. His heart ached within him pounding furiously, he had a headache from crying and his body was exhausted.
He knew he couldn’t pace for much longer, but the thought of crawling into bed, again, without her, tore him apart. The thought of going to bed and having memories run through his head again and again was unbearable. Memories of good times and times that he wished that he could go back and change, memories of heartache and joy. It didn’t just stop at his own memories; he would get pulled into news articles that he had read, stories from hurting friends that they had shared with him and then up he would get, in the middle of the night, and pace. The pain in his heart felt unbearable, and his inability to understand the pain, the hurt and the suffering that surrounded him on all sides frustrated him.
“How long God? Seriously how LONG are you going to let this go on? We’ve been waiting and waiting for thousands of years. Do you here us crying? Do you hear your people? Oh God, we suffer and we break... do you really suffer and break with us?!”
Richard threw his hands in the air. This was the question he was asking, night after night, day after day. As that heartbreaking day moved further away and new pains were added in he was not sure how God could stand it. But yet, he knew, somewhere deep within him that God was suffering with him. That, as much as his pain felt like it would break him that he was not experiencing it alone. He knew that on that night when he picked up that phone expecting to hear his wife telling him that her and their daughter had arrived safely at his in-laws but instead hearing the unfamiliar voice of a nurse from the soon to be very familiar hospital that God was there crying out with him, wishing to stop the pain. He knew that when he slipped onto the floor beside the bed and cried for hours when the battle was finally all over for his wife and his precious little girl that God sat with him and wrapped him in his arms, crying over his pain and crying with him in his suffering. He knew that God understood how much he missed his daughter.
Richard’s heart ached as he thought of his daughter dancing in the living room, laughing outside in the sun as she ran through the sprinkler, sitting on the stairs and pouting up at him with her arms crossed refusing to clean up her toys, sleeping peacefully in her bed. His heart also ached because of all the moments that he no longer would experience with her, so much that she never got the chance to do but yet also, so much pain that she never had to experience. But when he thought of his daughter and her smiling face he could not help but se his wife, her optimism, joy and zeal for life.
His wife, whom he loved quietly but deeply. Oh! How he missed her. He missed her laughter, her comfort, her warmth. This hard journey may have been easier if he could walk through it with her. But she, the love of his life, had also been taken from him. Yet, in these moments of pain when he could hear no other voice sometimes he would hear hers, whispering to him softly, reminding him where to turn.
But at times it seemed impossible to escape the ache the filled his heart. He longed to see them again, longed to say one last word to them, laugh over one last moment with them, and hug them one last time. He knew where to turn but at times he would turn there to God, to his friends and family and he wouldn’t find what he felt he needed. At times he would turn to them and would find anger instead of comfort. Anger that they were living their lives as though nothing happened, anger with God for taking away from him what he loved most in the world. But his anger would quickly turn to a desperate plea to God to let him be with his daughter and wife, or a peace would consume him that let him know that God understood his pain.
Richard sat down on his bed, his elbows on his knees with his head bent forward. Tears streamed down his face, he had long ago stopped brushing them aside, knowing that more would follow.