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  • Writer's pictureKris Freudenthal

Mourning the Living

[BeeBee: STOP! Don't read this blog! I love you. Please trust me and don't read this one.]

I'm usually very cautious about what I post on this blog, knowing that more people read this than acknowledge it to me. And knowing the extremely wide range of individuals who follow this nonsensical spewing of a wanna-be-missionary's heart. But today, I just have to get something out... I just need to be heard. If this offends you, I apologize in advance. Feel free to look away for a while. But if I don't find a way to communicate what's going on my heart and mind, I think I'm going to lose any shred of sanity I may have.

Read it or don't. I don't care.

Hear what I'm saying or don't. It doesn't change anything.

I just need it to be said.

When my family lost the life of my aunt three dramatic months ago, we lost more than just her. We lost her husband as well: the man who shall not be named. There wasn't just one empty seat around the table this past Christmas, but two. And, seeing as how we lost her because of him, that he took her very life from this world, it's completely understandable that we'd have to lose him, as well.

The problem is we know how to mourn the dead. We've had lots of practice at that! But how, on God's green earth, am I supposed to mourn someone who's still living and breathing?! How can I see his picture in new reports and not feel something, some sort of ripping apart of my very soul? How can I see his birthday on my calendar and not have urges to want to call him, to reach out to him, to somehow in some way still show love and compassion for him? How do you just turn that switch off?!

I know, and completely understand, how many people I care about have nothing but hatred for him. I really do understand. And it's these people who will not be able to read this post without aiming some of that anger towards me. I get that. It's okay. Fire away, it's fine. I understand where it's coming from.

But I'm not in that same boat that almost everyone I know seems to be sitting in. And I don't know why. All I know is that I can't stop loving him, any more than I can stop loving her. The problem is, she's just a memory. He's still here.

So what do I do with that? What do I do with the unending desire within me to see him saved, to see him healed, to see him the way I used to see him? What do I do when (almost) everyone around me is telling me to walk away? When everyone wants to protect me from him but my heart is still breaking over and over again for him? What do I do with the image of him alone in a prison cell? How do I balance the truth that I don't feel the same way about that image as many of those that I love feel when they picture it?

I can't turn my back on my family. It's just how it is. And for many good years, he was my family. I'm not stupid. I'm not naive either. I know things weren't always perfect. And I know a lot happened within my family while I was here in South Africa, things they choose not to tell me to keep me out of it, to keep me safe. I get it. I really do. And maybe if I had been living it day by day as many of my family members had, I might feel differently. But I don't know. I'm not sure I would.

Listen, the bottom line is this: if I can forgive the man who stole my very innocence away from me at the age of seven, and mourn his death with deep grief that he never found peace with God before his passing... if I can walk through that immensely crazy process, how can I now look into my uncle's eyes and not offer him forgiveness for what he's done? Not because he deserves it, but because I DO! Because I NEED it too!

Please hear me in all of this rambling. I'm not saying anyone is wrong in how they're dealing with any of this. There are no rules to this level of betrayal and thievery. I'm just saying I'm not where others are. And I feel as if I'm somehow in the wrong for missing him. I feel very much alone in this journey simply because I can't feel what they're feeling. And, I just don't know what to do with that.

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