Thursday, March 25, 2010


A month ago tonight Philip died.

Today was a really hard day.

I think because it was one of the first days we had at least 8 hours all to ourselves and I had the chance to feel without disturbance.

Got up, milked, had to skim milk and wash bunches of jars by hand because our dishwasher isn't working, then made several quarts of cream into butter and made some panir and chevre so we wouldn't waste the extra milk we have on hand. Put buttermilk in the freezer. Marveled at the daffodil shade of yellow in today's butter compared to Monday's. Spilled a half gallon of goat's milk on the floor and cleaned it up.

Got mad.

Got mad at the stupid dishwasher making my life miserable.

Got mad at the children for not working as hard as me.

Got mad at myself for getting mad at the children.

Finally all the mad turned into what it really was to begin with: sad. I found an index card with a prayer written out in his hand. That made me cry.

Found a picture taken of him Valentine's Day weekend when he was having a terrible turn for the worse and his face and skin didn't look right and that made me cry.

After retreating to my room, I called Rachel and sobbed and sobbed, wondering that there were so many tears still left unshed.

The pain was so intense, I felt taken aback. I was just thinking yesterday that we were moving along in the old grieving process so well, maybe I wouldn't have to feel all that pain that others apparently feel.

Maybe we are moving along in the grieving process and feeling some intense pain is normal and real.


My eyes are still swollen. I took a hot epsom salts bath and sobbed. The ladies arrived for Bible study, the first one together since the night Philip died. I sobbed some more.

We read Psalm 77. Certain phrases comforted me. I was glad that David, God's friend, was allowed to moan and acknowledge pain. To question and wonder why.

I told the gals that someday in heaven I bet Philip will go up to each of them and say "Boy, you ladies sure were awesome that night! None of you are a bunch of ninnys! If ever there were a time to run screaming down the road, that night would have been a good night to do that, but you gals were brave and strong. Way to go!"

I am so proud to know those ladies. They really are strong and courageous. They let me be real and don't run away afraid when I don't act happy. They let me feel pain when I need to so I don't have to bottle it up.

I was so sad this afternoon I didn't relish the thought of having them come over. But as they came in, washed dirty dishes, served food and settled ruffled children feathers and wept with me, my pain eased. It didn't disappear, but it was miraculously distributed among seven instead of being all carried by me alone.

We shared our hugs, said goodbye, then I went out to milk Coco in the late night air. Humid and chilly but not cold. The moon is growing larger, but I couldn't see it at all for the clouds.

I miss Philip. I told Shannon I would rather live in a teeny little shack and having nothing at all and have him back.


Sears Home Svc said...

To Ms. Hillary,
My name is Brian and I’m with Sears Home Services. I’m so very sorry for your loss of Phillip. From you post I gather that we was well loved and is very much missed. Times like now cannot be easy for you so please accept our heartfelt condolences. I do hope things get better for you in the future. There will always be a hole in the world that Phillip used to occupy but I hope you can look back fondly on the times he was with you.
I’m also sorry to hear about the problems with your dishwasher and I don’t want to sound like I’m pitching something to you, but my team scours the Internet to find people in need of service on their appliances. I found your post and thought I’d offer our services. Life doesn’t need to be any more difficult than it is for you right now. If you do end up needing service and if it’s not covered under any warranties associated with another company, we can help. Our service teams are among the best in the country. Even though you may not have purchased it from Sears, we do provide quality service to virtually any location within the United States and we would like the opportunity to assist you, if you’re still considering service on your dishwasher. At your convenience, simply contact our office via email at with any questions regarding our service options or to schedule a visit from a Sears certified technician. In your email, please provide a contact number and a brief description of these symptoms you are experiencing with your dishwasher, and we’ll call you directly. In addition, please include this screen name (Ginger Hillary) used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you.

Thank you,
Brian J.
Senior Case Manager
Sears Home Services

Jeff said...

Grief is like that, Ginger ... some days you are fine and the sun is shining and the next thing you know everything collapses and you are in a world of hurt. It just takes time and the amount of time is unique to each person who is grieving. Let it flow and allow the process to unfold as it was meant to be. It may take 6 months or 1 year or 5 years. You and your family are in my thoughts every day.

Holly said...

ginger, your vivid writing gives me goosebumps and makes me cry along with you. hope i'll be able to come see you next week, haven't gotten my schedule yet. said...

Thank you, Sears Home Service guy, Jeff and Holly.

Especially Jeff and Holly. Thanks friends.

Sears Home Svc said...

Ms. Hillary,
I hope things are going better. If you end up needing our services, I hope you will reach out to my team and allow us to be of assistance. Our door is open if you need us.
The email is

Thank you,
Brian J.
Sears Home Svc