This feeling is foreign to me. I haven’t spent enough time with it over the years to discern it, to define it. The distractions of a noise-doused life of busyness and what’s-next anticipation easily hide its soft footsteps through my soul. But loneliness lurks.
I think that I could have predicted most of my feelings. Most of my experiences. Care-taking is not new to humanity. In fact, all of us will either die unexpectedly, give care, or be taken care of (or all of the above.) That’s pretty much the options. Which makes care-taking a nearly universal human experience. Not to mention, if you were ever a baby, you were cared for. I think that about covers it.
But this feeling isn’t one that I know how to contend with. It’s almost unidentifiable for me. Just an empty, unbelonging. By the way, I only try to write about this season because I want to remember it. I have belonged and I will belong again. The again will be sweeter because the unbelonging is recognized and real. I suppose there’s a similar emotion to empty-nesters. A recalibration of relationships. And this wouldn’t be so hard if the past wouldn’t have been so satisfying. There was never a moment of our marriage that I felt empty, displaced, or unseen. Now, I embody them.
My life is not absent of love and attentiveness. I am surrounded by family, friends, those who minister and need ministry. Yet, lately, this unbelonging echo chamber stifles any contentedness of companionship that tries to reinforce kinship. It’s odd to know one thing and to feel another. To logic one, and emote the opposite.
In some ways it’s less about loneliness and more about discovering a new identity. I lay in the beds with my kids at night and talk about love. I sit at the dinner table with my family and inhale life. I share meals, conversations, board games, concerts, car rides, movies, ministry, and being. This dis-ease is confusing. I am not alone. Just lonely.
13 Comments for “In The Shadows”
As always, well said Jeremy. Well said
My husband had dementia. I was his caregiver for 9 years, until the Lord reassigned his residence. You go from being a husband or wife, to being more parent like. I also felt lonely and wondered what next. How long will this phase last. I Daily asked God to let it be a good day for him, as I am sure you do for Tiffani.
I have missed your blogs, but suspected your personal time is very limited. It does not matter how many people are around you, the one person that was most important, the one you chose to live life with, to cherish and hold, is no longer that person. You miss her and you know that things are changing, permanently. The future is unknown. I feel your pain through your writing.
I pray for Tiffani, she too is scared and unsure. Keep up the good work, but please, take care of yourself too, if possible.
Prayers for all of you on this journey. Trust in the Lord.
God bless you 🙏🏻🙏🏻
CATHY A JONESsays:
Jeremy, your writing is full of emotion and real feelings, that are rarely used these days. Your wording is very intricate and we’ll written. I am so impressed with your writing! I’m sorry you feel alone, yet can understand how and why you feel that way. Just want to say thanks for being “real”. God bless you!
Beautiful, haunting, and sad altogether.
We love you.
Jeremy thanks so much for being so transparent with your life, I appreciate the wisdom you share through your pain. Knowing some of what you deal with I know that its only God that gives you the strength He will see you through. One of my favorite Scriptures that I make personal is Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. You inspire me to be a better person. May God continue to Bless you and your family
Thank you Jeremy. Praying for you and your family. You are so much stronger than you know.
Praying for strength and wisdom. I cannot imagine walking in your shoes.
Nicole Tidmore Griffinsays:
My heart just breaks for you guys. Praying for all of you, Jeremy
hi Jeremy! I love your posts. I hate that this isn’t some fictional story that you post I am so thankful for your heart and your mind and that you are strong enough that God is able to use you. I know a little of what you say and it makes me feel ok to feel the way I do at times. my husband suffered a near fatal car accident 2 years ago. he has a brain injury and had severe pain from a shattered knee. he is not the same. the man I fell in love with is different! the one that I would sit and talk and laugh with for hours I can barely talk to for 30 min. but I am thankful for those min and im thankful that you are using your life to help others! continued prayers for you and your family! GOD bless you!
You put into words my feels so well. I’m am 52 and my husband, 84, has Alzheimer’s. It’s a strange place to be in — I have a husband but he’s more like a child. I make all decisions and take whatever actions are required for his care and for the care of our home. I know this is what you’re doing for your wife and children. I will pray for you.
You know how much we love y’all Jeremy and are always here if you should ever need us! I only wish I knew more to say. But I do know this, God is still in the healing business, even when man says there’s no way. We’re praying all the time for that one touch.
Now on the other hand, can I get an autographed book from my favorite writer this Sunday
Holding you and your family in my heart.