It is not uncommon to hear our grief counselor remind us that our bodies “keep score” in a tragedy like ours. But frankly, I don’t need the reminder. I feel it in my body every day.
It has been so apparent that Judson’s suffering and death have taken a significant toll on my body—in numerous ways. Just as each day of Jud’s suffering felt like a week or even a month, it seems my body aged correspondingly and in his absence continues to decline in haste. It’s as though each cell in my system has felt the full impact of my pain and weakened under the strain.
I feel like I’m physically at least 10 years older than I was just a year ago.
Likewise, I feel like I’ve aged emotionally too, but even more than 10 years; suffering has aged my heart. I now see life through a lens of one who has been battered and bruised, watched loved ones die, finished my job raising one of my children, and having my sights on the afterlife as if it were near. My perspective has shifted so significantly that it seems to reflect the thoughts of one in their “golden years” more than it does of a woman raising young children with all the hopes and dreams of the future.
Premature aging of body and spirit has been just one of my many sobering realities. But even with the realization of how quickly I am wasting away, I long for my soul to be replenished daily by the grace of my Father.
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying,
yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”—I Corinthians 4:16