Defiance!

I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

Every day.
At night too.

If you didn’t know me or my story, you’d have no idea.
I don’t park in the handicapped spaces.
I don’t limp (at least not physically).
I am not on any medication for pain or depression.
I don’t walk around with a perpetual frown on my face.

Tears are often my companion, but not every day. At least not where others can see them.

Still, I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

And yet, I have an amazingly fulfilling marriage. Becki is a wonderful life partner. We work together. We play together. We enjoy life together. (We can actually thrive while canoeing together down the Buffalo River without nary a cross word–not many can say that!)

And together? Together we have four fantastic kids all living under one roof. Each of them is a complete joy all on their own. My oldest and his beautiful wife live in Huntsville, Al and are their own special blessing.

Everything in our lives is not perfect. Not by a long shot. We have our difficulties and struggles–like every family in this country. At the same time, we know joy, laughter, and fun.

Still, I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

Some days I can laugh and tell stories about the ones we lost. Other days, a glance at a picture or a foray into the basement (where two footlockers of Cole’s stuff are stored) is enough to open the floodgates of indescribable pain.

Most of the time I try to tell myself it wouldn’t hurt quite so bad if it didn’t involve such a horrific story. If it wasn’t about rape and murder. If it wasn’t about betrayal. If it didn’t feel so much like the complete absence or abandonment of God… Do those things magnify the pain? Do the specifics sometimes feel like a knife twisting in my side? Absolutely!

But who am I kidding?
Only myself.

The truth is quite simple.
Pain is pain.
Loss is loss.
Grief is grief.

The circumstances may not be the same; the backdrops of our hurt may span opposite ends of the spectrum, but the truth is not complicated at all.

Pain is pain.
Loss is loss.
Grief is grief.
And there is no valid reason to compare situations as if there was some kind of reward for hurting more than someone else.

Still, I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

Like so many others, I live each day with a pain that is immeasurable.
Yet, we are a determined group for the most part (thank you for allowing me to speak for you). We may (and do) have moments where grief is crippling, but we are determined nonetheless.

Determined to live.
Determined to know joy.
Determined to prosper.
Determined to experience life and share it with others.

Anything less is to curl up and die.

The grim reaper has it easy enough, and because of that, we are determined to give him as little satisfaction as possible.

Although life can be hard and is often exacerbated by the attitudes and actions of those who would presume to judge, in the end, we chose life.

That is our defiant answer!

Les Ferguson, Jr.

16 thoughts on “Defiance!

  1. You are an amazing man. I pray no one else ever has to go through the heartbreak you have. I pray for you often and you help me in my journey. I am recovering from breast cancer and have just this last year found a new church and a new life. Your messages help me so much and I am thankful that you share your thoughts

  2. I hurt too. Not for myself, but for a couple of different friends of mine who are both experiencing loss. As a Christian, I’d always heard the verse about “weep with those who weep; mourn with those who mourn”, and I thought I knew how to do that. I’ve been sad before with friends who have lost loved ones.

    But these days it seems different. More intense. I feel like I actually grieve over my friends’ grief, and the thought of their pain breaks my heart.

    Thank you for posting about yours so freely here.

  3. I may be wrong but I think that pain is not pain. Pain from the past (i.e. grief) is not the same as pain emanating from the present. It is also not the same as the pain that we experience when we look to the future. I understand (all too well) the pain that emanates from the past and cripples me today. Even so I find more unbearable the pain that emanates from the present. And I am sometimes unsuccessful when I try to see the future without pain.

    • Hey Bob. Not to be argumentative, but when I said pain is pain… what I meant was that pain is pain–whether it be mine, yours, or the guy down the road. There is no sense in trying to see who’s pain or grief or loss is less or more. Pain is pain. Yours should be validated as much as mine and vice versa.

      • I agree with that Les. My comment was not meant to compare one person’s pain to another but to point out that the pain that passes is very different from pain that endures and has no end in sight.

      • What I also think of is how some pain is relative to the proximity of the cause of the pain. The further we move from the cause the less our pain becomes – my pain is less now than it was when my wife passed in 1994. Even so, some pain is not relative as some are faced with the cause of pain every day. Hope that makes sense.

  4. As a funeral director and a part of our own family owned mortuary, we meet with people in pain every day of the week. We go out to their homes and take the bodies of their loved ones into our care. Lives are shattered by death every day of our work week. And yet in all that pain and loss, there are incredibly wonderful stories of hope. And love. And anticipation.
    I’m not in any way undermining what you’ve written … just saying the pain often brings out something very good. Your blog is one of those “something very good” things in my life.

  5. Thanks for you blog, brother. My wife and I also feel the great pain of loosing our son, Jonathan. He passed away sleeping in the sleeping compartment of his truck while his co-driver drove into another truck in a backup of traffic. He left behind two children, Eli and Eva, 20 and 8 months old. We miss him immensely. He passed away during the 2nd year of Mission Alive, an instrument of Satan to hinder us. Pray for us as we pray for you. Note: http://www.missionalive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=194:unspeakable-pain&catid=35:mission-alive&Itemid=97. Gailyn

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