Full disclosure

sunsetI always feel a tension about how much is appropriate to share. If I lean toward the vulnerable side, my experiences may resonate with some of my readers in a deeper way than otherwise possible. If I lean toward the surface level, I won’t alienate anyone. And how much disclosure is too much?

I’ve been struggling with how to share a significant life event. Last week, my mother-in-law died after a long struggle with many illnesses. Her release from a body that was not working anywhere close to what it did earlier in life was a blessing to her and others. But we greatly miss her – the woman we remember who was funny, loving, nurturing and much more. How can anyone sum up the life of another in a few short words?

I was the first to visit her room at the hospice. I saw her frail form lying with her hands folded, holding a pink rose. I walked to the lobby to wait for her husband to come. Then we went to her room together and cried. I cry, even writing this.

Life is a blessing. Love those around you today.


11 Replies to “Full disclosure”

  1. So sorry for your loss. Words are always tricky — too many, not enough or simply not the right ones, especially in a sensitive time. Your posts always seem to be just right and leave me thinking. Today I will think about my family. Take good care of yours. God bless.

  2. I used to tell my life story to anyone who seemed sympathetic. Then I had some bad experiences where things I told one person came back by way of another, and I realized I couldn’t trust a lot of people. Now I keep much more to myself and only talk about sensitive topics to my most trusted friends.

    Sorry about your mother-in-law. It’s very painful to lose someone close. I’m glad she’s at peace and has no more pain. Blessings to you and all of her family.

    1. Understood. I used to share my inmost struggles with others I fellowshipped with indiscriminately. Now I see that there are circles of relationships–some outermost relationships I am more selective about what I share; others that are closer are more intimate–as is the case, for example, with neighbors, friends and families. The Father uses the natural to show us the spiritual

  3. Thank you, Chris & Tim, for your kind thoughts and prayers.

    We’re doing alright. My wife has been spending a lot of time with her dad – distracting him from thinking too much about his loss.

  4. Paul, this is so bittersweet. Thanks for sharing. Made me cry too, but crying with you guys is good for my soul. Hug your sweet bride for me! Love you guys!!

  5. Thank you for sharing, Paul.
    May the Comforter attend you, Heather and family through to the completion of this time

  6. Words do seem so insignificant at times like this. Praying for you all as you grieve the loss of Heather’s mom and thankful for the blessing she obviously has been to you all.

  7. I’m sorry about your mother-in-law. I know I will be going through this with my mom soon – she is fading after her stroke in May. I fully understand your statement that her death was a blessing to her and all of you. In our case, the person we knew is already gone and we already miss her. It’s hard to watch what her body and mind have become, but I know we’ll still grieve when she is finally gone. Blessings on you all….

    1. Thanks Deb! Yes, in many senses, we said goodbye a while back.

      May God give you grace as you face the future with and without your mom.

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