It’s OK to despair and swear at God

Job did. Jesus did, too. Sooner or later, we all do.

Life pushes us to the brink and we’re left hanging over the cliff with one hand grasping a clump of grass and looking down at the abyss.

Despair clutches our throat and what’s left of our heart cries out to a silent God. Our only comfort is the words of Butch Cassidy to the Sundance Kid: “Don’t worry. The fall will kill you.”

It happened to me last week. It had to do with my wife and Alzheimer’s and poop — here, there and everywhere.

I didn’t like cleaning it up, and when Vickie expressed her frustration by again resisting my help, I blurted out, “What’s the matter with you? I’m trying to help you!”

And when the poop on her bare feet spread into other rooms like vandals, I yelled, “You’re killing me!”

I wiped my hands on my pants, hugged Vickie, and said, “I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve that.”

I knew my anger was awful and the weight of anguish made me woozy so I hugged her some more to squeeze the fear out of both of us.

After I bathed us both with a hand-held shower spray like circus elephants, I wrapped Vickie in her friendliest PJs, placed her in the embrace of the recliner in the family room, and turned on “Ellen” who was talking like an adult to Sophia Grace and Rosie.

I went upstairs and closed the door of our bedroom. I tried to take three deep Andrew Weil breaths, in and out, in and out, but blew up on the second exhale. “God,” I yelled, ‘you’re an —hole! An —hole! You know that?!” I grrrrd fiercely.

I suppose my scream was a projection of my own guilt, but so what, it got the poison out. Continue reading.

Michael Leach edits the Soul Seeing column for National Catholic Reporter, and is the author of Why Stay Catholic? Unexpected Answers to a Life-Changing Question. His wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s ten years ago.

Source: National Catholic Reporter

Image: RandomActsOfMomness

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