Thursday, April 25, 2013


The dark night of the soul is what St. John of the Cross called it. That difficulty in letting go of this world, and moving on to the next. In modern times the term has been used to describe a spiritual crisis caused by feeling separated from God. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning".

Well, it's 3 o'clock in the morning for our family. My father-in-law is in his final days. As I sit here typing and sipping my tea, my husband sits at his father's bedside wondering how many more days or hours they have left together. As he slips away from us, we worry about him. His physical self -- is he in pain? His emotional self -- does he feel our presence and love? His spiritual self -- does he feel the peace of God?

But we are also consumed by the mundane aspects of dying. Scheduling, traveling for other family members, final exams for our son, starting a new semester for our daughter. 

My husband said the other night, "Can you just tell me when it will happen?" Of course he didn't expect an answer, but this not knowing, this waiting, is so hard.

So it's perpetually 3 AM for us. And it will get darker. But I'm focusing on the rising sun, and knowing it's all temporary anyway. This dark night of the soul will pass.

linking up with Writer's Workshop


  1. I've been at the bedside and it is so tedious...watching that struggle. Wanting them to be done with it, but they feeling terrified they're done with it. I don't want to be at that bedside again.

  2. The anticipation of each moment. It's tiresome to the mind, and the heart. There is rich emotion in any transition, and your post captures that so well. The sun will rise, hope will restore, this too will pass. May your family find peace and healing in each moment.

  3. Very sorry that your family is going through this right now. I have been in your husbands position with my dad a few years ago. It is hard but he will look back on this time and have no regrets for having been at his side.

    Stopping by from Write on Edge.


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