Bone deep lonely


I have been driving around town crying this morning. Mornings have just become really difficult for me lately. It is when my mind and emotions spin tales I can’t even read, leaving me a soggy mess of emotion. Most of the rest of the day I put them aside, or shove them into boxes of resentment. Even in the mornings I avoid them when possible by doing things like online classes. Distract. Disengage.

Right now, however, it is 10 a.m. and I am sitting in the parking lot at Target trying to pull myself together.

I was thinking this morning about God, and church, and I found what I was longing for was a place where I could collapse in a heap when I was scared, or when my heart was breaking, where there would be someone, or Someone, to catch me and hold me.

My first stop this morning was the hospital to get some blood tests. The hospital is new, built on the site of the old hospital, which was torn down several years ago. It’s set on a tiny mound of a hill, and as I was leaving the parking lot I looked out on the view, and I recognized it as the view I had looked out on from my mother’s hospital room as she lay dying in that old hospital. It will be 12 years ago next week, on October 10th. More tears, and the thought, I miss my mommy. If only she was here I would not feel this way.

But then I realized that wasn’t true. Don’t get me wrong. I love my mother, and I even admire her parenting. I look back on her bravery expressed in her ability to not get involved in my choices, to say very little in situations where I as a mom would be wanting to jump in. But I thought, maybe that is the problem, because if she was here, I would still feel lonely. I never ever knew what was going on with my mom because she never ever said. She was British and held to the stiff upper lip, and kind of encouraged that in me as well. Funny but I’d recently been engaged in an online discussion about whether kids should be left to cry themselves to sleep. I know my mother believed in that because she tried to convince me to do that with my kids. The opposing argument to the let them cry theory is that they learn not to trust that their emotional needs will be met. And I wondered, is that why I am this way?

Because I am never going to find that place where I can collapse and be held, because I am never going to be able to allow myself that vulnerability.

I have got a boatload of hurt here inside me, so deep. I have the worst kind of loss, betrayal, abandonment, grief, fear, all floating in this lonely ocean. And I just don’t know what to do with it, except for this. Write it down. As songwriter Anna Nalick says, “If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to.”

As if.

Well maybe it helps a little. My tears are dry now, enough to go into Target anyway.

Just remember, it’s okay to hold your children when they cry. Perhaps they will not end up feeling bone deep lonely, because they will allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to allow others to catch them and hold them when their hearts are broken or they are afraid.

3 thoughts on “Bone deep lonely

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  1. oh sharon….

    i am so, so very sorry. i am so sorry for all of those boatloads of grief and sorrow and tears and aching that you hold inside. i am so deeply sorry. this post moved me so much. SO much.

    where is the place you can cry these barrel loads of tears out and be held as you do?

    honestly, i wish i could just invite you to my church with me, because i feel like you could do this any sunday at my church (in seattle). every week, we have prayer times where people can come up and people from the body (the congregation) will just come up and surround them and pray over them and love on them and often cry and even weep with them and cry out to God with and for them, and even hold them. this last sunday that prayer time nearly took up our whole service, because God was just moving and our pastor just wanted us to move with the Holy Spirit and let Him do His thing in ministering to people. so many people going through so much. sometimes we just need to be held, loved, surrounded, for people to cry and cry out with us, to stand with us, and even just to let us be a complete mess in their presence.

    of course, you live in california, and it would be a bit far to have you come to my church this sunday. sigh. i just ache for all of that deep, deep pain you carry inside as one who has experienced such profound, unfathomable loss and for whom that grief just goes on and on…. please know that i am sending you the biggest hug from across the miles tonight. i’m praying all of Christ’s love to flood you. i’m praying for a safe place for you to be able to sob out every last drop of the pain that longs to be cried out, and for you to know as you do that you are absolutely held, cradled, and rocked in the arms of Love Himself. you are so seen. you are so known. you matter so much. and everything you have been through and are continuing to walk through is so seen and known. and you are loved. loved. loved. loved. loved. you are not alone. you are not abandoned.

    i’m sorry. too many words here. just know i care. and i’m so, so sorry. and i’m praying you feel those SAFE and love-drenched arms – both God’s and some other people’s – so soon.

    lauren in seattle


      1. Sharon, I go to Emerald City Bible Fellowship which is a multi-cultural (40% black, 40% white, 20% Asian, Latino, Pacific Islander) church in South Seattle. Our official denomination is Covenant, but my pastor (and many in our church) was originally Assembly of God, so our church definitely has those roots and carries a lot of that flavor, as well. I’ve been there for 9.5 years now (longer than any other church in my life, ever) and the people have become my family and we pray, weep, and celebrate together for sure. As I said, I wish that that church body could wrap you up in its arms. But more than that, I pray for some local people to wrap you up and be those safe arms for you. You. Are. Loved. 💛


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