The Lord inspired me to make Psalm 25 my psalm for the year, so I “downloaded it to my personal hard drive” (which means – “I memorized it and began quoting it to myself” – daily, sometimes multiple times a day). It’s a grand psalm.
To you O LORD I lift up my soul. In you I trust, O my God… Show me your ways… Guide me in your truth… Who is the man who fears the LORD? The Lord will instruct him in the way chosen for him…. His descendants will inherit the land… The LORD confides in those who fear Him… My hope is in You all day long….
But there is another place in the psalm that says,
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied – free me from my anguish!
When I would get to my ‘lonely’ place each day, I would think to myself, “Yes, there is a certain loneliness inside me because of Martha’s Alzheimer’s. She is here, but she is not really here.” But life is not always good, so we keep walking.
Martha died on March 20, 2016.
The moment I got over the shock of Martha’s death – she was in good physical health, we thought, but suddenly became ill and was gone within 24 hours – I said out loud, “Praise God! You have answered our prayers.” You see, the children and I had prayed 1) that Martha would go first, and 2) that she would not live so long that we could not care for her.
Recently, as I recited Psalm 25 again, and when I got to the words “lonely and afflicted,” I realized that I no longer felt that ever-present extreme loneliness that was with me during Martha’s closing years. I have every confidence that she is with the Lord now.
So – to all of you who are experiencing the mental and emotional decline of someone close: