Abide with Me

I can’t sleep again.

I got home late (10:30 LOL) and I was so exhausted I thought I was going to pass out. Well, I did, relishing the thoughts of sleeping in until…6 or 7 or something. But no. Four am on the dot.

I keep thinking of the eulogy I’m to give on Friday at dad’s funeral. I don’t know if what I wrote is…right. I want to feel perfect about it. I want it to be in par with my memories and my honor of him. But I think the song is right. Yes, we have to sing as a family because it’s what dad wanted.

We practiced the song for my mother yesterday, all six of us. Keep in mind we’re like the Osmonds without the big teeth. (Oh hey Marie’s on her second divorce too…I should call her), in other words, what I’m saying is we muddle through and it sounds pretty good. So we practiced for my mother, and as she listened to us, she seemed so lost. She’d look at us and say “Dad died.” We know mom, we would answer. What else is there to say? She is going to remember only that he died and her grief will not progress because it will be a new wound each time her brain grasps the reality of it. I don’t expect my mother will survive long after this. But I can’t think of that now.

I am singing in four-part harmony with my brothers and sister. I chose the hymn. Yes, I chose the hymn, because I loved the song when I was a Mormon, and I love it now and find myself singing it when I need comfort. It offers comfort to me at the times when I need it most, usually before bed, or upon waking in the middle of the night. And I don’t know how to sing it without crying Friday, but I cannot cry. I’m the soprano. I canNOT cry.

I want to share the words because I find them profound and comforting.

“Abide with me; ’tis eventide;
the day is passed and gone.
The shadows of the evening fall,
the night is coming on,
Within my heart a welcome guest,
within my heart abide…
Oh Savior, stay this night with me, behold, ’tis eventide,
Oh Savior, stay this night with me, behold, ’tis eventide.

Abide with me; ’tis eventide,
Thy walk today with me,
has made my heart within me burn,
as I commune with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul,
and kept me near thy side…
Oh Savior…

Abide with me, ’tis eventide,
and lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee,
nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world I fear
would in my home abide
Oh Savior stay this night with me, behold, ’tis eventide
Oh Savior, stay this night with me, behold, ’tis eventide.”

I feel the most alone during these times of day, I always have. And I still ask someone, something to be with me to stave off the loneliness and grief. I don’t believe in the Savior in the way the song connotes; however, I believe in the power of love and goodness. I believe there is comfort to be had, and as I type it, I feel it, washing over me like a warm flood. Memories, love, family, my children; these are my saviors, and I feel them near me now.

Above all, I am glad my feeling on Mormonism have progressed to the point where I can sing one of my favorite hymns and not feel twinges of guilt or sadness or anger; instead, it gives me a sense of hope and peace and reminds me that we are all going to the same place–“the ultimate outcome is assured.”

Peace

repost from Ravings of a Mad Woman blog

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JulieAnn

My name is JulieAnn Henneman. I am an author living in Draper, Utah. My first novel, Always Listen to the Ravings of a Mad Woman: a Story of Sex, Porn and Postum in the Land of Zion, is a fictional story about a suburban Mormon housewife who discovers that her husband of 17 years is a sex and pornography addict. I am also a poet and enjoy writing short stories with an erotic bent. You can find my poetry online, and probably some erotic shorts. I will be performing my poetry in the Utah Arts Festival this year, among other venues. I was born and raised in the LDS faith and left several times throughout my life; however, I left for good in 1995. Currently, I am a full-time writer and parent. Beginning next month, I will reprise my role as a creative writing workshop facilitator for Art Access of Utah. Through Art Access, I teach creative writing workshops to adults and teens with disabilities and addiction issues. Oh, and I really, really love coffee.

8 thoughts on “Abide with Me

  1. I’m glad you’re doing this, though it will be a difficult thing to do. My thoughts are with you at this time of loss.

  2. Runtu,
    Thank you. My dad wanted us to sing at his funeral, and the only thing my brother could come up with was Away in a Manger because we’ve performed that ad nauseum and know it inside and out. How inappropriate would that have been?! Jeez…

    Hellmut
    I’m glad I did it. I’ve been singing it all day. It’s a beautiful song and will always be special to me, kind of like How Great Thou Art. My dad and I used to sing together a lot; we sang a song called Lord, Are You There? It was duet of a girl praying, and God answering. I would give anything for a recording of us singing that together. I miss him today. Thanks again.

  3. JA, great post. You keep making me cry – but in a good way I think.

    I still really like this song too, along with the other Abide With Me one, A Mighty Fortress, and Lead Kindly Light. I feel free to keep enjoying them, though – no guilty pleasure. 😉

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