A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Tag: mourning

When Helping Hurts [You], Part III: When Aisha Died

helping hurts

The phone connection sounded a bit like Oliver, one of my closest Ugandan friends, was crushing newspapers on the other end; I held the phone an inch from my ear. But I didn’t miss what made my hand fly to my chest: “Aisha…she passed. It was just too late. Things were already too bad.”

Aisha. Perhaps you remember her from this photo, snapped from my phone two and a half months ago, outside a mud hut in the slums of Namuwongo. She’s the young mother of four kids. A twenty-something.

namuwongo family

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A “Someday” in Autumn

someday in autumn w text

Today, in heavy strokes, a pumpkin was neatly sliced in my kitchen. Thick wedges of orange lay surrendered on the countertop, awaiting steam and recipes. And that’s when I smelled it: fall. Almost as quickly as it reached my nose, memories collided with each other, awaiting their turn in my mind to display their images of careful carving, the crunch of roasted seeds, and stringy goo hanging from my fingers. It was as if I could touch the softness of my husband’s old orange sweatshirt, hear the crackle of leaves, and heft a cuddly niece onto my hip.

But also suddenly was an unexpected prick of loss. A thoughtful friend had e-mailed me earlier in the week: Thought of you last night as I made a pot of turkey chili for a ball-game watching party tonight.  Know how much you love autumn.

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