Waiting in Darkness

As I write this, I am waiting.

Last Sunday, a close friend attempted suicide by drug overdose. Now, she’s in a coma, with only her family allowed to see her. A network of friends hovers on the edge, waiting. Waiting to see if she’ll come out. Waiting to see if she’ll be the same person if she does. Waiting to know who will care for her son. Wondering whether we did enough to care for her.

A year ago, she checked herself in for treatment to keep from attempting to take her life. I learned of it on Easter weekend. Now, I try to make sense of everything as another Easter waits around the corner. There’s a part of me that almost “enjoys” the solemnity of Lent, the discipline, the purification. The darkness. Yet, this comes as a painful reminder that for some of us, the darkness isn’t metaphorical. For some of us, it’s real.

I want to tell her that we’re almost out of the darkness. That hope will come if she just holds on a little longer. That’s what I’m holding on to, as I face the possibility of losing a friend for the first time in my life. The agony of waiting Jesus’ family and friends must have felt as his execution approached is hitting home with me. Not for the first time, I wonder, How could they bear it? I’m with them as I endure the pain of uncertainty, the hope-against-hope that this story can somehow have a different ending. But I know I’m not writing this story.

Metaphorical darkness is reflective, healing, contemplative. But real darkness is heavy and isolating, sometimes too complete to offer the glimmer of hope we all want to believe is there. In these final weeks of Lent, I wonder what else we can do as Christians to ensure that those in real darkness will make it to the other side.

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About Lacey Louwagie

I'm a feminist, a writer, an editor, and a seeker. I co-edited "Hungering and Thirsting for Justice: Real-Life Stories by Young Adult Catholics" (ACTA 2012) and authored "Where I First Met God" in "Unruly Catholic Women Writers II" (SUNY Press 2013). You can learn more about me at www.laceylouwagie.com.

4 thoughts on “Waiting in Darkness

  1. Lacey, I got connected to this blog through the National Catholic Reporter and saw your latest post. You and your friend are in my prayers. I lost my best friend from high school three years ago when she took her life. Unbeknownst to all of us who were her friends was that she was depressed for many, many years. We all became separated when we all went in different directions for college. I have known the darkness but somehow made it through…but we don’t talk about the darkness when we are there…I pray that if your friend emerges from her coma that she, her family, and you talk about the darkness…we can only battle our fears when we turn and face them…Christ battled the darkness when he died and he rose to bring us the light. I pray for her and I know she is being held by God right now as she always has…may she know that and resurface. Peace to you as you search for answers.

  2. If they know the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they have eternal life. Have you share this with your friends?

    “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:14-18

  3. Keeping her and her family and you in my prayers as we embark on the Triduum. I hope you’ll let us know what happens.

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