Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, August 04, 2012


I slept in Zach's bed the other night in Zach's old room.  I dreamt about him.  I can't remember much about it except that I was searching for him.   I keep searching for him.  I find myself searching "Zachary Shuck" on google every few days.   I text him.   He scrubbed his facebook page.  He wasn't much for social media anyway but nothing is left but his name now.

The last time his sister, mother, and I saw him was on Father's Day.  I revisit his last ten days between Father's Day and when he took himself from us.   I looked through his bank statement to piece together where he went and what he did.   I want to get in his mind and understand what he was thinking and feeling.   Why do I do this?   Perhaps there is a part of me that thinks that maybe if I figure out the puzzle there will be a different outcome.  I want one more chance.


It is comforting to know that searching isn't crazy.   The Morris-Baker funeral home provided us with a helpful book, How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies by Dr. Therese A. Rando.  She writes this about searching:
Obsessive thinking after a loss gives you the opportunity to look at the death in every way possible to try to comprehend the event and its implications.  At the same time, you are unconsciously hoping that the next time you review it the ending will have changed....

Preoccupation with the deceased is a natural response to the loss.  First, it is a wish to undo the loss.  It allows you to "be with" your loved one even if only in your thoughts.  Second, it is a reflection of the internal grief work being done.  You are focusing attention on the deceased in an attempt to hold that loved one close in your heart and mind.  This makes it akin to hugging someone and holding him tightly before saying goodbye and letting him go.  This preoccupation with the deceased is often manifested on obsessive rumination about him, dreaming about him, thinking that you have seen him, or actively searching for him.  This is accompanied by intense yearning. aching, and pining for what has been taken away from you.  p. 41
Tomorrow I preach for the first time.   It is back to the theme with which I started the summer sermon series, Happiness.   Guess I'll go by the old adage of "fake it 'til you make it" regarding that one.   

We are going to make it.  In fact, we are making it. 

I just wish Zach was here to make it with us.