“A gauntlet is a double line of people with clubs, whips, tomahawks, fraternity paddles, or other weapons; the poor bastard being punished runs between the lines and everyone hits him as he goes by. Depending on weapons and circumstances, this has been used as an initiation, a test of courage, a way to decide which prisoner to let go (to take the message back that you are holding hostages), or a way to execute someone without making any one person responsible.” (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Run%20the%20Gauntlet)
This post was to be called “I’m OK” in response to the many people who are expecting me to fall apart as the anniversary of losing my Paul looms. But the more I took an honest look over the last year the phrase “Running the Gauntlet” just kept popping into my head. So in true morose style I gave in to the fact that although I really am OK, there is also a welling backlog of emotions waiting to surface. I hate that! Each emotion a powerful and formidable weapon awaiting its opportunity to take me out. Not one willing to take the full blame or strike the deathly blow, but all pounding away together weakening my resolve.
I am of course “the poor bastard” in this story that the above definition speaks of. But I hate pity and remember that not everyone dies that runs the gauntlet.
Is it hard?
Are there injuries?
But there are survivors. Injuries heal and I hope that as those mental images of hospital wards and ICU equipment taking over my Paul lose their sting more and more, I too will join the list of the brave that survived. “A test of courage” indeed it is. To open my eyes, heart and soul to another day and another hope indeed feels like a courageous move that I hope I am brave enough for.
I intend to be that “prisoner let go”, in fact I insist! There are few comforts in grief, and although it took me a year to accept it, I am now encouraged to see if I can help another soul lost in grief see the light of day, to find some bravery, and to see hope again. Somewhere, somehow, I hope for that. To be that one running back to the King pleading for those still held hostage by their grief. The King will help, how do I know that? Because He helped me.
So, I am through the gauntlet…you know, I hope! Still some wounds to heal, but all in good time. No rush, no shortcuts (unfortunately), but I am OK. The memory of the gauntlet is strong and still very powerful, but I survived and will continue to do so.
I am OK.