Running the Gauntlet

“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.” (

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.

7 responses to “Running the Gauntlet

  • Curving Toward Joy

    I think we’ll always be running a gauntlet of some sort or another — living with the loss of our loved one has forever changed us, and will most likely affect us in ways we can’t even imagine down the road. The first year gauntlet is the hardest, though, I think, and coming out on the other side is truly a feat of courageous living. Grief is not for the faint-hearted, but we have the Great Comforter on our side. My thoughts will be with you, my friend, in the coming days. I wish you peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jeff Atherton

    You’re truly an example to many others. The graciousness you walk in and the determination and courage to keep moving in a forward motion is huge to me. It is creating a slipstream of grace in which I believe many others will be caught up as they travel the corridor of their own challenging journey. THANKYOU for coming into our world to assist the building and rebuilding of so many others yet to feel the touch of Grace….


  • Stacey Walker

    Amazing Janene! I truly don’t know how I would cope after such a short time! What a courageous woman.


    Liked by 1 person

  • Kim Beadman

    So lovely to read your thoughts Janene .
    Such sincere honesty and such a beautiful parable describing grief.
    Paul would be very proud of you –
    a wonderful example to your children – big hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  • kim stylianou

    Please continue to write ,your writing brings healing and truth to my own grief ,you are an inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

    • janeneg

      Hi Kim, just rereading some things and thought to ask how you are going? Grief can be a bumpy road as we travel along trying to figure out where we’re going and how we can get there! I hope with all Hope that you are finding peace, finding your smile…ad not feeling guilty when you smile it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: