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"Other Colors"
by Orhan Pamuk

by Nathaniel Philbrick

May 4, 2009

Phantom Pain

The Mayo Clinic tells me this about Phantom Pain:

Phantom pain feels like it's coming from a body part that's no longer there. . . Most people who've had a limb removed report that it sometimes feels as if their amputated limb is still there.

The Bible tells us that when two people get married they become one and the longer the couple is married, I think, the more they function as one. When I had to make decisions after Mark died, I didnít have to think long or hard about what to do since we had discussed almost everything: what kind of service, what kind of arrangements, what we wanted to do about nearly everything.

I sometimes feel as though I have had a limb or an organ or half of me removed. I find myself looking towards his chair when something amusing is said in a TV program. I feel as though I want to call him to come and read an email. I want to share an article or a paragraph in a book. Habits that long in the making are hard to dismiss.

People ask how I am doing and I am doing fine. I will always miss that part of me that has been amputated. There may always be phantom pain, but in Psalm 146:8,9 we read:

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the alien
And sustains the fatherless and the widow
But He frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The Lord reigns forever,
Your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

To sustain means to:

1) to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of.
2) to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
3) to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
4) to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
5) to keep up or keep going, as an action or process.
6) to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
7) to provide for.

And so I will praise the Lord.

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