This is a hard subject to tackle. But there seems to be so much of it in the world at large and in my own world these days that I feel wrong ignoring it.
Yesterday I had two really amazing conversations with friends. I wrote a post about one of them, deciding that choosing joy is always an option; the other, I had to mull over a bit. Because the other conversation was about grieving.
(photo credit shopredautumn.com)
Raw grief about does me in. I am an empathetic person with a cavernous capacity to feel what you feel. And I have grieved. Maybe not the same things as you. But I have felt a kind of grief that brought me to my knees, the pain doubling me over, the hope in my heart snuffed out letting only darkness in.
Whew, deep breaths.
When I spoke to my friend yesterday, she told me she was having a rough morning. She lost her grown son not too long ago and her whole family is devastated and decimated by their loss, as any family would be when someone is gone too soon. But as we spoke, I was so encouraged to hear that she has held on to her faith, that she has opened the curtains just enough to let some light in.
She was telling me about her special room: she had started working on this music room/prayer room/breathing space in August before her son passed. She said it was such a gift to have it now that he’s gone. And there were other people and circumstances that had been planted long before her loss that were like beacons of hope to her during this grief.
I was so inspired by her willingness to be raw and emotional and real in the midst of her grief. She was feeling it, but she was holding onto that beautiful edge of light that had entered her room. She was still standing, still filled with hope, and still worried about taking care of everyone around her.
(photo credit aholyexperience.com)
Life is not fair. If it was, my beautiful friend would still have her son, and he and his lovely bride would raise their four boys and make more memories. And no one would be hungry. Or homeless. And veterans who serve their country wouldn’t come back broken into pieces. And anyone who could love and provide a home for a baby would have one.
I rail at these injustices sometimes.
But then I take a look at my life and ask myself, “Would I change it?” The answer is no. Even the hardest, worst things that have happened have made me this person and placed me in this space at this moment. And the worst of the worst has shown me how to reach back and give others hope and help pull them up. It seems this pulling up of others blesses me beyond measure.
If you live long enough, grief will touch your life. Some get mired in it, never to escape its grasp. And some, like my friend, manage to hold on every day to a growing seed of hope and measure of joy. The grief isn’t gone; it’s just tempered with a softness that tends to attract goodness.
For all my friends who may be grieving, I am here for you. I will help pull you up when you are ready. Despite your grief, and often because of how I see you walk through it, you are a blessing to me.
Thank you for sharing these hard things with me, for trusting me, and for letting me walk alongside you with my prayers, my presence, my service.
(photo credit engelta.hubpages.com)
Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
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