On Grieving: Part 4

Grief is a wild beast, there’s no telling where it’ll take you, there’s no telling where you’ve been, because there are literally no words for it. There are certain things humans like to explain, to try to make sense of, but there are some experiences that are so deep you can only explain what’s around it, you can’t get to the heart of what it really is. Grief is like that to me. It’s multi-faceted, death is unfathomable, the weight of a broken heart finds every breath a strain, every day seems impossible. And yet, you make it through. And somehow you laugh again. It’s one of the great mysteries of mankind. How strong is our search for joy, how strong our search for meaning, how strong the life that God breathed into us; it keeps fighting, keeps searching, keeps laughing.

There has been ebb and flow of energy, sadness, momentum, movement in the past six months. This past week has been very difficult, it held the date of my parents’ anniversary, and there were so many memories, so many tears. My dad was quite open about his pain and told me he didn’t know how to go on without her, all the joy of life was gone for him. "I know she's better off... but what about me?" There aren’t any words for that. There’s no wisdom or perspective I can give to that statement, I don’t expect him to feel any other way. I have nothing but silence for it. The weight of that pain is nearly unbearable.

There have been many times in the past eight months where I felt unalterable silence inside of me. I have nothing, I have no ideas of what’s going to happen, or what will be required of me, I must only stand still. Still. Waiting.

A couple of months ago I was on a plane to California and we were experiencing a lot of turbulence, it was making my head hurt, so I leaned back my head and closed my eyes, focusing on the music in my ears. Something about the helplessness of being in that plane way up in the sky--dropping and rising, shaking, dropping and rising--reminded me of life, reminded me of the time around my mom dying when all there was to do was sit and wait. Watch, and wait. And tears started pouring down my face. The man next to me probably thought I was absolutely insane crying because of turbulence, but I’m becoming accustomed to crying in front of anyone and everyone these days. And, I’m super good at it.

That’s what life has been like lately. Dropping and rising, shaking, dropping and rising. There’s been so much pain and disappointment, blessing and memory, so much shaking free of things I’ve clung to my whole life, loss and anger, freedom and joy. It all moves through constantly, leaving me shaken in it’s wake, only to pass through again.

Some days I’ll feel a new movement, I can see that God is building something, something even stronger in me than I’ve known before, something stronger, and yet softer, more yielding, more compassionate. God is very mysterious in His dealings, it is often the very opposite of what I expect that brings about the result I had hoped for. This working happens especially in pain, this stripping down to the very core of you, it evokes more of you than you’ve ever encountered. You at once see more and less of who you thought you were. Those moments when you realize all you’d been hoping for, working towards, it’s done, it’s over and there’s nothing for you but to move on… it’s crushing. You must start over, but it seems like there are no materials left in you to start building again. And it really does feel like it happens in your sleep or something, but slowly, without you even knowing it, God works. He moves, and He builds, and you feel compassion where you once felt anger, and you feel pain where you once were indifferent, and you speak kindness where you once were silent.

It is completely and totally beyond me, I have no words for what is actually happening at the heart of it, but somehow, in the depths of the mysteries of God, somewhere in the deep silence, there is building up in the breaking down, and there is beauty out of dust. It is beyond me. It must be God.