My goodness, it is 5 years since my late husband’s death. I naively thought at the time because he had been ill for such a long period, I had done a lot of grieving already. Boy was I wrong, as there was so much more to come.
It has taken me 5 years to work things though, with the help of God and a loving community around me. I think I was numb the first year, just trying to settle paper work, to do practical things, and get back into a rhythm of work. Year two I focused on honouring Colin’s life by telling a bit of our story, and publishing some of his poems and writings- ‘Love song for a wounded warrior’ – I felt he was smiling from heaven. A great sadness was that his parents both died before the book was published, and our grief as a family was so complex and so deep.
In the years following, the covid virus and restrictions caused everyone to be so isolated from one another, that it has meant grief and loss has often been locked away, unexpressed, just weighing people down, a silent burden of pain. We all need to talk.
God has been so gracious. He has helped me find ways to work though the trauma of painful menories and grief, to help me find a deeper healing. I wrote ‘ Love songs for Healing and Hope’ also available on Amazon, to share a bit of my grief journey, to offer devotional material, and to share the story of friends.
I have learned what a roller coaster ride complex grief is. In the rain, I think of tears falling, pathetic fallacy, as I learned at school, where the eniroment seems to mirror your emotions. One of the songs I go back to in my darkest days is Andrew Peterson’ s ‘ After the last tear falls’. Even when life is bleak and we are bereft, somewhere there is still love. We can be sad at death, the cruelty of suffering, of the loss of dreams and a future.
Jesus understands our lamentation- he wept over the death of Lazarus, he shared the pain and sorrow of his family. He understands our deep despair and loss. But Jesus also called Lazarus out of the cold tomb, his grave clothes are unbound, and he restored his life. And in due time, Jesus calls us out of places of musty darkness and stench of death, into the brightness of morning. We are changed forever by our experiences, but gradually we learn to live with our loss, and there can be hope and new beginnings. Everyone’s journey is different, but I want to encourage people who are in a dark place, that there is help, that your story is important, and that God never gives up on You, but carries you each day.
I am deeply thankful for all that God has taught me, for those who have supported and prayed for me, for the healing power of nature and of community. It has been a more difficult journey that I would have ever imagined, and today the pain is more raw than I expected, still after all these years, but Jesus has brought me a slow and steady healing process, and God’s spirit breaths new life into me each day. What more can I ask?
Gracious God, how often must tears fall from the sky, and life be so cruel, and loss be so devastating. There is so much darkness. Lord Jesus, thank you for your healing light, bringing forgiveness, settling us free from our chains, helping us find peace. We cry to You, and You answer, although at times we are so lost in our pain, we don’t even notice. Bless all who mourn this day, and may they find comfort. Carry us each day, even through the years, until we are ready for your holy spirit to breath new life into us. Through our tears, may we attentive to your voice, and find the healing we need, so we can then share this grace and hope with others, Amen