Saturday, March 3, 2018

That old long arc of grief

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

‘DID you see it there?’ God asked. ‘Yes, Lord… I did,’ came the response of my eye. There before me sat an Aunt, between my mother and another Aunt. The look on her face communicated the mood of her soul. A confused nothingness. A loneliness beyond conciliation. A soul shut in for the time being.
She lost her husband not three months ago. Fifty years of marriage and gone.
When the very things that held us together as human beings vanish we are left bereft.
The look on my Aunt’s face was familiar to me. I can recall feeling that same way when at ‘celebrations’ for about a 12-18 month period. I was just not in the mood to celebrate anything, and particularly anything that reminded me of what I’d lost.
Little did it matter to me, and now it seems to my Aunt, that we met for good reason. That reason can be agreed of cognitively. But the heart knows and cannot deny the truth. Where there is the fullness of lament, joy truly is, at times or for a time, a farce and a fabrication. Grief is all-consuming. It’s okay.
That old long arc of grief is a journey without compromise; where authenticity trumps facade.
It is a process that always seems far longer than it should take. Then, when we have traversed the whole bow, we are ready to thank God that He carried us all the way over that arch that now seemed so earth-like in size as we look back over it.
In the long arc of grief, each day can seem like its own lifetime, and life can seem so horribly wrong.
So, be encouraged that certain events and celebrations can be endured when they cannot be enjoyed.
Grieve well and we arrive at the other side of the arc one day; arriving at that day does occur.

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