Grief is a sneaky companion; creeping up on you on days you least expect, causing your eyes to leak, your energy to be low and your mood to be cloudy. You look around and can’t figure out why you’re so sad until you catch a glimpse of her. She sits at the edge of the room waiting to remind you with a song or a day that you miss someone. It’s their birthday or their death-day and you all of a sudden miss them.
Grief is sneaky that way, never allowing you to get too far away from the pain of loss. Yes, you go back to work. Yes you have the first holiday without them present. Yes you give away their belongings. You move on, you make new friends, marriages, babies, birthdays and holidays happen without them. Yet, for awhile life is not the same and then you settle into a new normal where Grief whispers to you from that place of loss. “Don’t forget him, he loved this movie!” “Remember the time….”
Grief gets quieter as the years pass but I think it’s always there at the edge.
Today is September 11, 2015. 9/11. Fourteen years later and it is still a day that holds grief and mourning for our nation but also for individuals who lost family members and friends. Today we mourn in remembrance. Remembering loved ones, co-workers, friends, fellow citizens and a way of life.
Its not an easy day. There are days like this in each of our lives. Maybe September 11 isn’t that day, maybe you were not connected with anyone at the Pentagon or the World Trade Towers or that field in Pennsylvania.
My grandfather passed away in 1999, 16 years later I cry on his birthday, I get sad around the March 10th, the day he died and I laugh when I hear the song North to Alaska. It’s a thing…don’t worry about it.
I’m experiencing new, fresh grief for a friend who passed two weeks ago. It’s rough and raw and sneaks in when I don’t want it to, but it’s there. I’m sad for me and heartbroken for her husband and her family. I’m sure that when I root for the Ducks or see pink camo I will always think of her and I will grieve my loss.
But even as grief hangs around, even as I cry and mourn, the Holy Spirit is present. In the mourning I sense that there is hope and peace surrounding and that Christ is present.
Truthfully it’s because I have a partner in Ryan, who holds me as a cry; who whispers he’s sorry for the pain and loss I feel. I have friends and family who text and call to check in on how I am. I have a faith community whose members hug me, lay hands on me and pray for peace and healing. I am surrounded by the hands of God outstretched and evidenced by his people.
His people who practice Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. ”
So today, if you noticed that sneaky companion of Grief, I want you to know: You are not alone! You’re not the only one and there are many of us who would love to sit with you, to hold your hand or lend our shoulder as a tear catcher. There is hope. There is relief coming. The pain is hard, but joy will return. The Scriptures encourage us ….” weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Or maybe grief has not visited you in awhile, can I encourage you to be the shoulder for others. Be the hands of Christ outstretched to your friends, family and communities.