Where to start… do you remember the night I told you what made me decide to go to counselling? Yes that moment when I was peeling the apples and clutched the knife and wanted to feel something … anything to release the deep pain in my heart. That was a night someone I loved died from a blood clot. (See this brain foggy post))
That was also the time I alluded to a friend who chose to take her own life? My heart shattered that time too. I felt there should have been more I could do.
And the thunderstorm in February? That time I sat and told you how when I was fifteen I had the life of a man who was like an uncle stolen from mine. (and This post)
Grief comes in all lengths a depths. We cannot measure grief. For how is it fair for us to say one grief is greater than another? You would never tell a man who lost his wife of 75 years that his grief is less great than the war widow who hardly had enough time to love before she knew the harsh bitter taste of grief. And yet we seem to tell ourselves that we should “get over” grief quickly.
I’ll say it again… GRIEF HAS NO TIMELINE!
It took me 13 years to realize that I was still grieving my adoptive uncle and never truly healed the wound of his murder. I still grieve him.
I grieve friends that have walked out of my life. I grieve the harsh words that were said and the grace left unsaid. For who says that someone must be deceased to leave you in life? I miss those who have moved on.
And yet in all this great grief I know that God is filling my broken. I know I am learning to dance in the rain again. To weather the storm but not let my heart be weathered from it.
Ann Voskamp said, “Great grief isn’t meant to fit inside your body… it’s why your heart breaks.”
A week ago I revisited an old scene in my history. The small country chapel I grew up in. I gathered there with friends – some of whom I haven’t seen in the better part of a decade – to say a final goodbye to a dear sunshine friend. The cancer was her storm, but she shone through it brighter than any I’ve ever seen. So much so that her friends and family wore sunshine yellow at her memorial service to honour her.
My sunshine friend is now in a land of eternal sunshine. She is healed and whole. But my heart is broken. I broke when I heard she had gone … and the breaking triggered the broken of all the ones I’ve lost.
Great grief that cannot be measured.
I saw it in the faces of the ones in sunshine yellow – great grief cannot be mended for we always will miss that piece of our heart that went with them. I felt it in the deep hug of the girl who lost her mother. The woman who lost her dear friend.
And yet in our great grief we have an unspeakable hope. We know Jesus. The one who made my friend who was sunshine. The One who sits in the centre of our grief with us and WEEPS… yet all the while he’s mending our wounds.
Because although great grief breaks us we have hope that the healer will hold our broken bits and make us beautiful again. Making our scars pathways for other grieving ones to follow straight into the heart of Jesus.
He turns our brokenness into beauty.
But it’s a journey. And don’t discount it as such. We cannot avoid great grief. Someone we love is gone.
But our hope is in the One who holds us in the storm. One who teaches us to dance in the rain. Never let go of His hand. He created the storm. He knows the way where there is no way.
My heart is still broken… I’m still grieving… someone I love is gone. I wish I could go back in time and visit when I had the chance… to hug her deep and hard… to say a proper goodbye. But in all my grief I’m thankful that she taught me that it’s possible to smile in the trial and dance in the storm. And I’ve learned it’s ok to grieve – for however long necessary.
There is always hope when we have Jesus. And no matter the heartbreak I hope to always learn to dance in the storm and praise him til the sun shines again.