Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

When Death Comes

When death comes and grief begins, the world turns gray and sounds go mute. The shock of death sets us on the edge of a canyon where everything falls away before us, and we scarcely comprehend the enormity of what has happened.

Death makes us face and question the Other, the Almighty, the Ultimate Reality, whatever the power is that we devote our lives and hearts to, because someone we dearly loved has died.

We don’t like to face the big pivotal moments of life because they demand that we make significant changes in our lives. We like the creature comforts of the life we’ve settled into. We think we’d like to get through life unscathed, but we also know that we don’t want to reach the end and discover that we haven’t really lived. What we want is to lead lives full of adventures and somehow manage to survive.

Falling in love is one of these pivotal experiences, as is grief when a person we love dies. We have a choice with both – to let them into our lives, or ignore, deflect, and let them pass by. But we would miss so much if we said no to either one. There are depths to life that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Grief is a journey, not a wound that will heal in a couple of weeks. It reminds us how fragile life is.

Grief is a companion that keeps us company as we move from death back to life. It reveals how important small acts of compassion from others can be, how a day filled with hours of unending despair can turn around when someone shows up with a warm, cooked meal and a smile.

Those who refuse to take grief’s journey, as well as some who get stuck along the way, are emotionally lost to the world, and become as one of the dead. 

Grief is a journey to a new place. It's a pilgrimage of learning how to be present again to the sacredness of this moment, because we understand that people can die at any time. We understand that we only have today, this ordinary moment, to love each other.

Grief is a guide across a desert to a land where we can breathe, smile and dance again. 

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