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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Walking the Desert Road

Monday People

This is the last entry for a time that will reference the Easter/Passover events.

Those who grieve are Saturday people, in the Christian Holy Week lexicon of events. They wait in the dark, uncertain space between death and life. Like the early Christians caught between the despair of Friday and the joy of Sunday, grievers find it hard to believe that anything is left, because everywhere they look, they see destruction and emptiness.

And like the followers of Jesus who fled Jerusalem before the events of Sunday and were convinced that the dream that had filled their lives with hope was over, those who grieve walk a similar road through the parched landscape wondering what they do now.

Gradually, in time, those who grieve on Saturday become Monday people. No longer overwhelmed by death, they walk into the desert and begin to create a new life with what is left. They don’t know where they are going either, but they know that their lives have radically changed because someone they loved is gone and the life they expected is over.

As they walk this road, they find people beside them, and they share with each other what helps them get through each day. They feel strengthened and encouraged because they are no longer alone on this journey.

This year, the Jewish Passover was also celebrated on Saturday. It commemorated when the Israelites fled their homes in Egypt and went into the desert where they had to learn how to survive.

As in those days a long time ago, it will take people who are grieving today time to cross their desert and then learn how to live in their new land. With the help of others, they will find hope and joy and love again.

The journey through grief begins here, in this desert where nothing seems familiar and nothing seems certain. It is here where Monday becomes Tuesday, then Wednesday, and then the rest of their lives.


  1. Thank you for this one, Mark. I find a desert, then oasis, then more desert when I hoped the oasis would go on and on. I have not found a new harbor--or place at the table--that feels trustworthy and constant. Of course, memory idealizes what life was like before a loss, but there was always the one person to turn to in difficult moments. Independence feels overrated this morning. Another walk? More meditation? Just feeling what is?

    1. I'm thankful that both of us kept journals during grief, because memory does idealize the past. The journals keep us honest. Yes, such joy when that first oasis appears. And then more desert. But then another oasis. Not having that one other person who is always there is hard. A walk? Yes. Meditation? Yes - feel deeply what is, breathe, and release.