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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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Walking the Desert Road

Monday People

Those who grieve feel like Saturday people, in the Christian Holy Week lexicon of events. They wait in the dark, uncertain space between death and life, between the despair of Good Friday and the joy of Easter Sunday, finding it hard to believe that anything is left, because everywhere they look, they see destruction and emptiness.

Now it’s Monday. The dream that the disciples were counting on was over, and the person they loved was dead. But they had changed because of him and, sink or swim, they would continue on and build the dream back up on their own. At this point, they don’t know what is going to happen, either, but they head into the desert and begin to create a new life with what is left.

As they walk this road, they find people heading in the same direction, 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 commemorates the Israelites fleeing their homes in Egypt and going 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 learn how to live in their new land. With the help of others, they will find hope, joy and love again.

The journey through grief begins here, in the desert where nothing is 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.