Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post a reflection on grief as I continue to explore its landscape and listen to you. In the sharing of our stories with each other, we find encouragement and build a community of support.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dark World Community

Since Evelyn’s death, I often go to Yosemite. In the darkness of night, I walk into the meadow and lose myself in the wonder of the constellations turning overhead. 

Without any city lights, the stars are clear, bright, and seem close enough to touch. Everyone else in the valley has turned in, even the animals, except for a few who are looking for a late night snack, and I try not to think about them. The meadow is so quiet that I can hear the hoot of an owl on the other side of the valley and the footsteps of what I think is a coyote trotting by.

I stand in the cool, still air as my heart aches, thinking about tragedy, loss, and the isolation of the soul’s dark night, trying to find my way through the cosmos of grief that death has left behind. 

I begin to sense others who are grieving. Some of you I will eventually meet, and we will wish that we had met earlier because it would have made grief’s journey less lonely. Many of you I will never know, only feel your presence as we pass by on the streets of an indifferent city. But we are learning to speak a common language as we make our way through the wilderness. We are becoming a community.

I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want to tell you that there is a way through. I want us to be courageous as we face the unknown before us. Because there is hope if we are brave.

We don’t know how long this dark night will last for any of us, but we wait and hold on to what faith we have. We wait and think about the lives of the good and loving people who are gone, and try to envision a new future without them.

One day we will know what we want to do. One day the early morning light will rise over the darkness of the mountains, dispel the cold, gray mist of dawn, touch our face with warmth, and we will begin taking the first steps toward a different life.

We are never alone. No matter where we go, our dark night community travels with us, reminding us there are others who understand the devastation of a broken heart.
                                                            
(an earlier version of this was published in Open to Hope)

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