For the next 31 days I’ll be writing about all sorts of pre-determined topics everyday on hoping, healing, and caring for those around us. Sometimes the most extraordinary thing we can do is live out lives aware and in tune with those around us, normal, thoughtful lives. Scroll down for DAY 1 below.
- DAY 1: A place called grief
- DAY 2: Family is a complicated word for me, but I’m not giving up
- DAY 3: Capture
- DAY 4: The Frailty of Life
- DAY 5: The power of being with someone can alter a life
- DAY 6: I am a promise, a possibility
- DAY 7: What if we really took the message to love one another seriously?
- DAY 8: Purple people are my people
- DAY 9
- DAY 10: Change causes us to be flexible
- DAY 11
- DAY 12
- DAY 13
- DAY 14
- DAY 15
- DAY 16: Sometimes Waiting is the Hardest thing
- DAY 17
- DAY 18
- DAY 19:It’s hard to look at others who have directly caused suffering and affliction through their actions and find a reason to honor them.
- DAY 20
- DAY 21: On Healing and Normalcy
- DAY 22
- DAY 23
- DAY 24
- DAY 25
- DAY 26
- DAY 27
- DAY 28
- DAY 29
- DAY 30
- DAY 31
DAY 1: A place called grief
It was 8PM on a weeknight. I sat at Starbucks with a tall decaf hot coffee in mid winter, desperate to not be overtaken by the wave of despair that seemed to creep into every ounce of my being when the sun went down during these 4:30PM New England winter daylight savings. I need light in a similar way that I need water, only not just any light, sunlight.
I looked around and wondered if anyone knew I was hurting. If anyone could hear my calling, crying, hoping. How many times had I sat in this same very place and not noticed or wondered if anyone around me was hurting, crying, hoping for something their own vocal chords could not convey. How many times had I been unaware of the agony that others were enduring?
And here I sat, desperately wanted to weep, but the tears wouldn’t come. They pain was agonizing, like shards of glass ripping me apart, only it wouldn’t stop. It’s surreal. There was no passing out from this pain, just the crippling anxiety of fear, of failure, of heart brokenness, shredding my heart to pieces. I wanted to scream, but nothing came.
I wrote one line down on a piece of paper. It was all I could do that day: “You are not a failure.” After staring for what felt like a decade, drips of water pounded and blurred the blue lines of the paper. I didn’t feel like I was crying, but tears crashed and splashed and blurred my one sentence until the words were almost no more.
Loss felt deep and piercing. Failure. I had failed numerously in ways I wasn’t aware. And in order to heal, to grow, I had to lose more. I had to step out of all I had known and step into what felt like utter darkness. That’s the thing about tragedy, death, disease, illness, loss, it puts you in this other category, the categories that no one wants to be in, the ones you don’t choose. And you probably won’t know what to do when you have to start living in it. I was trying so desperately for so long not to be in those categories. I fought them. But I could not longer. Whether I liked it or not, my world had changed and in the most painful of ways, God began calling me into a more rich, albeit far more painful place. A place called grief.