On Grief

    November 01, 2022 | Letters from the Lead Pastor by Christy Pittman

    I have been recently reflecting on those whom I have lost. Maybe it is because of the reality of human mortality that I have been reminded of lately about those who have gone onto eternity.

    I was talking with a friend last week. She is struggling with the death of a friend who was only 19 years old. They were childhood friends and now she is gone. My friend is sad.

    I went to the funeral of one of my dad's cousins. I think I met her when I was a child. I had pictures of her children when they were young, but now they are older, and their mom is gone. They are sad.

    My godfather was there. It was his sister who died. I haven't seen him for years, but he was just as sweet and generous with his love then as he was when as a child I used to climb into his huge lap. He is sad.

    And I am hurting for them, but you just can't take grief from someone. I can sit with someone in the midst of it, put my arm around them, and share the technicalities of the grief process with them so they know what to expect, but ultimately each one must dance alone with sadness. The funny thing about this partner is that it is no respecter of person, gender, race, or social status. Grief won't engage with you, it simply envelopes those who are sad and becomes part of that life.

    Sadness never really goes away. It becomes part of your life. Like your hair, you live with it, some days you notice it and other days you realize that you haven't really even thought about it in several days. It never really leaves but it does go through a morphing process. When the raw newness of grief is softened by time, we are able to peel back the rough edges to reveal the bittersweet within, the bittersweet of the memories of sparkling laughter, soft kisses, and soulful looks. It is then that we are able to revisit those we once loved without experiencing the sharpness of the loss.

    As I have been thinking about my own waltz with grief. The music of loss still brings me to the phone to call my dad, even years after saying goodbye. And as I reach to dial, I realize that there is no longer a number where I can reach him. And I take another spin around the floor of my reality.

    And when I allow myself to feel the loss and the sadness that come with grief, I realize, in some odd way, this is not my home. The Holy Spirit of God meets me in the waltz of sadness, and He brings blessings, comfort, and hope when I least expect them.

    Jesus wept. So should we allow ourselves and others to do the same, we will be better for it.

    In the Dust of the Rabbi~


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