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Friday March 31, 2017

I have often heard people say, "Sometimes I can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely." That is a very pervasive concept for our world today that is filled with machines, voicemail, email, and text messaging all in the context of trying to be efficient. However, for many people, their loneliness is contained within a vacuum labeled "Grief." As we lose those we love, we find ourselves with empty promises, unfulfilled dreams, and countless hours that we have spent caring for and interacting with them in a relationship that is now dormant. So, what do we do with those countless hours that pervade our living space?

As I think about loss and loneliness, I am reminded of the cross stitch that I enjoy working on from time to time. I like to compare loss and loneliness to the darker colors of the fabric that encircle the masterpiece I am trying so desperately to create. If you were to look at the back of my cross stitch, you would see a bunch of ravaged threads that seem to create a jumbled mess. And although I know that it needs to be done a certain way, I persist in wanting to do it my own way, which is why we have the jumbled mess of strings and yarn that absolutely cross, intertwine and many times create knots. Try as I might to get it right, my skills are far lacking compared to a Master Weaver. But hope is not lost, for with those darker colors on the front of the canvas, I find brighter colors that are intertwined and begin to form a clear picture of what the masterpiece will eventually become.

This illustration mirrors the result of loss and loneliness. We may not see the true masterpiece as we are trudging through the mud and muck of loss and loneliness, but if we can just keep moving, we will eventually see the fair masterpiece that we desire beginning to take shape. Does it come without work on our part? Absolutely not! Grief is a journey, not a destination. It requires movement, and with movement comes work. It requires an openness to others who are also on the journey of grief and life. It requires us to be transparent with our feelings and emotions. That is real work.

But as we begin to build and form new relationships, realize avenues to our personalities, and explore possibilities within our own "new normal." Soon we discover that as we were struggling, a weave was emerging with the darker and brighter colors complementing each other. We discover that our journey was never really one of aloneness to begin with, for we are all travelers on this road of grief, and that the Master Weaver, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, never left our side.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

—Saundra Yates, Bereavement Coordinator/Chaplain (Mount Airy Office)

Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care offers free grief support to the community at large. For more information, contact us today at 336-789-2922 (toll-free 1-888-789-2922).


Tags: Grief Support