This time of year brings back many pictures to my mind. It is the time when leaves begin to change color, fade and fall to the earth. It is the time when the coldness of the world comes within full reality. It is the time when the darkness of the night draws in closer and often sooner than realized. It reminds me of the times when we would play outside as children. Mom would say, "Be home before it gets dark!" I would often get caught with that last mile in darkness before me as I travelled home on my bicycle. Yet, there was always one shining light that would beam, "Welcome home." It was the light shining through the kitchen window. Maybe it was the porchlight for you. No matter the light, we always knew that someone was waiting with open arms to make sure that we were safe at home.
This is similar to the darkness that overwhelms us when death invades our world. We find ourselves caught in a chasm of darkness with questions that seem endless. The tears seem to fall as plentiful as the dew and frost on a cold winter's night. We find ourselves pedaling faster and faster to evade the darkness. People who are in grief have often said, "I just try to keep busy." And so they pedal on... and on... and on... until they realize they have exhausted themselves and must deal with the dark night of their soul. When that realization occurs, then and only then do they find themselves where healing can begin.
In the waiting, many times our hope and strength are renewed. The familiar Scripture Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) says, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." Recently I was reminded that the waiting is a position of the heart, not so much a position of the physical body. There are times in grief when we need to wait until we are emotionally ready to tackle the sentimental belongings that our loved one treasured or their clothes in the closet. It takes time to deal with the heartbreak of losing a loved one. It reminds me of the saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day." That is certainly true of life and grief.
I guarantee that neither you nor I will arrive at a place in our life's journey of grief, dust our hands off, and say to ourselves, "I have achieved my destination, the place of healing." Grief is not a destination, but a journey that lasts a lifetime and beyond.
True to my story of arriving home safely from the dark night of travel on the main streets of my Florida hometown, we are also promised to arrive safely on the other side of our dark night of the soul. We find the promise contained in Psalm 30:5 (KJV), "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning." And oh, what a morning it will be when, as Revelation 21:4 (KJV) indicates, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Just as your loved one experienced, when that time comes for you and me, there will be someone standing there with open arms to say, "You've made it safely. Welcome home." Until that time, travel on.
—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