Yes, everybody grieves.
But everybody grieves differently, and in their own way.
Some grieve outwardly, visible through the rainfall of their tears.
Some grieve inwardly, as if a dam holds back the streams of their pain, yet breaks through in the flow of their written words or song.
There is no measuring stick to gauge one’s grief,
But you grieve nevertheless.
Grief is a painting of a thousand words.
We find ourselves consoled in the brushstrokes from those who understand.
We take comfort in the sunsets that calm our weariness.
As the morning dew weeps over the spring flowers,
we also are given permission to weep.
Jesus himself wept in grief over a dear friend who died.
John 11:35 NIV
This portrait of grief is an open book of our heart where its pages are stained from runaway tears, yet caught by the hands of a loving God who notices and stores them in a bottle, recording these raindrops of pain in His Book of Remembrance.
…You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle
– not one will be lost.
For they are all recorded
In your book of remembrance.
Psalms 56:8 (TPT)
This portrait of a thousand words has been hanging in our personal gallery over the last eleven months as a tribute to us in our season of showers titled,
“A Family’s Ten Good-byes.”
On September 20, 2020 the angels of heaven came for our mother, our pillar, matriarch and heart of the family.
Her loss on our plate would have been a full plate to grieve over this past year. But there would be nine more good-byes added to an already full plate.
On my side, we lost my mother, brother and papa.
On my husband’s side, we lost two brothers, a papa and two cousins.
Together, we lost two dear friends from church.
Yes, ten good-byes in eleven months, each farewell unique, each remembering a life well lived.
This season of showers,
Whether flowing outward from the windows of our soul or inward from the depths of our heart,
Our tears watered a great reminder of a family reunion one day, in heaven.
From each shower,
A “rainbow in full view” nestled in the open sky whispering the nearness of God.
These April showers brought forth May flowers of joy, because in God:
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
The season of grief most difficult,
The season which wrestles and fights to hold onto your heartstrings,
Yet a season you must find His perfect peace in,
Our season of healing,
Our season of letting go.
In our letting go,
We are letting God…
Sit with us beside the empty chair.
Be that telephone call when we long for theirs.
Be a song when we miss their voice.
Be an arm of comfort in the middle of the night.
Give us eyes to see our family portrait still complete, while their picture now hangs in our heart.
Be a father to the fatherless.
Be a husband to the widow.
Be a friend to the friendless.
Lead us beside still waters.
Be our everything;
Whatever everything needs to be.
September 20, 2021 will mark a family’s one year anniversary of their mother’s good-bye.
Her first birthday, first holidays, first anniversary and first Mother’s Day without our matriarch has been honored and grieved differently by each who loved her, though grieved nevertheless.
God has wiped our tears when they’ve fallen outwardly.
God has been those words or song when we wept from the inside.
For the nine farewells which followed our mother’s, God has been a faithful post to lean on when the weight of our heartache was far too great a burden to shoulder and stand alone.
In our letting go,
We’ve been letting God.
We’ll get there when we get there.