I just returned from the funeral of a young man I have known since he was small, but had lost touch with the past few years. I, once again, put on that all too familiar “cloak of grief”, sucked it up and attended the service. Heartbroken, I observed his mother, knowing that her life will never be the same again. The family is strong and has a fervent faith, yet I recognized the questioning look on their faces--that need to know “why”, but also acknowledging that there would be no answer in this life.
Driving home, I began to reflect on my journey of almost two years. Working through grief is not linear, but is bumpy with many steps forward and a few steps back. Having been thrust into a life situation beyond my control, I have no idea where I would have been without my faith. The spiritual aspect of my life has never been about an “afterlife” or the promise of eternal life, but about the ability to find strength greater than my own to live each day with peace. For me, my faith affords me the ability to live this life with the contentment and hope a spiritual connection brings. Having this frame of mind has given me the courage to face grief head on, to work through the hard parts and struggle with each uncertainty. I have not put off the inevitable, nor have I run away from the sorrow. My faith seems to have translated into a more peaceful existence with what this world has brought my way.
I have found continued solace from my widow friends and the on-line support of the bulletin board. These folks represent a diversity of grief experiences. Some of them have been able to find contentment in their circumstance-may have even moved on and found new love. Some, after many years, still have yet to find a place of solace whether it involves another or not; but each has touched my life in significant ways. As for me, I am amazed at the capability that God has given us to love—amazed at the fact that we have big enough hearts to be assured that if we loved well once---we more than likely will again.
Where do I go from here? I have this sense of obligation to share what I have learned along the way with those who may be facing the darkest moment of their life. This is as much a part of my healing as anything else. So, selfish as it sounds---I NEED to, in some way, believe that my journey has not been in vane - that the pain has a purpose - that I have touched someone else and that it all means something in the end.
"It's the journey that matters in the end."
This I know for sure…