It is hard to imagine that we are approaching the three-month mark since my brother’s death….
I still find myself counting the Sundays, remembering the 23rd, and feeling the urge to call him or check in….
In some sense I wish life would return to the before grief stage….
I also realize how much I am changed by the death of my brother, how much I experienced the kindness of others, how quickly my appreciation for my family was deepened, how intentional I have become about saying what needs to be said, how tender my heart feels as it goes from shattered to restored….
I believe that God knew my journey would include this major grief event….
I believe that God will provide me all I need as I continue the day-to-day journey of my life….
I believe that we all experience grief, loss and brokenness and through Len’s death, I am invited to connect more deeply with those who also have a story of loss….
It has been difficult to focus on my journey to wellness these past 3 months. I have resumed normal activities but find that I am still returning from mindless to mindful living….
I am committed to living honestly, healthy and well and that will only be done if I return fully to mindful living….
And so as each day comes and goes, as the tears flow and laughter resumes, in our remembering, reflecting and creating new memories…..
I know Len’s memory will never leave my heart ~ no matter how much time passes!
I have often offered prayers up for those I know who have lost someone close to them…
I have often tried to pray for them in the days and weeks following….
I have prayed for comfort and peace, for that has always seemed like the very obvious need of the grieving…
But now I am journeying that road of grief and I have a few new thoughts about how to pray for the grieving….
Yes, comfort and peace fit the needs of my soul, but I am learning that the grief journey is not that simple…
I am learning that as I walk the grief journey I am in need of wisdom, discernment, compassion, gratitude, courage and grace!
I want to be an intentional about allowing myself time to grieve…
In order to take time to grieve, it requires wisdom and discernment to know when to allow my heart to lead and when to keep my activity rational and functional.
It can be easy to get lost in my grief. It requires wisdom and discernment to remember that I am not the only one grieving, in my day-to-day or in my community at large. I want to keep my eyes open to other people and keep my heart tender to my own story and the story of others….
I want to be compassionate and grateful in my grief.
It is important to me to have a heart of compassion and gratitude in my grief. I want to have a heart of gratitude which allows me to remember the joy of good memories and celebrate the legacy of my brother. I want to choose gratitude for all we had and even in my sorrow, I don’t want gratitude to be drowned out completely….
I am learning that grief is complicated. I want to have a heart of compassion. Compassion invites me to be kind both in my own journey and to the people who surround me. I want my heart of compassion to believe the best about people I interact with, even if their words, actions or absence seem to provoke my grief….
I want to have an abundance of courage and grace….
I want to live honestly in my grief. Honesty requires courage to say what needs to be said and courage to love each other through awkward moments and difficult times. There is a real transition that occurs after the first weeks of saying good-bye to the every day, new normal kind of living. It takes courage to keep moving forward and living well, when it feels like a lot of energy to get through some of the most routine tasks.
And I want to move through every day, every conversation, every interaction, every space of silence with an abundance of grace. It may be grace I offer to myself as I journey or it maybe grace I extend to another who is journeying their own path….
It may be grace offered to those who surround me or those who feel distant from me….
It may be deep gratitude for the Grace of God offered to me….