In a few days it will be one year since losing my best friend. As we tend to do when looking back I have tried to process the last twelve months.
At first there was the acceptance that she really was gone. The days when I missed her physical presence…The times I wanted to pick up the phone and call her…The questions I still had to ask her…The advice I missed getting from her. And so much more; like just being able to hug her and feel her hugging back in response.
At first part of me felt so paralyzed…almost lost. I knew that life would go on with or without her. I knew we would survive even with this huge void in our lives. But I did not like it one tiny bit.
My mother wanted us to be on the sand and in the water before it got terribly hot. I remember being fascinated with the way the water would fill up any whole you made in the sand. You would dig your fingers into the sand and just as quickly it flowed back to fill up the whole. The sand on the beach has the quality of holding water in itself.
In the early days following her death I would go about my daily routines. Thoughts of her would rush in to fill whatever space available. I could be driving and thoughts of something we did together would rush into my mind.
Just like the sand on the beach would fill the hole as quickly as I could dig.
I could be alone in the kitchen cooking and thoughts of times we cooked together would rush into my heart. I could see us standing together chopping and sharing our dreams. Or discussing how to cut the cucumbers. Thoughts rushed in just like the sand on the beach would fill the hole as quickly as I could dig.
I could be praying in our church filled with Sunday worshippers and thoughts of the many times we prayed together would rush into my heart. I could feel her presence as we joined together in praying to Our Father in heaven. These thoughts and feelings would rush in just like the sand on the beach would fill the hole as quickly as I could dig.
You cannot stop these thoughts and feelings from filling the spaces in your heart, mind, and soul. You cannot control these thoughts and feelings any more than I could control the beach sand. I could not stop the sand from rushing into my little hole unless…I moved farther away from the shore line.
As time passes it seems as though you have moved farther away from the shore line. The thoughts rush in less frequently, but still present.
One of the interesting facts about sand is that it is made of remnants of the past… So it is with grief.
Because of the chemical makeup of sand, usually containing quartz, it is weather resistant. Just as it is with grief, sand comes in several different colors depending on its physical contents.
One day grief feels like depression…one day grief feels like gratitude…one day grief feels like regret…one day grief feels like solitude…one day grief feels like overwhelming love…one day grief feels like deep peace and one day grief feels like profound joy.
We find sand in many environments from the seashore and the desert to the mountain tops. The waters of grief can flood your heart and soul when you least expect them. Grief can leave you in the desert to face and wrestle with your feelings of being alone and empty. Finally you realize it is grief that makes you appreciate the mountain top. It is the grief that guides you to seek out the mountain top. The beauty of grief is that it enriches your future.
On the mountain top…you can rejoice in what fills your heart and soul.
On the mountain top… you can let the sands blow.
On the mountain top you can be content in knowing that your heart will always hold the one you love.
If you ever want to amaze yourself about sand just go to the Wikipedia where you can learn how sand is used in things from concrete and bricks to beautiful transparent glass. You can even smooth your toes while at the beach by digging them in the sand.
Beauty lies within the wholeness
of the grief we experience…
be on the lookout for its presence.
Grief can became a treasured
piece of sculpture.
God is constantly surrounding us with his goodness.