Grief and Gratitude Collide!

Greetings from The Front Porch!

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
~Kenji Miyazawa

Tick tock, tick tock, the sound of the clock in the background sends a message to my brain that time is still moving, yet why does it feel like it has stood still?

Why it is when life becomes hard and death becomes the theme, when grief is gripping at ones heart that in those moments when it hurts to breathe, time comes to a screeching halt as if to add insult to injury as if it is there to remind you of the pain just a little bit longer?

I find it a peculiar place to be, one year later from the moment that marked her passing and yet in my flesh it feels like only yesterday. Yesterday when we were gathered around the front porch, family and friends throwing together an impromptu memorial service, celebrating the life of my mother.

Just hours prior to the gathering on the porch, I had been by her bedside watching and listening as she struggled to take her last breath. Shock and grief had intersected and I found myself greeting and meeting people on the porch more out of habit then emotion.

One friend even said at the time how courageous and brave I was. Only now looking back am I able to see that my shock and denial appeared to look like courage. As I sat on my front porch, I just chose to sit still among the living that day while I contemplated death.

Here I am twelve months, three hundred and sixty-five days later and the pain of the loss seems to be greater now then it was last year at this time. Feelings of fatigue and great sadness woke my sprit today. I found myself longing to hear her call out my name just one more time as she so often did through out the day.

Today I have allowed my heart of gratitude to dance with the lose of life. I have embraced what was with what isn’t anymore. I have let my pain become my fuel so I could focus on His face as I continue on this journey of letting go well.

I have found that right in the middle of what looks a little murky is my savior Jesus, he is waiting to take me by the hand and walk me through the process of letting go and moving on. I can feel his nail scared hands reaching out to help me up, holding my hands every so lightly to let me know I was not going to fall. I could hear his sweet soft voice whisper to my soul, “trust in me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

As I picture him holding my hand I start to cry and I know he feels my lose. The creator of this universe who knows what it feels like to live to let go and to hold on all at the same time is helping me walk through one of the greatest loses of my life.

Today I choose to let grief and gratitude hold hands as they mesh into one another. As I let go of the lose and hold on to the memory I pray that my journey is one that others can learn from, one of grace and gratitude while walking through grief.

Question: How have you dealt with the lose of a loved one? If you have, what did the grieving process look like to you?

Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you.



Shelly said...

Hey Cris!
Music is always a part of my grieving and gratitude. I was practicing a song for worship last week and there is a line that says, "There will be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning." I cried the snot face ugly cry. That is the song I sang over and over again when we were losing Steve's mom 17 monthes ago. I never cease to wonder how the power of a song can instantly trigger an emotion that I haven't felt for a while. Love you :* Shelly

Shannon said...

Love you much, Cris.


Cris Nole said...

Love you too Shannon!

Shelly, thanks for the suggestion, I love your description of the snot face ugly cry, oh girl I so get it. I love music. Thanks my friend for all the years of memory and support, near and far you have always been there, love you bunches.