2018 has already been a very eventful year for me. I began the year by saying goodbye. Our Mother died just fifteen hours into the new year. Her absence opened a door to my wounded soul. Sorrow and grief were eagerly waiting to take her place. I realized this was a ‘normal’ reaction to such a loss, but that didn’t make it any less painful.
Grief seemed to make me stupid. Or in my case more stupid than normal. I forgot appointments, could not remember conversations or make important decisions. Someone reassured me that time would help me heal. But it did not. Healing came not with time, but with faith and with the community of our family.
The congregation literally surrounded me with prayers and one Sunday morning with a laying on of hands. I felt nothing but love and care.
We took Mom home to Texas for the usual service of “Celebration of life.” There was nothing unusual about her service, we read the scriptures, sang her favorite hymns, told funny stories but most importantly fellowshipped with our family. Like many families who are spread about the country, we are a loosely knit bunch who most often come together at funerals. Yet, that community was the medicine which helped me heal. We had all lost loved ones, in fact all of my cousins, have lost their parents. We realized that we are the ‘next generation.’ We are now the patriarchs and matriarchs of our families who are trying hard to honor the traditions our ancestors established and pass on the wisdom and love our parents first gave us.
This death, grief, healing cycle meant a lot to me. It made the gospel story feel real. It didn’t feel like a 2,000 year old tale, but a series of events which felt real enough to touch and taste. I identified with the events of holy week, the horror of Jesus death on the cross, the grief and despair of his burial and the ultimate joy of his resurrection. These events became more than a Bible story, they became “our story.”
Now I hope I can live as someone who has been transformed by the events of Holy Week. Faith has become a rock which holds me up. It is a support to help me through the ups and downs of life.
We are all on the revolving wheel of grief, healing and hope. Wherever you are on your journey, I invite you to come together in fellowship in a community of faith.
Be at peace,
The best is yet to be,