Strange Territory

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Grief is such a strange territory. I've been here before but not really. I lost two loved ones and couldn't attend their funerals. You'd think I know what to do with the pain but dread was all I had. I dreaded the aching feeling of a heart who lost the love of a lifetime. I dreaded the impossible physical distance from family and childhood friends. I dreaded not knowing how I was going to process the loss. Grief is such a strange territory. 
My heart wants to move on but somehow, there's more painful ground to cover. I look around and I noticed that those wearing sackcloth and ashes are the ones getting all the attention. I know that if I want to be noticed I'm on the wrong business. Grief is such a strange territory. 
Now I know why it's so uncomfortable for some to hear about this unfathomable pain. Hearing may bring a compassionate, human connection. Tears may flow and now what??? What do we do with tears? Joy and laughter are so much easier to deal with but not pain. It seems there's no end to this bridge in the land of the living. 
Grief is such a strange territory. My Brazilian heritage calls for different traditions and ways that are not understood worldwide. Today I cringed at questions why and found relief in understanding and listening ears. I find strength in the fact that God hears and understands. He's covered this strange territory himself and offers hope to those of us stuck here. Soon I will be able to embody the old words of David that say:
"Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever." Psalm 131:2-3