I often wonder about grieving hearts and the persistent and periodic echoes of the pain that bounce around like an untamed ball of emotion. The sufferings of loss remain somehow and find ways to make their presence known week after week; sometimes year after year. It is almost as if the emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual elements of loss take on a form of their own; leaving the grieving feeling somewhat separate from the momentum gained by their personified grief. This would explain why so many in the therapy world suggest that grief has a mind of its own. It is unique and different for everyone. Forest Gump’s gestures and view towards ‘a box of chocolates’ may be more relevant to grief than we realize. Once faced with loss, the grief unfolds in such a way that no person can plan for. The uniqueness of grief’s formation is shaped by a person’s worldview, patterns of thinking, spiritual condition, etc. Until in grief, one never knows what to expect.
At the exact moment of loss, our grief immediately begins forming by absorbing substance from our experiences, personality, and the very important events surrounding the loss itself. Before we know it, the locomotive has gained momentum and we are riding first class on a trip down paths never seen by anyone else. The valleys and mountain views provide a sorrowful cadence of messages that are merely echoes of our own soul. We may feel out of control as this locomotive seemingly pushes on as we are forced to witness and experience wherever it takes us. But we are in fact creating the uncharted train track journey. We obviously did not chose grief to come upon us, but the events thereafter are completely chiseled by us. Everyone’s path of echoes is different and likely carries on for a while before gaining insight into the deeply rooted parts of the soul. These are the areas of our life where we find our deepest longings, desires, hopes, dreams, joys, and pains.
With time, grief can become beautiful and purposeful as we begin to learn about ourselves, others, and the world around us. The person of our loss develops into a delicate flower that blooms by the hour and what was once tragic slowly turns majestic and honorable. Down the path of echoes come restoration, hope, and opportunity. What has seemed so dark and scary can turn colorful and meaningful. What has been lost finds a way to be part of our identity and it lives on as we share our healing stories.
Although grief is extremely difficult to bear, when matched with perseverance it can lead to a fruitful life and a stronger faith. For many, it can become a maturing period or a time of reformation of the soul. Surely nobody would wish for grief upon another, but in experiencing the reality that death is likely to penetrate our life experiences, it is awesome how different we can be after surviving its sting.
The longer I have experienced my own soul’s echoes, the more in touch I have become with those grieving around me. There is a network of people sharing in the one common experience of loss. As each one gains insight and boldness, the whole of the grieving world is lifted. As you journey down your very own path of echoes know that you are not alone. There is purpose and hope still for your life and even for the loved one you have lost. Somehow the character and presence of those we have lost manages to adopt a place in our soul that with time brings a radiant mix of joyful colors. Each step forward, every tear dropped, and all resounding messages describing the elements of our grief are now creating a very powerful testimony of something even greater.
Losing my two children was terribly awful, traumatic, and painful, but I have found hope and meaning in the love of Jesus. He has taught me that there is hope in death because He died for me and there is a place to dwell for eternity with God. The death of my precious children is now becoming a platform for me to share of God’s greatness and the hope that is found in Him.