Sorrow to Joy - 'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.' My bravest are those who can anticipate the morning and feel in the night of sorrow that underlying Joy that tells of confident expectations of the morning. - from 'God Calling' by A.J. Russell.
My collection of books varies from romance, to fiction, to mystery and every other place in between. Among my many books I have self-help, prayer and meditation, and a host of enlightening editions. I love to read, I love to be fed, and I love to escape, the kind of escape that a good book can offer.
Recently 'God Calling' came into my possession, I didn't order it, it was sent as a gift along with a catalog of other similar offerings. At first I put it aside, then I decided to check out what lay beneath the cover. It is a daily devotion book, and the excerpt I quoted above was for May 17th. The irony of this particular passage is that I read it yesterday morning, and was amazed at the message.
The 17th we had a celebration of youth in our diocese, I was present, taking photos and cheering on the wonderful youth that went above and beyond to share their faith, their love and compassion for others. As well as supporting one of the youth from my own parish. It was a wonderful evening, so full of life and promise, then I went home.
When I got home, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and decided to just sit and catch up on some TV shows that I enjoy (love my On Demand). It was great, its not too often that I can just sit and relax, finals were over, the event was all set and went well. This was good, great as a matter of fact. I began to smile to myself about all the wonderful kids I knew that were present this evening, how so full of hopes and dreams they all are, and what amazing opportunities lay ahead for them. My thoughts floated over to Rachel, and how full of hopes and dreams she was, the plans she had made, the things she wanted to accomplish, and I lost it.
I sat there, all alone, and just cried, really cried, asking why, again and again; thinking to myself, it really doesn't get easier, it just gets. Parents don't forget, as parents we see the downs and ups, the failures and successes of others, and long for it ourselves. We see all the missed opportunities, all the dashed dreams, and an emptiness overwhelms us, a deep ache, that no one can explain away.
Recently someone had asked about the courses I had been taking, how it was going, and did I find them helpful, or was it more of a burden; especially discussing the many losses people experience, from death, divorce, devastation and so on. 'No' was my response, on the contrary, it helped me to understand the different types of loss, the different levels of grief, and how varied the causes can be. Both of us have experienced multiple losses, and my course work helps me to recognize the difference not only in the entire process, but in the individuals themselves. We discussed some of the different types of grief, and how loss impacts us, how it shapes us, and how if we allow it to, helps us grow. Loss does not get easier, we just become more 'experienced,' more adept at finding ways of coping, surviving and moving forward.
So the other night when I had a 'moment' of sadness, when the tears would not stop, I embraced it, knowing it was necessary, and this was what I needed. My tears allowed me to express the sorrow I was feeling, to acknowledge that I missed Rachel, and to feel 'sorry' for what was lost. My tears were warm reminders of the love, the wetness soft touches on my cheeks, and the stream gentle waters cleansing me, allowing me to release what I held inside. Others may try to stop your tears, but I welcome them, I embrace them, because in the 'morning they bring joy,'
Many years ago, someone told me that there are really no coincidences in life, that we are where we are meant to be. That people, places and things come into our lives to help us become who we are. We are like modeling clay, and everything we experience, come in contact with, and allow to touch our lives, shapes us. And like any masterpiece that is handmade, there will be flaws, there will be unevenness, but that is what makes the piece that much more valuable and unique.
With grief, we must allow ourselves to release, to express and to share our stories. We need to give ourselves permission to cry, to feel and to embrace the emotions that grip us. Only we know how we feel, how we hurt, and what is missing. Don't go it alone, find a worthy companion to take with you on this journey. A friend, family member, or counselor, who will allow you to express yourself freely, who will let you vent, who is willing to accept the ups and the downs, and who accepts and understands you no matter what.
And if you need reassurance, just look around you, look at who and what is in your life, take JOY in all that graces your life, and know that you are better for what you have experienced and for all that has mattered in your life. True love is everlasting, it always remains, even after all the good-byes.
Today's message may intrigue you: Rescued and Guided - 'Rest knowing all is so safe in MY Hands. Rest is Trust.