This morning I opened up my Timehop to a video from a past Beer and Hymns. The video caption read “Canticle of the Turning.” I quickly closed out of the app. I knew that if I watched the video, the tears would quickly begin rolling down my cheeks. One of the most rousing renditions of this song happened at a brewery in Wisconsin after our friend Ben’s funeral. Our friend DJ played his guitar and all of our voices (voices of those who loved Ben) raised up. It’s a moment that I’ll never forget.
(If you are a fan of NCIS and haven’t watched this week, there is a slight spoiler alert here. So feel free to skip this paragraph.) On Tuesday, NCIS opens with one of the main characters, Nick stepping on a pair of sunglasses and breaking them. After stepping on his sunglasses, things spiral into a poor interrogation of a witness, a bar fight and an arrest. The rest of the team are trying to figure out what the deal is. Toward the end of the show, Nick is sitting on the front porch steps of one of his fellow agents. She asks him whats wrong. He tells her that these sunglasses were a gift from the friend who died. And now both this gift and his friend are gone forever.
The day after our dear family friends funeral, I came to church and one of the songs for the day was the song “Jesus Loves Me.” We had just sung that hymn at Jims funeral the day before. The picture of his wife and four children singing this beloved hymn along with the gathered community was still fresh in my mind. Another reminder of how grief pops up in the most unexpected ways but thats grief.
My friend Lindy captured grief so well. She wrote these words on Instagram the other day, “Grief is a broken pair of sunglasses, a song in church, a photo, a date, a memory, a dime found in the parking lot. Grief is not just about someone who has died. It’s about something that is dying or changing. It’s about a relationship ending, a season of life changing, someone leaving. It doesn’t have to only be a sad change either.”
A year ago, this long season of loss and grief began. Every memory is a memory of the loss of the last year. There is the anniversary of Maggie and Justin’s deaths along with the anniversary of their funerals. This week has been filled with grief once again. On Sunday, Lindy shared how one of the hymns took her back to that brewery in Wisconsin. She writes, “Sunday was a hymn that brought back the heartbreak of our Ben. That is grief. It rolls and it’s like a wave and it surprises you. And that’s okay. That is OKAY!”
She is right! Grief has a way of knocking us over in the most unexpected ways. And then there are other times, we ride the waves of grief quietly. But most of the time, grief surprises us which is totally ok. It’s a part of the grieving process. And it also shows that we loved and were loved.
Linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup and Mary and Tell His Story!