The tears are sitting on the surface. I can feel them welling up in my eyes. But today, I don’t want them to come. I would much rather they stay hidden from the rest of the world. But then reality sets in. I think back over the last year and begin to list all the grief I have experienced: the end of a call, the deaths of several friends (Justin, Ben, and Rachel). No wonder the tears come so easily these days.
Walking into the sanctuary, several of us grab each other’s hands. It is a moment that just feels right. Hand holding sometimes is just the comfort we need. I am reminded of a picture my friend AR shared of her two beautiful girls. The two little girls holding hands. They had held hands to cross the street and simply forgot to let go. How often do we forget to let go too? The truth is that sometimes hand holding feels just right. The grasp of someone else’s hand in your own; the touch of a friend’s hand on your back as the tears are so heavy and you feel you cannot catch your breath. It is these simple moments that continually remind us of the beauty of the body of Christ God places in our lives.
In the midst of my own tears, I stand in the sanctuary as we say goodbye to our friend Rachel. Slowly the line moves until we reach Rachel’s casket. Several of us look at each other and one of my friends says, “I think we should do this together.” So several of us crowd around Rachel’s casket; the tears leaking from our eyes as we get ready to say goodbye and celebrate the light she is. My arms are linked around the three friends in front of me. I don’t want to let them go.
Grief is something that can often paralyze us. It comes in huge waves or it gently finds its way into our heart and soul. I sit here in my grief and I want to move on. But I am not sure I can. There has been so many hard days this past year. There has been way too much death. I am not sure my heart can take anymore. I find myself clinging tightly to the promise of the resurrection. “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there.” (Clarence W. Hall)
The truth is that Easter will not put death in the grave forever. But that is hard to trust in when the dirt is still wet from burying another friend; when another friend is burying her second child in four months; when my own faith is shaken; when it continually feels like we are walking through Lent; days after Easter and the Resurrection.
Yes, the tears are sitting here on the surface; tears that have no place to go; tears that tell the story of so many who love and are loved; tears that are holy as they remind us again and again that we are not alone.
“Tears. I’ve learned is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of our eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hallow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” (Jamie Anderson)
So today, I am not letting go either. I will hold onto the hand of whoever will let me grab onto it; hopefully my friends and family. For as we hold on, I know that God is with us in these hard days of grief.
…..The tears are beginning to fall!
Linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Mary and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Porch Stories.