Today’s post is in honor of my dear publisher Gary Lindberg whose beloved son Brendan passed away suddenly this Sunday.
It comes as a phone call, a text, or even an email sharing the unexpected news of a sudden and unbelievable loss. Your jaw drops; the air is drawn from your body, and your heart suddenly aches. Someone dear to you has passed onto the next world unexpectedly. For me, I can feel my body and entire being falls to the floor. It is a collapsing filled with a heaviness that is beyond words. I draw my hands to my head to hold it up and then as the news saturates my being, the tears begin to form and fall my face. I am trying to process this sudden news at an intellectual level while my emotions start to swing into a full response. I can feel my heart breaking with sadness.
When a loss happens in this manner, I wish the world would stand still for just one moment. Just long enough so we can fully honor the person who is no longer here. I think that is one of the most surprising and even one of the most humbling things with death; that life keeps going on without our loved one. How is this possible? The feelings are bubbling, the questions are looming, and my need to make sense out of the seemingly senseless are both in play and fighting for my internal attention. But still amidst all these emotions and thoughts I can feel my heart melting with sadness.
Intuitively I know that I am entering a club I don’t want to be a part of again, grief. It is thick, hard and exhausting work. Grief will steal my sleep. Pain will take my appetite. Grief will try to build upon and amplify my previous losses especially those that I have not done the good work of finding resolution and peace. Grief will demand my full attention trying to lay claim to my heart, mind, and soul. Pain will take it all if I marinate in it long enough. I work to remind myself that grief is a process; grief is not a destination but a part of life’s journey. I resolve not to stay in a mourning state. No, I commit to pulling myself through this heartbreaking sadness.
I ask myself if I will ever find the love of the one who lost to me so that I have the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Will I have the courage to be truly open so I can fully feel the loss? Will I be open to the love and support that my family and friends will inevitably share? Will I be able to lift up my head and my heart from this amazingly dense and thick blanket of grief? Will I be reminded of the promise that is available to everyone? Will I trust in the belief that we have a Creator who loves us like crazy? I believe that this Creator keeps his promise that He conquered death. Will I go to him as I feel my heart fill with sadness?
As I take a deep breath and am thankful for that breath, I find the strength to take another breath and realize that yes I will find it within me to walk through this heartbreaking sadness. Yes, I can do this knowing and trust in the gift that is open to everyone. Even though my heart may feel broken, in the end, I know that my hope is to one day say goodbye to this earth and go to be with God. That is where I hope to find my loved ones once again. While they will be apart from me for what may seem like an eternity, in God’s book of life, it may only be the opening page of a long and beautiful book. I breathe again and feel my heart and soul begin to mend. With God’s help, I will do my best to walk through heartbreaking sadness.