Pain is the most individualizing thing on earth. It is true that it is the great common bond as well, but that realization comes only when it is over. To suffer is to be alone. To watch another suffer is to know the barrier that shuts each of us away by himself. Only individuals can suffer.Edith Hamilton
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”Psalm 13:2
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).Matthew 27:46
In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.Aeschylus from Agamemnon
Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.Jesus quoted in Matthew 5:4
I’m anticipating venturing into unknown territory. Thankfully Christ came, died and rose from the dead, and in doing so leads us out of death into a new kind of life. But the reality of living this Christian life is that I live it in community; dying is facing God alone. That can be a terrifying thought. If it isn’t, it should be. So, by looking at creation, particularly infinite creation (cosmos), I’m looking at the character, in part, of the Creator. And I am comforted by what I’m seeing.Dona Eley: The Universe, God, and Cancer
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.Psalm 13:5-6
It has been three weeks since Dona died, my constant companion for 43 years. No one said it would be easy to endure this loss, I didn’t expect it to be easy, and it isn’t easy. But I am comforted and lifted up by memories; memories of how she breathed life into me over and over again. I am thankful as I think of her unfailing belief in her creator and savior. It was infectious.
And, of course, I am comforted by the support and concern of family and friends. I am thankful for their memories of Dona. Two days ago, I got a text from a friend:
“I’m acutely missing Dona today. There’s something I really want to talk to her about — she would have been my first call:)”
She went on to add:
“I’m sure you’re madly missing her!!”
Yes, I am madly missing her, but that acknowledgement of my loss somehow lifts my spirits.
Grief and loneliness joined with thanksgiving and comfort.
So, we move forward with the knowledge that those that mourn are somehow and someway blessed and will be comforted. Thank God.