Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A year ago...

A year ago, I was sitting at my kitchen table with a friend, drinking tea while we talked about how we would react if someone close to us died.  We had both been emotionally wounded, and had turned to God for healing, but still I wondered, would I be able to mourn?  Would I even cry?  Is my heart mended enough to break again?

Within a few weeks, I stood at the coffin of a sweet young man, a close friend of my husband's, the best man at our wedding, a soldier, a dad, a son, a brother, a friend, and a suicide victim.  I held the mother of his children in my arms and wept with her.  There were no words.

Six weeks later, I stood in a hospital room, holding my mother's hand, watching her face, longing for her to be alive and knowing that she was gone.  I kissed her and felt my heart break into pieces. Leaving that room, leaving her there was the most painful thing that I have ever done in my life.

I have been in mourning ever since that conversation at my table. The death of a relationship as I watched a loved one's spirit shrivel and die from anger, bitterness and unforgiveness.  The careful, loving walk beside friends suffering the loss of their mother.  Wanting to do something, anything, and knowing full well that there is nothing to be done.  Just listening and crying.

I have even had moments when God has brought to mind events, losses from the past, things that I had never properly mourned, pain buried and denied to resurface another day.

So, the questions of that day have been answered. Yes, I cried.  A lot.  In grocery stores, restaurants, church,  history classes, and in my room, late at night when memories linger in the quiet darkness.  I have doubled over with pain so sharp it was physical.  I have thrown myself facedown on my bed and howled.  I have retreated to bathrooms, to my car, to my room to cry. 

Yes, my heart was healed enough to break.  The wonderful thing about God's healing touch is that He leaves the scars.  Wonderful?  How can that be wonderful?  The scars are beauty marks, the sign that we have been wounded, that we are healed, that we remember, and that our hearts are soft and sensitive to the pain of others.  Under God's care, I break, but I am never broken.  Joy comes in the morning.  And in the mourning.  Yes, laughter sometimes leads to more tears, but there is a sweetness in having had such amazing people in my life that their loss hurts so much.  I mourn because I have been blessed.  I mourn because I have loved. 

I would have it no other way.

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