I wrote this not long after I lost Edwina
Grief is a complex emotion and in trying to achieve a better understanding I had the thought that it is a journey that starts with the loss of a loved one and I have likened the journey to that of a river.
The immediate impact of bereavement is huge. This made me think of a waterfall that feeds the river. It is powerful and at the foot of the waterfall where the river starts there are many strong currents, eddies, a maelstrom. It is in a deep narrow ravine where no sunlight penetrates. It is a dark, desolate and sad place. That is us at the start of the grieving process. We feel we are drowning in emotion, being torn by events. We flounder about trying to find some stability. The river carries us through rapids, through very rough water and then suddenly the river relents and allows us a period of calm. We emerge battered and bruised but the brief respite gives us a little hope. Then something triggers a new wave of grief and into the rapids we go until we find the next respite of calm. As the river flows the periods of calm slowly become longer. The river is slowly becoming wider and light penetrates the darkness. There are still rapids to get through but each period of calm strengthens us and our ability to cope increases. And so the journey of grief, like the river flows onward ever widening as our perspective of our life widens beyond the boundaries that grief has erected. The river like us becomes calmer and as the river approaches the sea the estuary is ever wider and shallower. Sunlight is all around us. We stand in the shallow water our feet planted firmly in the sand. We look around and see the beauty of God’s Creation once more, and we move out of the shadowland of grief into the light of life. We remember with gladness and thanksgiving for the one we lost. Beautiful and warm memories abound of our life together and life goes on until Jesus calls us home and we are reunited with the one we lost.
I pray that anyone who has been bereaved this and who reads this will find some comfort in it. May your river of your life flow gently and with purpose.