Sunday, October 26, 2008

Anxious Observer

At my aunt's memorial service on Saturday I could not help but watch my uncle and cousins the entire time. I observed anxiously, trying to read them. I recognized in their faces the intensity of their pain. Their body language exposed their grief. I empathized with their brokenness in some ways but not in others. It is hard to watch people you love hurting so profoundly, especially when my own pain is still so fresh. I know how unbearable it really is. I worry for them.

I prayed today for them and for every person in the world that is grieving, has grieved, and will grieve the loss of some one they love. Watching others grieve stirs up so much of my own grief it almost makes me sick. I feel scared and sad for others who are experiencing such pain. I watch helplessly as they uniquely endure their loss. I feel anxious because I know how hard and lonely this journey is. And it is lonely. So unbelievably lonely. I hurt for them as I myself hurt.

I know how devastating losing Aubrey and Ellie has been for me and I can only assume that other kinds of loss, although not identical to mine, are just as devastating. My uncle asked me how long the pain lasts. I couldn't really answer him. I told him that his loss is different than mine and that he is different than me, but for me it has not yet ended, that it will take a while. He thanked me for being honest but I could tell he was not encouraged. I too wish the pain would pass more quickly, but it doesn't. It takes a lot of time, too much time in my opinion.

I know that God will help them through their grief just as He is helping me through mine. I know that God will carry them just as He has carried me. But it will still be hard for them just as it is hard for me. They will have many hard days and tear-filled nights. I still have many of those ahead of me. I can only watch anxiously and pray for God's comfort for all of us. He has enough for all of us thankfully. Even when we feel like enough does not exist.

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