If suddenly you do not exist,
if suddenly you no longer live,
I shall live on.
I do not dare,
I do not dare to write it,
if you die.
I shall live on.
For where a man has no voice,
there, my voice.
Where blacks are beaten,
I cannot be dead.
When my brothers go to prison
I shall go with them.
not my victory,
but the great victory comes,
even though I am mute I must speak;
I shall see it come even
though I am blind.
No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but
I shall stay alive,
because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,
and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man
but all mankind.
I stare at the pile of discarded remnants and think of my mother. Did she touch that pillar there? Does her scent still linger in a fragment of glass or a splinter of wood? A terrible emptiness settles into my chest. No matter how much I go about living, there are always small reminders that make the loss fresh again.
Father, be near as we are surrounded by this cloud of deep suffering. Open our eyes to see that you are all things, the light and the darkness, not only those things that seem good in our eyes, but the horrifying unexplainable. Wrap us up inside of the cloud and reveal the mysteries that can only be learned in places of sorrow, that when we walk out we will be as Moses, transformed by the shadow and beaming with the radiant light of your glory. Give us the strength to love on, though our hearts are broken.
You shall find it greatly mitigates the sorrow of bereavements, if before bereavement you shall have learned to surrender every day all the things which are dearest to you into the keeping of your gracious God.
I felt like I was being carried over the threshold of a sisterhood of loss. I knew I was not walking alone, and that eventually I would bob back up to the surface of the deep, because the women around me showed me what healing looks like.
There is an hour, a minute - you will remember it forever - when you know instinctively on the basis of the most inconsequential evidence, that something is wrong. You don't know - can't know - that it is the first of a series of "wrongful" events that will culminate in the utter devastation of your life as you have known it.
The God I serve is able to save us both. To give us the winning lottery ticket so all our money problems will go away. To mend our broken hearts. To bring us close to those we love. He is able. He is able. He is able.
But even if He doesn’t, do not bow to bitterness. Do not fall down onto your broken pieces and let them cut you to ribbons. Even if He doesn’t do all that He is able to do, all that we wish He would do, He is good.
In this sad world of ours sorrow comes to all and it often comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible except with time. You cannot now believe that you will ever feel better. But this is not true. You are sure to be happy again. Knowing this, truly believing it will make you less miserable now. I have had enough experience to make this statement.
Holding the knife with the blade against my palm, it became so clear how my life would only contain shadows now. Shadows of things gone; not just the people themselves but everything connected to them. Was this my future? Every moment, every tiny thing I saw and did and touched, weighted by loss. Every space in this house and
my town and the world in general, empty in a way that could never be filled.
You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.