When it comes rolling in, there is nowhere to go…nowhere to hide…no way to flee.
Tsunamis are waves generated by large earthquakes, underwater volcanic eruptions and even meteor impacts. (SurferToday)
It is said that they can travel as fast as a jet plane. As it begins to approach shore, the speed decreases, but the height increases.
Water in the Scriptures is often symbolic of emotions. The intense and devastating emotions are most definitely spurred on by an underwater volcano erupting in the depth of my soul. My heart quakes. At times, I physically tremble.
As I approach the 18th anniversary of my son’s demise, followed by my sister’s 2nd anniversary just one week later…not to mention my Mom’s at Easter…I find myself sinking deeper and deeper into the mire. Every year is different. For whatever reasons, this one is hell. It is tearing apart every fiber of my being. Tears just flow suddenly down my cheeks. I’m not speaking here of just some dribbles. This is full force, pipe busted, gushing.
My son will soon be dead as long as he lived. Forever 20.
I don’t know why some years are not that rough, while others are overwhelming… other circumstances, perhaps. Nor does it really matter; I can only take one at a time. I can only deal with one at a time. Perhaps, now that my sister is gone, too…this knotted up ball of yarn is simply unravel-able. It’s an unrelenting wrangler simply not worth my time and energy. It is what it is.
I’m not depressed; I’m still functioning, though barely. I am, however, exhausted. The sadness is so deep. I fear the corners of my mouth will be permanently fixed downward, never to rise again in the shape of a smile.
I have shared in a previous article about a near drowning experience I once had in which I tumbled repeatedly under a waterfall. Some time before that one, I had experienced another. My husband and I had taken off in a van and spent one month driving up the beaches of the East Coast. Daily, we went body-surfing. We slept in the van and cooked on a little stove out of the back of the van. In those days, 1971, such things were allowed. Folks who had outdoor showers in their backyards mostly used to wash off the sand, graciously allowed us to use them to bathe. On one particular day, the sea began to get a bit rough. At 1st, the higher and stronger waves were wonderful to surf. The speed at which we traveled was exhilarating. But the last wave I road that day was different from the rest. As I began to approach the shore, it overpowered me…a 2nd wave on the heels of the 1st forced me down under. It ‘shoved’ me along the sandy floor for some distance ripping open a small section of my skin on my abdomen in the process. There was no way of determining if I would once again surface and come up for air. However, eventually I did, only to then be confronted with the undertow. As I looked up, toward those on the beach, I saw an ambulance arrive to take away another woman. Shortly thereafter, they closed the beach.
The physical visible scars lasted nearly 2 decades; the emotional scarring still exists.
The fear of going out again into the sea at the next beach we arrived at the following day, I had not experienced ever before. Nor had I before ever had any fear of the sea. This experience, however, changed my course. I now had a healthy respect for its power. I now knew the sea differently. My perspective that day had been forever altered.
And so it is with deep grief.
I’ve heard said: ‘The deeper the love, the deeper the grief’. I don’t like that statement. It implies that those who seem to skate upon the waters of grief did not love as deeply. Although it is possible that is true, in most cases it is not. We just all grieve differently. One is not a failure or a champion because of how grief manifests itself in one’s life. Neither is one more or less caring and loving because of how long one grieves. Grief is not a game of competition. It is unwise to make such comparisons.
2 Corinthians 10:
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Yet, I have sadly seen such comparisons occur frequently.
I have actually come to believe that God has a purpose in some grieving longer and more fiercely than others. Some have been used in ministries to help comfort others and have only been able to do so because they still grieve after many years. Others have been used in ministries which enable still others to grow in Faith by finding a ‘calm’ in their grief…even a plateau of joy.
In John 21, dear Peter questioned our Lord about John: 21 ‘Peter therefore seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.’ This is similar to healings and how when prayed for, some receive a healing while others do not. Joni Eareckson Tada comes to mind. Her ‘lack of’ healing has born so so much fruit in the lives of others. While someone like Kathryn Kuhlman had a huge ministry as a result of the healing she did receive.
The only thing that matters is whether or not we are following our Lord. Whether our thorn is removed or not is of little consequence. God does not love one more than another. He does not show partiality:
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Yes, I do believe, Peter took Jesus’ words to heart that day in John 21. Hopefully, we shall do likewise.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/2017/03/the-pain-of-holidays-after-the-loss-of-loved-ones/
Please help spread the word…TY!!! (((HUGS)))