The Rainbow of Grief

I keep thinking about the colors of a Rainbow. Rainbows always seem to spark a bit of Hope in my heart. I know that in some areas, such as Ireland, it is not uncommon to see two, even three, rainbows appear in the Heavens. I, however, have only seen two appear simultaneously on one occasion. It was such a novelty in my area, that traffic came to a halt as folks stepped out of their cars to admire this magnificent site. It truly was beautiful. A sense of calm and ‘awesomeness’ embraced the spectators. People could not help but smile after their initial astonishment began to fade. Their faces glowed as if every person in the crowd felt personally blessed.

A few days ago, I fumbled around to make a little ‘meme’ that stated: ‘When it’s raining, but the sun is shining, we see rainbows’. It was such a simple thought, yet I knew I had to go deeper with it. On the ‘meme’, I also commented: ‘When a memory brings a smile in the midst of tears.’. I thought about the old saying that a pot of gold lies at the end of the rainbow. I also thought of how God used a rainbow in Genesis 9:13 as a sign of His promise: “I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.” According to the Scriptures, rainbows also appear in Heaven. Revelation 10:1 says: “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.” What an awesome sight that must have been in the vision given to the Apostle John. Revelation 4:3 states: “And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.” It’s almost as if seeing a rainbow is giving us just a little peak into Heaven itself. Perhaps, that is the reason folks are in awe when they see one. It is believed that a “rainbow is a sign from the Almighty that we are not forgotten”. 

Before reading up a bit on rainbows, I discovered something new which I did not know,  that they are actually a full circle. We normally only view a half arc from our perspective. But in reality, there is no end to a rainbow. Religions and Mythologies have all differed somewhat as to their explanations of such a magnificent sight, yet all seem to relate them in some form to their gods. Wordsworth related a rainbow to the cycle of life:

Wordsworth’s 1802 poem “My Heart Leaps Up” begins:

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!…

When we begin our Grief Journey, Black is all we sometimes see. Darkness envelops us and most will wear black to the funeral. The hearse is also black. Black is the ‘color’ of the underworld; it is the absence of color (and is therefore not a color). This opposes white which is composed of all the colors of the spectrum. A rainbow is proof of this. Light is ‘white’. Yet, when we mix all the primary colors together, we get black. Now that has me scratching my head. So, I decided to look up the colors of a rainbow, of which there are seven visible predominant colors. They are:

  1. Blue
  2. Yellow
  3. Pink
  4. White
  5. Green
  6. Red
  7. Purple

To some degree or another, once we move away from black, we begin to embrace these different colors on our pathway through Grief. That prompted me to explore the significance of each color.

Blue is usually considered a cool and calming color. We love blue skies. Yet we often use the word: ‘blue’ to signify that we are very sad. Musically, I am very fond of the ‘Blues’. Somehow, listening to some good Blues music often leaves me feeling somewhat better. Perhaps, because doing so helps me to release the sadness.

Yellow is usually associated with cheeriness; the brighter, the cheerier. I don’t wear much yellow. However, when the sun is shining which we associate with the color yellow, it does help lighten the day conversely to a dark and gloomy day. Yellow is associated with energy. There are not many days in grief in which we feel very energetic.

Pink is often still associated with little girls. It signifies unconditional love and nurturing with a tad bit of silliness attached that often produces a smile. Pink is associated with caring and compassion. Pink is also associated with Hope that inspires feelings of warmth and comfort. It is the heat of red softened by the cooling of white’s gentleness.

White usually represents purity. It signifies something clean and bright as in white linen. It is Light which produces all the colors of the Rainbow. It is innocence, wholeness, completion. Revelation 19:8 states: “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of saints.” It is the ‘opposite’ of black. It is the color of perfection. It is the blank slate, waiting to be written upon. The color of snow. Isaiah 1:18b: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”.

Green is a relaxing color, it is the color that predominates in nature. It signifies life and Creation. We normally cannot think of a Garden without seeing the color green. It signifies growth. I used a lot of different shades of green when I painted my camp. The siding is green, as well. It is said to have healing powers. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that I purchased my little camp as a place of healing for myself and my three surviving children after my son’s demise. It is believed that green is a ‘balancer’; that it brings equilibrium between the head and the heart.

Red is often associated with heat, as well as, anger. It’s a robust color, often a favorite of many though I was personally always perplexed by that. I never was particularly fond of red, though I do love red roses. But even in roses, I prefer yellow and white ones which I have had in my garden. Because of the abundance of anger I have seen portrayed around me throughout my lifetime, I naturally back away a bit from this color. But ‘seeing red’ is often what many of us have done at some point along this grief journey. When I see ‘red’, I stop…as in a stop sign or red light. Red is the first visible color of the rainbow, and often the first we see in our grief.

Purple I love. As a child, my bedroom walls were painted in a soft purple to lilac color. I have lilac bushes in my yard at my camp. The scent of them in bloom soothes me. Purple is often associated with spirituality. Priests wear purple during Lent as a symbol of pain and suffering. It is seen as the color of passion. Some believe it promotes stability. Purple is the combination of blue and red and often is associated with royalty and nobility. They clothed Jesus in purple in mockery (Mark 15:17).

The great difference between those of the Lord’s who are covered in purple and those of Satan that are covered in purple is that the Lord clothed his own with purple, but the bride, kings, and people of Satan covered themselves with purple. – Denton

As we travel our grief journey, we embrace all of the colors of the rainbow in due season as we journey toward the White Light.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

(Everything Has Its Time)

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven


Image result for rainbow noah photo

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’:

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))






2 thoughts on “The Rainbow of Grief

  1. Purple is my favorite color too. Although, lately I’m attracted to the Teal color that is popular at the moment. I’m trying to think if color relates to my grief and I don’t think so. For me, grief is more of a horrible roller coaster ride that sometimes gets hit by a giant wave that washes over me, leaving me unable to breathe for a moment or two. Sometimes the roller coaster is at a high point and the waves don’t come high enough to take my breath away and other times it is at the bottom when the wave hits and it can take a few moments to move out of that low point. Oh, I remember though that I said I felt like there was a black cloud that would hang over me as long as I am on this planet. It is still up there, but higher and not as engulfing as in the beginning. I think our lives were divided on the day we lost our precious children. Life is before that day and after that day.

    Liked by 1 person

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