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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Local Cloud Cover

*Image credit:

After getting through the first month of grieving, I sort of assumed the worst of the grief was behind us... and I guess in some aspects it was. We made it through our good-byes in the hospital, we made it through picking out a casket, we made it through buying a plot at the cemetery, we made it through the Memorial and Graveside services, we made it through the absense of our family members after everything was over. Those first weeks were definitely filled with some difficult tasks.

I guess what I didn't account for was making it through some of the days ahead when there would be less numbness and when reality would haunt me with its starkness. I shouldn't have been surprised when I had some recent days of completely overwhelming grief, which came with a heaviness that I never would have imagined. 

I usually don't talk much about those moments, but I have them. I allow myself to go through them. I try to go through them in a healthy way. I try to come out of those moments with something more than what I had going into them. More strength, more faith, more assurance of God's power to rescue. 

I don't know if my pleadings have gotten more sincere, or maybe heaven already knows how desperately I need help right now... whatever the cause, the result has been unmistakable. Heaven answers immediately. The pain doesn't leave, but at least there is a strong sense of being surrounded by unseen arms who are anxious to comfort me.

In those darkest of my "midnight moments" I have felt a love and calm so strong it could only come from heaven. I really appreciate those moments of calm because they remind me that the storm is temporary. I may have a few stormy days here and there, and while they seem like they'll never end or I'll never make it through, there always has been an end (or at least a break, long enough to catch my breath) and I've always made it through. 

Lately I've found a lot of comfort in the words of Neal A. Maxwell, having experienced his own terrible suffering and pain from leukemia. I appreciate this reminder from him:

“I share with you again a simple little insight that may help you at certain junctures in your lives. It is that you must not mistake passing local cloud cover for general darkness. They are very different things, and for us to misinterpret local cloud cover, which will soon be blown away, as general darkness is a terrible thing. The restored gospel is so full metaphorically of light. We must not be mistaken about this.”

I feel so grateful for the perspective of the low moments of grief just being "local cloud cover." As much as those moments aren't fun, they really are "just a small moment." Plus, because of the light of the gospel, this experience has allowed us to experience things that have deepened our understanding and given us a clearer glimpse of the love and sacrifice of the Savior. With that glimpse comes a much deeper gratitude for His many gifts and blessings. There are so many ways our life has been abundantly blessed, even while in the midst of this experience... it just becomes a matter of remembering and being aware of the blessings....


Familia Fowler said...

Blowing some sunshine your way...We love you guys

Jamie said...

Just thinking about you guys. You have been in my prayers for months. And just the other day I was on the phone to Jason and he goes, "Hey, what is Megan McKell's last name now? And what is her husband's name?" I told him the answers and he goes, "Mary and I have been praying for them for months...but we didn't know the right names." I thought it was sweet. You never know who is praying for you!

Mindy said...

It's too easy to confuse a local cloud with darkness. :) And I love how you credit the photos you use. That is so fantastic.

Amy said...

It seems like the months after could be the hardest--when the cards and the flowers and the all-on support gets to be less and less.
I'm thinking about you.

On a totally unrelated note, I had a dream last night that I was eating dinner at your parents house. And they were super fancy and liked everyone to wear black-tie to dinner every night. But I was wearing a towel. What the heck?