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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Being Still

There are many highs and lows that we've experienced over the last couple of months... the waves of grief have been at times overwhelmingly painful and stormy, with thrashings and torment at its worst. There are also waves of grief that come more quietly and calmly, like gradual swells of sorrow that seem to flood every corner of the heart. Though they are clearly different in their intensity, I consider both these kinds of moments "high tide."

As time has gone on and we've progressed down this pathway, we have experienced more and more moments of "low tide," where the sorrow is not as paralyzing, and dare I say, even at times unnoticeable. These are moments when peace and calm fill every corner of my heart, moments when sorrow is even temporarily forgotten.

It has been in those moments of stillness, when my heart is completely calm, that I feel a stronger closeness to heaven, and thus to my little girls. While our very brief moments with them were filled with a sense of peace and calm, even wonder and awe, they aren't what I would call a celebration. For that reason, the sting of separation leaves a hollowness that is often difficult to fill. 

I've found, though, that the task of filling that hollowness is not a job too difficult for the Comforter. With that said, I've learned that it is up to me to open my heart up and receive that comfort. There are certainly moments of grief that are necessary, that are important to feel and experience. But, the faster those high tide moments pass, and the faster I can return to my peaceful low tide moments... the stronger the connection I feel to my girls. 

There was a moment yesterday afternoon when I was watching a hummingbird from our kitchen window - I shifted a little to get a better glimpse, and with that slight movement the bird was gone. A few minutes later it came back, and as long as I was completely still, it lingered. They only come around when the environment is calm, when there is complete stillness.  

Being still, especially in my heart, provides beautiful and tender moments of calm and peace that envelope me with assurance that all is well, on both sides of the veil. I'm so grateful for the moments of calm that allow for such a strong feeling of closeness to heaven.

I've appreciated the way that C.S. Lewis described his feelings about this, shortly after the death of his wife: "After ten days of low-hung grey skies and motionless warm dampness, the sun was shining and there was a light breeze. And suddenly at the very moment when, so far, I mourned [Helen] least, I remembered her best. Indeed it was something (almost) better than memory; an instantaneous, unanswerable impression. To say it was like a meeting would be going too far. Yet there was that in it which tempts one to use those words. It was as if the lifting of the sorrow removed the barrier."

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I just love your well-written thoughts. I relate to them so well! Your quotes from "A Grief Observed" are just perfect--I've been reading the book, and I love that you include those.