“Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his duty”. —ELIE WIESEL
“The death of a beloved is an amputation.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
On the day of my husband's car accident, it had taken a couple of hours before news I received the news. After hearing the news that he "had been killed" (and finding out later it was within a few moments after I leaving the house), when I was able to move from my chair that I had sat in for hours, I turned all sounds off except “worship” music; it was the only thing I could "stomach" to hear. And I had that going in every room. I instantly intuitively understood, I would face times when I had no hope, and "no language – but a cry."
I felt like I was embarking on an epic battle such as those told of the ancient arenas of the infamous gladiator battles – bloody, brutal, and downright "nasty." And this fight I was just assigned, would be such a battle, though not with brawn; but a spiritual and emotional onslaught. And for me, this too, would be a fight to the death – MY adversary – was playing for keeps.
And, from that moment on, listening to anything else just felt like noise to me anyway. If I longed for a brief exchange of something other than "worship" music, it was old classic “Shirley Temple” movies, on which the volume was played on low for weeks on end, twenty-four hours per day because I had to have some noise continuously going for over a year before I could endure total silence. Silence, for me was unbearable! I felt as if I would have literally "passed out" if there was no noise going to counter my chaotic thoughts.
In the early weeks of grief, I could barely breathe, and emotional strained, I wasn’t up for long periods of reading. Strenuous reading can be taxing to an already embattled soul; however, in reaching for something to sustain me, I would flip through books with titles about "grief" or "loss". Though I could only allow myself momentary glimpses of passages in books, if I found a "nugget of truth" or an inspirational thought that "spoke to" or "softened" my heart to help me breathe, I then I closed the book to allow the power of the words to permeate my soul.
I also tried support groups. The first time was two weeks after his death (almost three years later – saying that still sounds strange for my ears to hear myself –"admit"); however, for me, the support group at that time was too soon. I sadly felt thoroughly out of place and lost. It may have been because that particular group was a mixture of people who were further in their journey – they were in "acceptance" and "moving on". However, I was utterly empty and completely lost; and just trying to comprehend the sudden, gut-wrenching blow to my heart.
But, I recognized, I would still need to find some support for the uncharted dark days ahead of me.
Providentially, it turned out that I would surprisingly find my help and increased strength in the unimaginable, unpretentious power of –"words." Heart-warming words I felt came from the auspices of The Father above, whether in oratory or written form.
Sometimes, it was the empathetic words of others who had faced my journey; inspirational words from Gods precious scriptures; or, moving words from songs that encouraged my soul. In time they were like a fortress surrounding and washing my spirit, giving me unforeseen hope and renewed strength.
Although you hate that someone else ever has or is enduring that kind of suffering, nevertheless on a small level somehow can still be comforted by the unity of this albeit heartbreaking – brotherhood in which you feel emotionally or spiritually connected; even without personally knowing them. Oh, how powerful it is for someone to “feel" YOU – that camaraderie of the empathetic,"shared" knowledge of someone understanding –Your Pain.
So now, I am compelled to share my words and the words of those that graciously blessed my soul with the desire that in them, for someone else whose grieving, they too will also find a level of strength, hope, or comfort. . . for their arduous Journey . . .
“Blessed [refreshed by God’s grace] are they that mourn for they shall be comforted” . . . Matthew 5:4 (AMP).
I will also share such aides in the form of: A Prayer that inspired; Poetry that uplifted; Maxims that provoked hope; A Song whose lyrics "screamed" understanding and empathy to my pain; and Excerpts from "professionals" in the field of surviving loss; but, who could also personally and not just clinically – understand the psychosis of loss.
Moreover, I will disclose even my deeply personal, intimate poems; I will also confess my poignantly “open” and at times, brutally honest accounts of my struggle, and if helps at least one soul to have courage, and to stay in the fight; then, my painful journey would have been worth – some measure of good.
Therefore, any form of expressions that I came upon that greatly touched my spirit and was a source of comfort if it lessens a measure of pain for you who are alone, lost and hurting, if only for a brief moment – then, that is another moment –YOU, "SurViVed!"
“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world—the company of those who have known suffering.” — Helen Keller
Therefore, it is my heart-felt prayer that In the darkest hours, you will hold on to faith in His promise that He is always near and dare to trust Him when He declares – “and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20 (KJV)