Friday, May 23, 2014

The dance of grief

I stumbled upon Karen Ehman's blog post last Sunday evening titled, "What Candace Cameron Bure’s Waltz Teaches Us About God." The title intrigued me, so I read the post and thought about how much living with grief is like dancing a waltz. This dance of grief is so tricky, so complicated. Grief commandeers as lead partner after loss and is an unrelenting instructor. Try as I might to keep up with the dance lessons of grief, I continue to falter, to lose my step, and to stumble.

It's unlike the beginning of the journey, however, when grief was as an ocean, a tsunami that obliterated those in it's path. Over two and a half years ago, I was swept violently away without warning, but by God's grace, my frantic flailing while drowning cast me onto the Rock of my salvation. God, and His word, was the foundation, the Rock, upon which I stood. He continued to remind me of how very much He loved me. He repeatedly whispered His precious promises to me.

Over the last several weeks, I have longed to be reminded of them again, especially as I tread into new territory with our second oldest. I struggle, not only with the bitter-sweetness of experiencing things with her that I did with her brother, but with the bitter-sweetness of experiencing things with her that I don't, and will never, get to do with Matt.

It's made me grieve yet more this week, thinking of these things; the ache of missing my son has flared painfully. Additionally, three times this week I also saw two boys that looked so much like Matt it made me catch my breath when I saw them. Even their body language, posture, and gestures were similar to Matt's. Both had a buzz haircut, wore dark-rimmed glasses, and sauntered the way he did. I found myself drinking in their appearance like a stranded woman dying of thirst in the desert. They were a younger version of Matt, but both had the same broad shoulders, and one of boys stood with his hands nonchalantly resting in his pants pockets just like Matt would do. I caught myself wondering if this was some sort of cruel trick God was playing on me, or if it was, indeed, a blessing, a gift to have a glimpse of sorts of Matt through these two boys. I'm still not sure. I just know that I hurt horribly, like grief had thrown me down onto the dance floor in a rapid turn of the tango.

I desperately needed to hear God whispering to me, reminding me of His great love, to encourage me and spur me on. I needed Him to tell me to stop looking at what I've lost and, instead, to keep looking to Him. I needed Him to pick me up off the dance floor and lead the way. I don't want to dance with grief. I want to dance with my Father. He is, after all, the Only One in whose hands I am secure and unconditionally loved.   

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