My friend Silas Shotwell does a newsletter about his ministry work. His October newsletter was a reflection on the loss of his wife 15 years earlier and some other losses in his life and the resulting grief. Late in the writing, he says the following:
… and deep-seated grief is the result. I have love, with no place for it to go.
But now back to what I said earlier.
The best way to deal with grief is to give love some place to go! … So I would say to any of you that are suffering loss, and struggling with grief: Love with word, with deed, and with action.
Love others so fiercely that your love is spent, so your chests are no longer hollow, and the lump in your throat hurts a little less.
Love those around you that are hurting most, who have lost the most, and then love them even harder.
Because the truth about grief is that it never leaves!
It lasts as long as love lasts—forever.
Kathy Parker says: “May love become light in the darkness of your grief.”
That means a lot to me.
So I say, along with her: “My love, thoughts, and prayers are with those at this time, who have suffered a loss beyond comprehension. I don’t understand, I will never understand. But I know our hearts unite in love for those who have lost so much. May you know that you are not alone!”
Very well said and worth some reflection.
I hope you and yours are well.
Found out last week that my Ph.D. advisor back when I was at OSU died in August and that his memorial service was today. I’d not seen him since graduation as my Ph.D. process was one of those troubled stories and when I finished, I drove out of town and didn’t look back for a decade. I had tried to contact him a couple of times via email, but he never replied and I was never sure if I had the correct email address. Learning of his passing was a bit sobering. I changed my plans today and went to his memorial service.
He was a delight to work with and from the service today, he was a wonderful person. I’m very sorry that I hadn’t connected with him.
This plus other things recently have magnified the shortness of life. Time flies by. Some get sick and face months or years of health battles while others age and in some cases, age poorly.
My high school is planning a big high school reunion next year and I’ve not seen any of these people in years. One of our number has a spreadsheet of class members who have died!
This is where my head is today:
- Love those you can.
- Be kind.
- Enjoy the days.
- Run! ( or swim, or lift, or play, or move)
- Be a good friend.
- Don’t worry about what others think.
- Find your anchor points and hold tight.
- Enjoy the dogs and cats.
- Give all you can to those around you.
- Let your friends and family know you love them.
- You can’t take any of it with you when you die.
- Always go to the wedding. Always go to the funeral.
- Do the best you can and then let it go at night and sleep well.
- Start over again tomorrow.
I hope you know you are loved. I hope you have a great day.