I haven’t written in awhile and I thought maybe I’d share some thoughts on grief since that is the season I’m in right now.
But, before we dive in, I just want to say that I hope everyone had a very special Easter (for those of you that celebrate it).
I discovered this year, that I celebrated it or really rather commemorated it more than I ever have before.
I haven’t been to a communion service on Maundy Thursday and taken communion as if we were in that very room with Jesus, but I did this year (virtually) with my former Pastor who had a lovely service in his backyard, just he and his family practicing social distancing.
I felt the magnitude of every word, every action that Jesus took that night like never before.
And on Friday, I attended two services online (again my former Pastor at his home) and the church I attend regularly online). Both were meaningful and moving.
I spent some time Saturday actually contemplating how Jesus’ disciples felt knowing their teacher/rabbi/friend was dead. I could empathize since I am in a season of grief myself.
And Sunday, glorious Sunday! I got up early, like I have done for the past 25 years, to celebrate Easter Sunrise Service, but this time, I was alone, sitting on the bank of the lake in my backyard which faces east.
I had a quite time with God and enjoyed the beautiful sky-show unfolding before me.
And then, again, I attended 3 online services and watched Andrea Boccelli belt out Amazing Grace from Italy–THAT was a moving performance.
Okay, onward to my thoughts on grief and the grief process.
One day, while I was sitting in my backyard and looking at this tree (the one pictured at the very beginning of this post), I saw the sun shining through it and it nearly took my breath away.
That tree has been in my yard since I moved in 25 years ago. It was smaller then, but still good size.
It has taken a beating with many limbs falling off of it due to hurricanes or strong wind storms or from my husband taking off the low ones because we were bumping our heads on them.
The tree caught my attention like never before and I found my eyes being drawn to the knots on it. I contemplated them. I had heard it said that knots never get any higher on the tree. Where the limb comes off, is where the knot stays.
Trees apparently don’t grow up in the way one might think. They grow from the tops or the ends of branches. The trunk itself doesn’t continue to move up as it grows.
So, when there is damage to the tree like a branch being removed, the tree heals around it.
Then, it struck me, that’s how grief feels.
You weather a storm and some damage has occured. You have lost something; something of value.
But, that wound doesn’t go with you into your new growth. It stays behind, right where it happened.
You heal around it and it leaves a knot. Something quite visible to yourself and others.
But, you still grow.
In fact, you are stronger there than before because have you ever tried to saw through a knot on a tree? Yes, it’s hard.
I don’t know what’s happening inside the tree. I can’t see what it’s doing in there, but my guess is, there’s healing going on in there as well. Maybe a new pathway around where the wound was to bring sap up to the higher branches.
That’s how grief feels. You’re creating new pathways, new ways to navigate life on the inside where no one sees.
Life will never be the same for that tree where that limb was–no birds will nest in it there; no squirrels will scamper across it; no leaves will sprout and die and fall off.
No, it’s a different tree now. It has sustained loss.
But, it’s still a tree. It still has opportunity for good things to happen in the other branches. It still has life, a life that needs to be and will most definitely be lived.
But, the scar, the memory will always remain.
And that is how grief is like a knot in a tree.
Thank you for reading my blog today and every day and sharing it with others. I truly enjoy this blogging community. So many wonderful people all over the world. It’s great we get to connect here. It almost feels like a secret society because when I talk about blogging with my friends and family, they just look at me like they don’t understand. LOL
Have a wonderful day! I love you!