love that has nowhere to go

Several months ago, someone shared with a card that said, "Grief is love with nowhere to go." As I've thought of that over and over again, I believe it is entirely true. Grief is not just sadness or depression. It's a constant presence of dark despair. It's a feeling of wanting to speak to or hold someone who just isn't there, and there seems no possible way to alleviate it in any other way. It leads to disturbing impulses like to dig up my baby's grave so that I can hold him again, or long for death so I can be with him again. The love needs a place to go.

Another thing I have thought about often is "For me, to live is Christ." I heard this on a song on the radio one day and didn't understand what it meant. I came home and googled the phrase - it's from Philippians - where Paul is writing and telling people that whether he lives or dies, Christ is glorified. He says (I am paraphrasing) that he would prefer to die because he'd be with Christ which is best for him, but he understands that to go on living is what he should do because that is more beneficial to those around him, those who depend on him. For him, to live is the Christ-like act.

Our family has been fortunate to be surrounded by so many friends and family members pouring out Christ-like love and service this year. I have lost count of the acts of kindness, the cards, the meals, the babysitting, the times friends did things for me that I literally could not do for myself.

One friend's acts stand out to me, not because they were more than others but just because of the way they stick in my mind.
When she heard that our son had died, she came over unannounced, with flowers, and cried with me.
When she heard that my sister had died, she came over unannounced, with flowers, and cried with  me, again.
For her, to live is Christ. She lives as Christ would if he were here with us.

If grief is love with nowhere to go, the only way through (not over; you are never over grief) my grief is to find places for my love to go. The best way I know to do that is live as Christ, to try and do what he would do, say what he would say, be where he would be. Even when doing or saying those things is hard, even when being somewhere is hard.

So it's not a new year's resolution. It's a desire to be a better person, and not wholly altruistic either - I hope that as living is Christ, my love will find somewhere to go, and the pain will become less intense.

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