When Grief Teaches
He stands in the aisle of the Bi-Lo with his cart carrying sparse objects.
His smile beams, but behind it I know his pain.
We haven’t crossed paths in over a year, but his grief is raw and my grief stands alongside. Pain creeps into my stomach and it aches for him and with him. But how could I dare to know of his broken heart. How small all I have to offer up seems. Where does my heart go in the aisle of the grocery with this Daddy who has lost a son.
It goes to a place of asking and listening. And to a place of offering consolation. And of learning a lesson on life and living.
He describes his grief to me. He doesn’t cry every day. How it will always hurt. How he sees his son in the shadows of his younger, still -living son. And how he looks to see and finds his son in his younger child when he stands in just the right way.
And a part of me wants to push on act hurried. But I am not. I have life and this moment.
And he finds joy in the telling of a full life with his son. Music in his home brings life notes. Sports and activities represent life pressing on.
I have much to learn about life. And I have something to learn behind my heavy metal cart.
He shares that he had to delete most of his sons friends from social media. It got to be too hard he explains. And my mind races to what that world tells of life. Teenage phraseology. Teenage rank order of life’s priorities. Teenage whining and complaining not unlike my own. Not unlike my own.
Its been three years.
But the pain of listening to those that have life complain….. Well it got too hard.
And I tell him, I understand.
What life we are given. What abundant life we have.
A lesson learned in the dairy aisle from a grieving man. To hold on and hold tight and to cherish all that we’re given all that we have.
Later I share the story with my daughter. And she goes to that lense of life. The one of hurting Daddy viewing Facebook. The comments that lay out there. And she pauses and imagines his pain.
What a teacher Grief can be.
And I dont want any of it lost on me.
But how often does my heavenly Father who offered his son so I could have abundant life, hear my complaints of minor disappointment. My words of minor inconvenience. How painful it must be for him to hear my utterances of wanting more or wanting different.
Lord, rest the eyes of my heart on your gifts today. And all God’s people say amen.
Sent from my iPad