But, in fact, it is an intensely private experience, even for those of us who embrace grief counseling, grief groups and grief camps. They can help because there are commonalities to grief so, I, at least, found comfort in knowing I was not unique in the feeling of loosing my mind, my control, my path, my future. And I benefited by hearing ways others found comfort and some of those ideas were helpful for me.
But, when the night came, when others had a dad on father's day or a husband to share an anniversary dinner, when I wanted to talk with someone I trusted or ask about something from our shared past, there were no fast fixes and I knew, absolutely that this was a journey that is ultimately very individual.
So how did I get that rock off my chest, the scent of honeysuckle out of my nostrils, the taste of lemon meringue pie off my tongue, that memory laden tune out of my head?
I learned that God is faithful and that when Paul wrote in Romans 8:26, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words."* that he was not waxing eloquent, but that he was speaking the stark, bottom-line truth.
My sorrow was too great for words, but not too great for God to wrap arms around me, bear with me, give me permission to cry oceans of tears and be waiting with a comforting step forward when I came up for air. Over the years there have been more sorrows and more tears and never has God failed me.
And, slowly, slowly, I have developed a deep sense of gratitude that most of my sorrows would have vanished if I had been less blessed with people to love and to be loved by.
*Romans 8:26 (NRSV)