I have lost those I have loved dearly to death. I have dreamed of being in their presence again. I have remembered times spent with them so vividly that all of my senses can recall the moment. And yet today, at the depths of my Phoenix Process, my Ring of Fire, my Valley…the funeral I am experiencing is for a relationship that is among the living.
The rituals experienced in deaths usually include a family crying and mourning for who and what is lost; a changed life from here forward. They receive friends, exchange memories of good times, split up the family heirlooms, and then try to get on with daily life the best they can. Late at night though, when sleep is elusive, the dark hallways of the house are explored. The weight of the emptiness is woefully heavy; a stark contrast of the love that once lived there. The pictures on the walls reflect a moment captured of a time where joy filtered through faces. Sooner or later, the cries come for God to take this pain away and replace it with the peace that passes all understanding, that he has promised. I ask myself how is this process today different from those funerals in my past? The pain of the finality? Yes, but also painful is looking into the eyes of someone very much alive, yet seeing someone you don’t quite recognize.
Many may find it weak to allow this kind of brevity regarding a change in a relationship. I think instead it is – at least in some ways – brave. Of course we don’t want to be mired in the sadness of change….but to really inspect and feel the change as it occurs, is healthier than packing it away to deal with later or not at all. When today is for the mourning…..tomorrow can be begin the healing…..or at least that is the hope I hold.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:17-18