An Education In Sorrow

My education began a few decades ago.

I have three healthy and happy children who are grown, but my hands held five babies that did not live.

During pregnancies about which I had no illusions, I was told that everything would work out, that I could trust the Lord, and that God was in control. I learned that well-meaning assurances hold no power against biological realities.

I learned that good and loving and kind people will talk like this when they don’t know what to say.

I learned that the rich gift of presence can be ruined with words.

I know well the hesitation of questioning God, but I learned that the Bible is filled with prophets and psalmists and a Christ who did just this.

I learned the earth-moving power of a small kindness from the wise love of a woman who brought flowers and presented them with tears, and without saying a word, left.

I felt the generous care of friends who helped us gather ourselves before a season of deep sadness. They were there with take-out as we arrived from the hospital and stayed to talk about anything but our loss.

I learned the grace of laughter for an evening that braced us for the floodwaters of grief.

I learned the disciplines necessary to walk well through the valley of the shadow of death. They do not include the expectation of answers, but courage to sit with the questions.

I have learned much from sorrow, and yet…

And yet.

One thought on “An Education In Sorrow

  1. Rick McGarry

    露の世は露の世ながらさりながら
    Tsuyu no yo wa tsuyu no yo nagara sari nagara
    The world of dew —
    A world of dew it is indeed,
    And yet, and yet . . .”
    (The Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest Kobayashi Issa 1763-1828)

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