Even As We Are Breaking

 I have stopped counting how many funerals there have been

My husband knows

If death was quantified by this weighty heart that I am heaving around

I suppose that would be just as accurate a sum

I started this year breathing

Just in and Just out

Taking things as they come

Let me walk at my own pace

No sudden jolts

Please no more sharp curves

It's almost another 365 days of spinning on the earth

Even my bones are tired

The disappointment, the angst, the changes, the goodbyes, the loss, the deaths, the news, the violence, the wars

and then again, and again, and again

My strategy: wrapping my arms around what is in front of me and believing that God is still good

Enough of shaming, it's all we do. 

My hard and your hard are both hard.

We all have hearts that need mending and intellects trying to untangle answers

I understand this much

Funerals have taught me well in two years

about legacies, about love, about grieving together, about the word: with, and the word: without

I have learned more in rooms full of people who have one hard thing in common, THE LOSS

Figuring out how to walk out of that room and rework the strategy, grieving one more empty chair at the table, as if we are on a field with our arms around each other, helmets knocking, wondering how to run another play

Love your neighbor and pray for those who persecute you.

Call each other beloved and remind me that I am not alone. 

I will read you Psalms and bring you tea. 

You will scream into your pillow and we will shake our fists at the sky. 

I will sing you hymns and whisper prayers before my eyelids become heavy. 

You will listen and I will sob.  

You will wrap your arm around my shoulder and I will lean into you as we pull each other up off of the floor. 

We will laugh the cobwebs from our empty hearts. 

You will wash my feet and I will hand you the towel. 

And we will break bread even as we are breaking in our sorrow

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

I will remind you this when you forget because we are a body that belongs to each other

We are wildly tangled together

No matter how far we try to run

No matter how much you try to save face

No matter how much I dig in my heels

No matter how dark it gets

We will grieve together as one

and let our feet find the way back to the banquet table

that He has prepared for us in the Valley of Shadow of Death


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