Grieving Alone Together
I started rolling this phrase around in my mouth lately… “alone together”. Alone together has brought me such comfort. Here’s why…
I often wonder why God uprooted us right before losing Dan. I mean, we were and are still grieving the loss of our old church family, the loss of our old friends, our old favorite places to go on dates and daddy-daughter dates, our old home and neighborhood, and backyard. We miss our fenced in green grass and trees and the pear trees Dan planted and the garden beds he dug. We miss our belongings. They’re still in storage! We grieve the loss of our old school and friends.
And now daddy?!? And now my husband?!?
Grieving is not meant to happen in isolation. I long to have a history with those around us. (Though, yes, even without any history, it’s amazing how God has provided people who are supporting us and loving us! But today, I’m not praising. I’m lamenting. And that is a perfectly acceptable and healthy thing to do. I’ll share those praises another day!) Back to lamenting, I long for our old school, where my children would be embraced by teachers who feel the pain of their loss, knowing how strong and gentle their daddy was. Knowing what a loss to not have him goofing around and smiling so big on school field trips. (Though, it is truly amazing how my girls have been scooped up and cared for even with no history. Just plain, unconditional love!) I long to walk through our old church foyer, the embrace and tears of all who knew and loved this godly man. (Though, even strangers have cried with me and new friendships are beginning to form, even as we are at our lowest.) I long for those perfect prayers spoken over me at the perfect time. Here in a new place, it’s just not the same. And most people I meet seem to just expect me to go back to somewhere. But where? Where would we go? We have 4 home bases and yet we have no home.
And then I think of you.
I think of how most people who came to his funeral flew in from other states, other countries, other seasons of our lives. Diaspora. They’re all scattered in different places now. And in that way, most people grieving the loss of this incredible man are grieving like me… with no one around them understanding how great the loss is. No one understanding how great their loss is to have never known Dan. They’re grieving in Cambodia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Scotland and Djibouti. In Texas, Florida, Oregon, California, New Mexico, South Carolina, Montana, Massachusetts, Colorado… and more. Masses of people who grieve alone. And somehow, when I remember that, it comforts me. I’m not alone in grieving alone. And so, in that way, we have each other.
We’re grieving alone together.
When you’re at your son’s ballgame and you think of how much you miss him and none of the people around you have a clue. When you’re going through your garage and find your hiking boots and realize you’ll never get to hike that mountain yall dreamed of hiking together. When you find your old Tough Mudder sweatband or marathon t-shirt and remember. But no one else around you does. I’m right there with you.
We’re grieving alone together.
Something about this phrase has brought me so much comfort.
Grieving Alone Together.