A few nights ago, Jim and I were walking in the yard, pulling Moise in his wagon and discussing what Jalayne would be doing if she were still here with us. Jim looked off into the distance and said "it's not getting any better." I could do nothing but agree, it absolutely is not getting any better. There are moments when the pain of losing her feels every bit as heavy as it did the night that she died. We still stand in disbelief. Many nights I wake to the clawing hands of desperation. Soul searing sadness continues to pierce right through us. I have resigned to the awareness that this heaviness is now a part of who we are. Loss is a new, indentifying mark upon us.
When an athlete begins to train he often lifts weights. A large, unfamiliar weight placed upon his shoulders will cause him to stagger and strain. If he continues to carry that same weight day after day he will eventually be able to bear the weight much more easily than the first day. The weight has not changed, it is still as heavy as the first day. Rather, the athlete has grown in strength and is better able to stand up beneath the weight. So it is with with the burden of grief and loss. The weight and intensity is no less, but because we have carried it every day, we are better able to stand beneath the load.
Most of us are familiar with the adage "time heals all wounds" and in a literal sense, this is true. Fleshly wounds, given proper care, cleansing and time, almost always heal. However, this saying is dramatically inappropriate in the shadow of death. It is true that wounds heal, but the death of someone dear to us is not a mere wound, it is a loss of monumental proportions. Healing cannot come to something that is gone. There is no "getting over" that which is lost. As an amputee, we adjust and adapt but we cannot heal.
The experience of death, loss, and grief is intensely spiritual. Mere survival demands that we go to a deeper level of spirituality than I ever knew existed. Comfort is found only in the grace and mercy of our Lord. To carry on, to put one foot in front of the other, requires that we dig deep into his word. In so doing, our roots go deeper, our shoulders become stronger, our knowledge of hope becomes greater. As we circle around the cycle of grief over and over again, it becomes more familiar, less daunting and we become better able to adapt to loss.
Since the horrific accident that took the life of my sweet baby girl, I have come to know many others who walk in the shadow of death. The answer to the question "does it get any better" is universal to those who believe. NO...........it does not get better but we, through the love of our saviour, increase.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.