When I visit the Atlantic or am at the lake, I rise early to see the sun pierce above the water or over the trees. The sun outdoes its own magic each day regardless of the elements that greet its appearance. I notice the sun never resists mist or marshmallow clouds, a threatening storm or the slightest haze. It rises in its timely routine until it settles in the day sky, giving me light to carry on with my daily activities. The morning heavens offers me perhaps what I need, not want, and sets the tone for how to live my day.
Four days after my mom's funeral, I awoke to fog over the lake. A thick white cloud hovered over the water hiding the glamorous and mystical show I often see at the break of dawn. While I am sometimes disappointed with a shaded sunrise, I didn't resist this one. I knew what it was telling me. I felt Mother Nature wrap me with the veil of grief as the words don't resist floated across the lake to meet me in my chair on the dock. On this particular day, a vibrant desert sky sunrise would have invited me to ignore my current state of emotions which have been placed on the quiet shore of grief.
Grief is an ocean. The high tide over death has rolled in again. Its force crashes hard into the tightness of my chest like a wave breaks into a black sea rock. Tears well up into fullness until saltwater cascades into a rhythmic flow dampening the flesh of my cheeks. Then falling, falling, drop by drop, they gather into the hole of my heart that is thirsting. I had experienced this sadness before when I cried for my father, wept for my brother, and hurt for relatives taken too soon. Now, with the loss of my mother, I must allow the tide to carry me to and from the shore; the intensity of its strength might sometimes overwhelm me while the ease of its dissolving softness will settle me.
Death is affiliated with being in a better place and alive with eternal life for believers. I must have hope for this because being left behind, the afterward is never easy even when death is expected. Also, when I know, I did my best and gave it my all to care for someone in their darkest days.
I know the tide of grief will recede someday to a level that will open a more spacious space for me to walk with my void. I can feel the crystals of sand beneath my footprints stretching wide between the comfort of land and knowing grief's frothy edge will always sneak up upon my toes. But today and in days to come, the beach on which I walk is very narrow as I allow myself to rest close to the unavoidable wave of sorrow. And I will allow time, no matter how long it takes, to comfort the heartache. Because in the sunrise of hope shines the light of the sun. Always bright. Even in the fog. She is there.
For those who grieve, whether it's been 12 hours, 12 days, 12 years, or a lifetime. I am with you.