Grief Happens

Posted: March 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

It felt like grief.

We entered our church’s sanctuary, a beautiful and holy space, to shoot a video message to our congregation concerning issues surrounding closings and postponements due to COVID-19. Going into that sanctuary, a sacred fortress which gathered in the masses more regularly than just once a week, the word entered my being and attached itself to the feeling of the last forty-eight hours.

It felt like grief.

It is grief.

That room, safe and holy, would not hold God’s people for unknown weeks ahead. For fifty-five years it housed occasions of greatest joy and deepest sorrow. Who knows how long it will stand silent and empty, awaiting to fulfill its intended purpose?

Our world, our existence continues to spin the unexpected around and within us. Now, a previously unmade word is in our every sentence and thought. COVID-19. It is destined to ring horror and chill through the years for all who remember. Everyday routines are being more than upset. A shattering occurs when we consider the strangeness of this time. The uncertainly of this current state, its duration, its intensity, will keep us all a bit on edge for some time to come. A sanctuary is to be the one place souls may join in proximity for comfort, consolation, and hope. Now, social distancing is not even social, it is only distant. Overturned stomachs and aching hearts must experience our primeval longing for community in new ways, and we’re not sure what to do with that. We know we’ve lost something, and we’re not yet fully aware of what it is we’ve lost. Or how much.

It feels like grief.

It is grief.

And grief is a strange, wild and untamed animal. It will force untold emotion through us at any given moment, for any random reason. As we struggle with the unseen enemy we know as COVID-19, we struggle with much welling up from deep within us. Feral grief can only lead us into fear’s darkness if we do not name it, address it, and deal with it, even as we must allow the grief to happen. If not, only the ugliness of a life driven by fear awaits us.

It feels like grief.

It is grief.

This is why we must be diligent to care for our own souls as well as the souls of others in our midst. Even if it must be from a socially distant safe place. Loving God and Neighbor and Self are vitally important at this moment. Certainly, we must discover new ways to do this, in addition to rediscovering old ways, long forgotten. Still, love must win the day. Take care of each other, because grief happens.

As it does, choose hope. Choose light. Choose love.

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