Sad fact: life is full of emergencies, urgent situations, grief and illness. In recovering from such circumstances, we muddle through. Our focus is limited to those in our immediate vicinity. “I’m doing the best I can,” we explain to others, and it’s true. We attend to the tasks absolutely necessary for our loved ones, for that day…and then the next…and the next.
When one of our sons died as an infant, I did just that. Each public outing, even a simple trip to the grocery store, felt like a survival mission. My heart hurt, my mind was numb, and my thoughts were scattered. For a long time, I fought against a deep seeded instinct to become reclusive. Any energy I had was poured into our little family, and quite honestly, nothing else.
I’ll always remember the moment I felt the veil of grief lift. Playing outside one night with our kids, my husband and I ran around joyously catching fireflies in a large field near our home. Our laughter sounded like an old song; the melody was familiar, but it had been far too long since I’d heard it.
Looking up, I saw the stars, and looking out, there were the fire flies. Their beauty took my breath away. As a young woman, I realized I didn’t know if I’d ever paid attention to either one of those amazing works of God’s art. Waking the next morning, my vision felt clearer than ever, and I couldn’t stop exclaiming over everything I saw. Even the orange daylilies that grew in the ditches along the way to church captivated my attention like never before.
To everything, there is a time; a time to grieve, and a time to dance. It took me a while after Hunter died to allow myself to “dance,” moving freely among the living with joy and appreciation. The rhythm of my life now beats with a cadence of service, faith, and gratitude.
Are you in your time of grief? Take heart; the heaviness will lift for you, too. One day, when you least expect it, your time of dancing will commence.
Guest bloggist, Tracy Willard, lives in Port Huron, MI, where she co-founded Hunter Hospitality House, Inc. with her husband Jeff, and provides free lodging for those in need of restoration while their loved ones are hospital patients. The entire Willard family, who enthusiastically support the work of “A Beautiful Me,” encourages you to check out their website, www.hunterhospitalityhouse.com.