Grief has already been an amazing adventure.
Maybe that sounds strange to you. After all, losing a loved one isn’t like backpacking in the mountains or jumping out of a plane. There’s no Ford truck specially designed for grief. Loss has this tendency to catapult you, whether you like it or not, into a new land. You expect some bumpy roads. But you don’t always see the heights coming.
Let me tell you about a high.
Hours after my mom died, a new emotion seized me. That’s the right word for it—seized—because I felt as if it took me by the shoulders and shook me. Joy seized me. Out of, or perhaps alongside, the visceral grief. It was joy that my mom’s pain was over, that her suffering had ended, and that she had entered into the joy—the joy—of eternal life. I had said versions of those words dozens of times in funeral services over the years, but the truth of them that day rung out like a pealing bell in my chest. She was home, finally. Just as I will be someday. And you too.
Brené Brown talks about joy going hand in hand with vulnerability. She says we are even frightened of joy, because we’re worried it won’t last, or that there’s some dangerous curve around the corner that our Ford truck won’t be able to handle. But joy comes anyway, sometimes hours after the old land disappears from view.
Advent is not Christmas yet. Advent says: When joy comes, let it. The bell is about to ring…