Posted by Danny
It is a costly wisdom, and God knows we would not have asked for it. But it is also true that coming through a great sorrow can make us stronger, teach us what is really important.
But to survive the death of a loved on is no guarantee of greater wisdom. We can also become embittered, reclusive, grasping. That’s when we need friends, communities of faith, even professional help. But if we can weather the storm, we will have a better sense of who we are and what we want most in life. And we will learn to savor and cherish cool water, sunshine and wind, the smell of roses and the love and friendship we have now.
A week or two after Lisa’s death, her mother gave me a daily devotional, Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman. This book has meant the world to me. The entry for January 13 is above. Oh how I can relate.
I’m taking writing lessons. I started on Friday. Someone has to help me – I have some significant areas in which I can improve. As my teacher and I talked about my new found passion and about the book I hope to write, she began to dig at my motives. I’ve shared before that this loss has given me great discontent at times with life. Nothing seems even any longer. Before I was happy – a steady, straight line of happy. Fulfilled at the same level I had been for years.
The new me has found valleys that are deep. Times where I could nearly feel the world crumbling around me. And yet, losing my best friend has awakened me in so many ways. I’m no longer content with the straight line of joy. I’m no longer content to sit through a worship service thinking about lunch. I’m stirring. I’m seeing things and appreciating things like I never have before.
Late this afternoon Michelle and I walked to Whole Foods to grab a salad for dinner. The brisk air had meaning. Her cold hand in mine had meaning. Her words, “Dad, I’ve got something to tell you…” made my mind stand at attention, not always the case in the past. In ways I’m alive as never before. It’s not always a good alive, but it is an acute sense of being that is unfamiliar.
In a way I think I let Lisa down by not being all that I could be when she was alive. And it is certain that I would rather have the straight line of joy with her than the squiggle I am now without her. But if she could see me with a true appreciation and sense of what’s around me – perhaps a better listener and observer – a keener student of this world, I think she would enjoy.