Sunday, November 30, 2014

Some Say Love ...

"... it is a river
And that it drowns the tender reed
And some say love, it's like a razor
And that it leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need ..."

"The Rose" by Amanda McBroom

Today I attended sacrament services with my sister and brother-in-law's family--A very young member of their congregation, or ward, had passed away the week previous; the members were in mourning. Talks were given on the plan of salvation and on grief. My brother-in-law, bishop of the ward, spoke a few words on the godliness of grief and mourning. It was comforting to me, to be in the room and to embrace the feeling of mourning shared by all. Normally it seems grief is experienced in a lonely and misunderstood sort of way. It was a beautiful thing to step into the environment they had created where it was safe to feel; it was even relieving, and very touching.

I am grateful for that experience, and to have been there with my sister's children who, previous to my arrival, were sitting alone. Their dad was at the front on one of the seats behind the podium, and my sister was at home attending to the youngest ones who are ill with the flu. What a trooper my sister and her husband are. I could say the same of any of my siblings, really. What an amazing bunch of people.

One of the sacrament meeting speakers taught that when you open yourself to love, and to love deeply, you also make yourself vulnerable to grief, profound grief, should something come between you and your love. But it is worth it. Grief can be wearing, but should one succumb to overwhelming grief it is comforting to know that the grief is itself an expression of profound love. Contrary to the belief that "if I had more faith I would not suffer so," it may just be that the expression of our loss endears us all the more to those we love and our Father above.

Though bitterness and anger are normal parts of the grieving process, I have found that ultimate healing comes only when I am willing to acknowledge the love I have for the other person, or whatever it is I grieve the loss of. This can be difficult, and sometimes even counterintuitive, depending on the context. I know of no other way to access the healing balm of Gilead, however, than to seek for that love which overcometh all things.

I just want to thank my brother-in-law and his family for being a part of my life, and for sharing their love with me. I want to thank both of my brother-in-laws, actually, and their families, and my sister-in-laws as well and their families, for the love and examples they share as well. Families may operate on a wave of emotions more often than we like, or are comfortable/capable of coping with at times, but they are also the only entities that function and will support one another, for better or worse, during better or worse, and in spite of our/others' better or worst. Where there are exceptions, there is God.

I am so grateful.

"When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been to long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong

Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose..."

"The Rose" by Amanda McBroom