In some cultures, this is the Day of the Dead – a time to remember and honor loved ones lost. As dear friends and I gathered last eve, and the kids excitedly raced around in their alter-ego attire, we sat together and began to take time to remember the lives of those we had lost, and how the loss had impacted our life. Though each story told a tale of sorrow and heartache, each heart that shared was able to recognize God’s faithfulness that was present both then and now.
Time escaped us, and I had not shared. I knew exactly which loss to speak of, yet I felt fearful, as I did not want to display the shadows of my own grief. Though time did not allow for a whole group share, two dear ones convinced me to take a moment to share my story with them. I gave a very clinical and abbreviated version, and felt myself completely detached from all emotional ties to that time. I spoke of my first real experience with loss. As I spoke, His spirit began to illuminate the identifiable impact that came from that season in my life.
I was a sophomore in high school and at the beginning of my first high school gymnastics season. As I rose on a rainy Sunday morning, my mom met me with tears silently streaming down her cheeks. She went on to share with me that my cousin, whom I had loved and admired much like a big brother, had died in a motorcycle accident. He was a freshman in college and had gone for a drive to buy a loaf of bread. My mind could not lay hold of it all. The next day I went to school in a sort of numb haziness. My mom must have called the counselor, because she called me down to check on me. Much like how I shared last evening, I reported an emotionless version of the facts to be found. She asked if I was okay and I simply and silently nodded “yes”. As I went about my week, I slowly and willfully began to write. Ultimately, I ended up with a poem that held all of the emotion that had yet to escape. As I gave my writing to my aunt, my cousin’s mom, and she began to weep as she read, the dam that had been so securely shored up in my soul, broke. I wept. I wept with my aunt in her sorrowful space. I wept openly at the memorial as sweet souls spoke of Eric’s life. At the graveside, the tears continued to tumble down my cheeks as my rock of a cousin was no more.
That was the last time that I really remember openly weeping. I have since lost both of my beloved grandfathers, yet tears were sparse. Part of me tried to turn off that day so many moons ago. It is as if the gravity of the sorrow was so intense, that I never again wanted to feel such loss. I used logic to talk myself out of grief. My grandfathers were old and had lived long and full lives. Yes, I would miss them, but they were now in a better place, so I had no reason to cry.
What is the point I am attempting to make? I am not sure. I am in the midst of identifying the insight imparted, and now asking Him what I am supposed to do with it. No, I don’t think that He is asking me to have a public meltdown, but I do think He is directing me to a place of emotional honesty. He longs for me to trust Him enough to allow whatever emotion is before me to be expressed. If I am sad, it is okay to share my sorrow with the Savior. If I am angry, He is big enough to take it and walk me through it. When I am overwhelmed with joy, then too, He wants me to fully embrace such emotion. Though this is a scary space, He is bigger and will lovingly guide me along this leg of the journey. Today, I choose to trust. Tomorrow, I will have to choose to trust again. Each new day will bring another opportunity to learn to trust Him more. He is good and worthy of all of my trust – today and always.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present