Every Inch Numb

Thank God for grace,
Ye who weep only! —look up! those tears will run
Soon in long rivers down the lifted face,
And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning from “Tears”

Grief
is a river you wade in until you get to the other side.
But I am here, stuck in the middle, water parting
around my ankles, moving downstream
over the flat rocks. I’m not able to lift a foot,
move on. Instead, I’m going to stay here
in the shallows with my sorrow…
It’s mine.
…I’m going to stand here,
growing colder, until every inch
of my skin is numb. I can’t cross over.
Then you really will be gone. 
~Barbara Crooker from “Grief”

A river of tears flows with the untimely loss of a young person, a child of our church. Sorrow at such a loss fills a chasm so deep and dark that it is a fearsome thing to even peer from the edge, as I do.  The family is numb, swallowed up by their grief.

We can never understand why such infinite sadness should befall good and gracious people. We are once again reminded – there can be profound darkness that descends into the human heart, stealing away lives too soon.

Be assured you do not weep alone.  Your grief is so familiar to a suffering God who too wept at the death of a friend, a God who cried out when asked to endure the unendurable.

There is comfort in knowing He understands and overcomes all peril to come to the rescue when we become stuck fast in the middle of our grief, too numb to move on. He will fill the hole left behind as only He can.

You who grieve: you are not abandoned.
Your sadness is His, your sorrow is ours.
You are loved with a love
so deep and high and broad,
it will somehow carry you through.

3 thoughts on “Every Inch Numb

  1. What beautiful words that describe grief so well. The moving on is scary as I don’t want to think it never happened. That he never existed. I know that’s not true, however grief is what it is.
    I’m so sorry for the loss of this child. May you and the family feel the Love and support from our Father in heaven as your world is tilted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily, Your last paragraph, especially, is the most beautiful, consoling, faith-filled, reasoning to describe not only the community’s loss, but the personal individual grief and that of His as well.
    You have described, encapsulated, so many of the feelings of pain, loss, and even the anger (?) when we try to question the ‘why’ of death in which we, as Christians, fervently believe is but one final step to eternal life with Him but so often we find nearly impossible to accept. This is painfully raw and nearly impossible to accept when it is the death of a young person.

    Liked by 1 person

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