The Time Warp of Grief
Grief and time weave together in a unique fashion. Like opposite sides of a teeter-totter, the loss of someone truly loved can feel like it just happened yesterday and then swing to feel like a lifetime ago.
Today, Aug. 2, marks what would have been my mom’s 68th birthday. Simultaneously, as this new month begins, so hits the 11th month since Josh passed away. In the same sentence, I find myself asking how has it been 22 years and how has it already almost been a year -- so much has happened!
To me, grief creates a type of time warp. I can easily travel back to moments and memories and vividly recall the feelings of joy, laughter, sorrow and loss all over again. I can remember the sound of their voices - even as I forget other details in my life story.
Sitting with my aunt Brenda and uncle Dan tonight - on the eve of my aunt’s 60th birthday - we talked about time and thanksgiving. My aunt shared her own thanksgiving for all that she has witnessed here on earth even since my mom passed away. There is beauty in acknowledging God’s continued faithfulness, comfort and care within our families. Even though this beauty, at times, contains great sorrow, it is no less beautiful.
I admit, I often wish my mom and late husband could see me now. Maybe they can? That’s a whole tricky theological conversation that I don’t dare tackle. As people still on earth trying to reconcile grief, we might hope that those who aren’t here would be proud of us. And while I do like this idea, my aim is above the horizon as I strive to honor God.
I strive to do this by continuing to honestly process my grief, not in hopes of making those who have gone on proud, but as a way to be present and active within my unfolding story. My aim: to actively love Christ and others with each new day because each new day is a gift.
As I continue to navigate life as a new (returning) Missouri resident in a new home that is very much Jenn-themed - birds, piano in the living room, etc. There are new stories to tell - some that I really would love to share with my mom and Josh - and some that are just for me and some new and familiar friends on this leg of the journey.
Embarking on so much new lately had me on a quest for verses about “new days” where I soon discovered Psalm 46. There’s a lot of good stuff here. For me, it is some added encouraging fuel for a new month, new week, new day, new job and even new house.
I hope these encourage you also.
Psalm 46: 1- 5 (NASB)
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
(Bonus interesting paraphrase from
The Message of Psalm 46:8-10 that highlights where my focus should truly be.)
Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Barb J kenny
8/2/2020 10:39:00 pm
New day. New month. New challenges. And new blessings. For us all. If we keep our eyes on that horizon. We miss you like crazy already at work but so very excited for you personally as you bravely open yourself up to whatever comes next. That's life at it's core, isn't it? This leaning into what comes next. Thank you for the little reminder and faith boost tonight. Take care friend.
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Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.