Talk about timely. I think God is probably trying to tell me something with this one, so I’ll share. The past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering. There are so many things that bring about suffering, but I think having your child buried in the ground is probably one of the top things. There are other things that are extremely painful, but that is the one I know about. So that is the one I discuss.
This theme of suffering has really been floating through my brain. I feel like I’m getting to a point in my grief where I know that there will always be grief, but I’ve decided it won’t ruin me. It’s taken a lot to get to this point- lots of suffering, lots of crying, AT LEAST two cemetery visits week, and 85+ entries in my journal (which I almost exclusively write in at the cemetery). The cemetery is where I do my best thinking. I cry too, but I think. I contemplate life, death, my family, and the future. I contemplate how to go about continuing to live with my firstborn son buried. I contemplate my friendships, my work, and whatever else comes to mind. It’s a quiet and fairly deserted place. I can work through my suffering there and not have to worry about what anyone else thinks about it. It’s usually pretty peaceful and except for the occasional black bear visit it’s safe!
But back to suffering. As I said this has been on my mind, and this morning we had a visiting Priest- and it’s like he was talking directly to me. His name is Fr. Jay Biber, and he is a retired Priest from Lexington. His homily (aka sermon) was about suffering. He discussed how we all go through suffering in our lives. And God gets us through it. We suffer and we move forward. Now going through grief I know it’s not a linear process. Sometimes I may take one step forward and three back, but I can say that most days I don’t suffer the way I did even a few months ago.
The thing that Fr. Jay said that really jumped out at me, though, was something he said at the end. I had to dig for a pen to write it down so I probably did not remember the words correctly, but here is the gist:
“I don’t have the answer for you, but I’ll be here while you walk through it”
(edited to add the actual quote: Thanks to a friend who wrote it down!
“I don’t have an answer for you, but I’ll go there with you”)
He was speaking to the children in particular at that point- how even a child can put their arm around a suffering friend and say those words. But those words mean a great deal to me. Because over the past 2 ½ years I have had several friends who did that for me. They didn’t (and don’t) have the answers. They couldn’t (and can’t) take away that suffering. This journey is mine alone. But they have been here, walking with me, as I walk through my own suffering. By walking with me in MY suffering and acknowledging it, they eased my pain a bit. They couldn’t take it away or rush the process but they have helped me ENDURE it. And for that I will be forever thankful.