Grief is a strange and terrible beast. It stalks me, watching from the darkness, waiting to pounce. In the beginning I wasn’t even aware of it’s existence. I was just living my life day to day not knowing that a great beast had been stalking me, waiting just outside my awareness. A simple knock at the door and it crept closer. “Are you the wife of Jonathan Roman?” it crouched, ready to spring. “I’m so sorry… he was already gone before…” and the beast was upon me. I had no resistance. No warning. I fell before it and it consumed me.
The terrible thing about this monster is that it consumes without killing. Those first days it ripped me apart piece by piece, but I did not die. As soon as I gathered myself up it would attack again. It did not matter where I was, what I was doing or even if I was awake or sleeping. It was relentless and I was exhausted.
As time went on I tried to fight the beast off, but it never did any good and only made each bite more painful. Every time I tried to block it from my mind it only gained more strength, as if my resistance gave it greater power over me. So I stopped fighting it and tried another tactic. If fighting failed, perhaps I could outrun it. So I ran as hard as I could to anything that would provide distraction. I tried to hide behind tasks and entertainment, but those only helped temporarily. So I ran and hid behind someone else. It seemed to work for awhile. Just as I thought I had finally escaped, the beast found me and drug me back into its den, hurting that person in the process.
I can’t fight it. I can’t run from it. I have come to realize that I must embrace the beast. I must let it consume me, for each time it does I am stronger than before. Eventually I will be stronger than the beast and while it will likely always follow me, it won’t always have power over me. So I press on, knowing each time I am consumed I am being reborn.
Psalm 91:3-7; 14-15
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble”