Emerging from the Darkness: A Look at Grief A Year Later

The past year has been a very dark for me. I lost my grandmother whom raised me and somewhere along the way I lost my ability to see light. I was so weighed down my grief and loneliness any glimmer of hope was shortly snuffed out by the clutches of sorrow. As we enter the one year mark of my grandmother’s passing I can now say that I am starting to finally emerge from the cave I have been stuck inside for the past eleven months.

“the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” Matthew 4:16 NLT

Living in darkness, being surrounded by terminal disease, feeling imminent doom…that is where I was. When my grandmother passed there were certain things that just reminded me of her. I wanted to surround myself with her memory to illuminate the ever consuming fog I felt on my life. She had been always been my sense of comfort and now she was gone so what could I do?

One item of hers that I hold especially dear to my heart is a special red lamp. My grandmother had impeccable taste in all things interior design and she loved the color red. This lamp embodied her vibrant, warm, personality, and was beautiful on top of it all. When we purchased our first home I asked if I could have this lamp and my grandmother’s response was, “Over my dead body. I mean it. You can have it when I die, not a day sooner.” (We obviously have a morbid sense of humor, but anyways.) When we lived with my grandparents I used it everyday. I swear it magically transformed any room it was placed into a cozy, homey, ready to read in, adventure, area. It illuminated everything just right and looked good on or off. I have always loved this lamp, reading next to it as a child, watching my grandmother wrap presents by its sheer red glow. I used this lamp every chance I got but after having kids I took off the lampshade and hid it to protect its fragility from my reckless family, and in the process I lost it.

This year has looked a lot different than all the previous years of my life, we did lose the great light that was her in our lives, and that could not be ignored, but it was also important to recognize I had a light living within me that would never burn out. My grandmother’s time on earth might have come to an end, her sound advice, and always welcoming demenor may no longer be around to draw from, but the Holy Spirit within me will always be present. In the past year, I have learned that the love of God can illuminate even the darkest places and can heal even the most broken of hearts. This year has been one filled with disappointment after disappointment but a renewed hope that surpasses all understanding.

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