Profound Loss

“I know what I have to do now. I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

Tom Hanks’ ‘Castaway’ character was trapped on a deserted island for four years. After his rescue, he found everything had changed. He was different. No one could possibly understand his pain. How could they? He needed time – time to grieve; time to discover his new normal.

I’ve been praying for my friend, Roxanne who lost her twenty-one-year-old son, Zach on his birthday. The circumstances of his death are beyond horrific. I can’t comprehend her pain. I can’t begin to know the thickness of her grief. I can’t. No one can. How could they? Even people who’ve suffered loss, still can’t know. Joel Bacon, whose six-year-old daughter was shot to death in her kindergarten classroom in Newtown, Connecticut, says contrary to the well-intended words printed on sympathy cards, you don’t heal from grief, and you wouldn’t want to. “My grief represents my love for Charlotte, so I don’t want it to go away,” he said. “It’s not fixable.” Krista Rekos, whose beautiful and compassionate daughter Jessica was also killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, summed up her feelings this way: “We’ve been given an impossible life to live,” she said. “I don’t know how to live my life without my little girl.”

The Thickness of Grief Will Thin

Typical of Roxanne, she’s already turned unimaginable loss into hope. Zach’s heart is beating for someone else. His liver, pancreas and kidneys saved lives. Imagine the ripple effects of these gifts. Imagine the family trees now planted. From death, comes new life on countless branches. The sun peaks through, even after the most severe storm.

Still, there is profound loss. It’s not fixable. Those who grieve are different now. They need time – time to grieve; time to discover their new normal. And one day, they’ll know what they must do. They’ve got a keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise.

Who knows what the tide could bring?

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