Storm season is upon us in the Midwest. We’re familiar with watching the radar and listening for radio updates when it comes to severe weather. One way to determine a potential tornado configuration on the radar is to note the presence of a “couplet.” This feature on Doppler shows two completely different high velocity wind directions very close together, indicating rotation in the clouds.
In life, it seems that we encounter various “couplets.” And, in the human experience, I would define a couplet as intense highs accompanied by intense lows almost simultaneously. For example, having a baby. I watched the intense pain, and vicariously felt it, as Jana’s contractions came closer together. Then, the baby was born! All negatives vaporized into thin air after the cries of our babies were heard.
In this grief journey, up until a couple of months ago, pain was the primary feeling experienced. But, now I find myself experiencing some feelings that are completely contrary to suffering…a couplet. I can be focused on a high point in life and at virtually the same time experience a low.
Life has become, and is increasingly becoming, a happy place for me again. I hurt. I have deep rooted sorrow that I work with daily. There are very special people in my life that walk with me in this endeavor. Joy, though, is taking hold, growing, and producing fruit in my life. Grief, when defined as a purposeful work meant to bridge the intense pain of loss and the recovery of a fulfilling, joyful life, has just about completed his purposes. There is more to accomplish, but at some point it becomes simply the ongoing reality of my loss.
Grief ends. Memories do not. Sorrow does not. Faith and hope conquer feelings of confusion and distress. I will shed more tears, feel down, and struggle through anniversaries. There is no naive thinking here…in fact, Mother’s Day looms, and I’m already bracing myself.
Joy can be experienced through the love of a person. Somebody who listens and cares. One who makes the effort to feel my pain. How wonderful to have a friend walk with me on this path. It was so lonely…even more so when the one friend in the world to share my trouble with was the one who left. I have experienced this care from another through close friends, a new friend, family, and the Lord. This is another couplet. My struggle and another’s strength. How thankful I am!