This past weekend I participated in a wedding by reading a meaningful piece by Wilferd A. Peterson. The author was married to his wife for 58 years, and as I read his words, joy filled my soul for my friends who were officially declaring their union.
That joy stayed with me through the rest of the afternoon and evening as we all sampled Bon Appetit-worthy hors-d’oeuvres and entrees, and danced the night away. Smiles and laughter were our accoutrements.
As I left the hotel the next morning, I replayed the beautiful day in my mind.
And then it hit me.
This was the first wedding I’ve attended since Quintin and Anna’s just four and a half months ago.
I relived their special day, too, and the ache of no longer having Anna with us set in. Tears fell onto my cheekbones while the old proverb came to mind, “Even in laughter the heart can ache.” (Proverbs. 14:13)
From what I’ve read, so many people try to “get over” grief, but I realize we may never stop missing Anna. Sure, the pain may lessen or change in time, but we’ll always have moments where we miss her.
When going through the early stages of grief, the thought of forever feeling that kind of pain can be a hard thing to wrap your mind around. Logic can’t fathom aching for days on end, so it hopes for relief.
In this insightful article, Mary C. Lamia Ph. D., says, “One of the reasons that grief happens to be triggered by external reminders, such as in anniversary reactions, is because grief is an emotion that sends a vague alert to help you to remember, rather than to forget.”
I like that way of seeing grief; it’s an alert to help you remember.
Our hearts want to remember, so it’s crucial to give space for that. Trying to get “over” grief is prematurely moving the soul and spirit into a place it’s not ready to go, and that can be detrimental.
For those of you who are grieving, or who still experience an ache during significant holidays or birthdays, remembering this beautiful proverb, even in laughter the heart may ache, may take the weight of “getting over it” off your shoulders. Joy and sadness can mingle, and that’s okay. A life of love will include both.
I believe that’s a better thought.