Window picStumbled my way out to the couch. Morning routine. Coffee. Then a quick peak on facebook to check on some friends who have been sick. Ran across this quote: “Each person’s grief journey is as unique as a fingerprint or a snowflake.” (Earl Grollman)

Out of nowhere a mac truck – barreling down at 70 mph – plowed through our living room narrowly missing our Christmas tree and flattened my heart. The truck is long gone, but it may take a while to clean up the wreckage.

Kleenex in hand, I pick up pieces of experiences and pictures coming to life inside my head. The chair by the Christmas tree sits empty where my Dad resided. His laughter just a memory, his presence greater than any present under the tree. Gone. Oh the stories, his harmonica, him singing (with a southern twang) old songs from the ‘40’s no one has ever heard of, his offers to peel potatoes or apples or help in any way, newspaper in hand working through his daily crossword puzzle, etc.

Debris across the room: untangling memories of my Mom, my brother Jack, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles, even the images in my mind of two babies I never got to hold in my arms or see the innocent look on their face. This season surfaces longings that I’ve ‘managed’ meticulously…many carefully wrapped and put away in a safe place far in the back of the closet of my heart. Now all strewn on the floor around me like crumbled Christmas wrapping.

How can a heart gain so much life from another, yet leave such an ache? Our loved one(s) etched an individual imprint on each of our hearts. So I guess it stands to reason our grief journey will be as unique as our relationship was with them. Though every member of my family grieves the same loss of Mom, Dad, Jack, in-laws, our journey of grief is unique. Strange to share the depth of loss yet realize the ‘wreckage’ looks very different for each of us.

AngelFor all who walk this lonely personal journey of grief this season, may we allow Emmanuel to ‘enter in’ and ‘be with us’ every step.