I recently joined a grief support group and part of the group is a devotional by email that we all are supposed to meditate on and reply to the group. I sometimes wonder if anyone gets it and I found this article trite. I include the article and my reply. It's a church group so please excuse the absence of curse words and snide remarks.
DAY 1: THE JOURNEY
Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry, hold not your peace at my tears. For
I am a sojourner with you, a wayfarer as all my forebears were. —Psalm 39:13-14
Several summers ago some friends and I visited the Grand
Canyon. One of our group suggested we get up early to watch the sun rise and then
hike to the bottom of the canyon in the cool of the day. According to his calculations we
should be back by noon. We thought it a great idea and gathered at the Bright Angel
trailhead at five the next morning. The sunrise predictably happened and we all took
pictures as though we were witnessing something wondrous and unique. We were in
After an hour on the steep, deeply pitted trail, however, we realized that “back by noon”
was not even remotely possible. Even that early in the day it was really hot. Soon my
knees were screaming, my heart pounding, and regular stops for trail mix and water
weren’t helping. After another hour our laughter had ceased; we were each captive to
our own private struggle to keep going. “This is turning out to be a lot harder than it
looks,” I thought grimly.
Grief is like that hike—a lot more difficult than it looks. Several months after your loss,
your heart may ache even more intensely than it did in the beginning. You think you
should be better by now, but instead, you are worse. You wonder how long this ordeal is
going to last and want nothing more than for it to be over. You wonder if you are losing
This is where faith comes in, even though yours may be shaky and you are finding it
hard to trust that God hears you or cares. Faith is putting one foot in front of the other
even though you think you can’t possibly take one more step.
Our little posse didn’t make it to the trail’s end. We turned back at the three-mile
marker. By this time the sun was higher and hotter, and we were exhausted. When at
last we arrived at the lodge where other friends were waiting, we were presented with
souvenir magnets which read, “I hiked, dragged myself, complained, nearly passed out
and barely made it out of THE CANYON.” We laughed, but I also found great assurance
in those words. This hike is grueling, I realized, not just for me, but for everyone who
Wherever you are today, know that others have traveled this path and have lived
through it. You will survive too, no matter how much you hurt today.
O God, help me to keep going and to trust that you are on this journey with me. Amen.
and my reply
Perhaps it is because the way my brain is wired that I think differently than some. I sometimes wonder if anyone can relate to what I am going through however, it doesn't bother me when I am misunderstood. If grief compares to a hike then my hike would be like two steps forward and one step back, a half a mile then fall and remain down for days at a time before I'm able to get up and continue on my way. Things off the path would distract me and send me off into the woods for awhile before wondering my way back to the path and I wouldn't be able to predict when or where I would fall or be distracted by something in the woods. I've made mistakes on my way, I've wondered in the wrong direction and spent days unable to move but still I am alive and pray for God to give me a clean and healed heart. I know he is working along on me while I sometimes fight his work holding onto what I want and not necessarily what he has planned for me. Ultimately though as a year comes up I can see that this whole experience is just another large crack in this vessel of a body He gave me and that He loved cracked pots like me because those cracks allow his light to shine through. Now I allow myself the time to rest before I get up after a fall, brush myself off and go on. Just my two cents.