(My beloved niece Seana passed from this life to the next on May 19, 2012. Ovarian Cancer took her life. She was only 31 years old. Over the next while I will share the thoughts that I recorded during the time before and after Seana’s death. I invite you to join me as I share what was on my heart, and also pay tribute to my niece, and to her family.)
Written May 25, 2012 – When my sister Sue was here for Seana’s Memorial Service
Grief pounds the beat of its agony into my body.
My sister and me
I go out to lunch yesterday with my sister, neither of us are well, we are full up to the brim with the sorrow of losing Seana. We are hungry, but the food has no taste; our hunger is to see the one we have lost.
Now the world seems shifted, surreal.
Yet, sun shines, the skies are blue. The breath of spring and approaching summer warm the day; and we are hard pressed to find it enticing.
We head up to the cash to pay our bill. I whisper to my sister, “I’m shaking inside.” We go out to the car and it floods me, raining down my face. There is the throbbing in my left temple; this drumbeat has no escape. I tell Sue stories of Seana that come to mind. We sit in the car’s heat, the lament bubbles up.
She reaches over gentle, rubs my neck, touches my shoulder, words spilling sorrow mingled with mine.
Wrapped in sorrow
This agony wraps our family. It is a blanket that we do not care to cast off. In part, our grieving speaks of the depths of love that we have for Seana and how very much we long for her. Oh, we are so, so thankful that she no longer suffers, but the missing is deep anguish.
Sleep, it’s scarce, but morning comes again – somehow we get up to “do” another day. But the shadow of death presses heavy upon our hearts. The grief in our bloodstream. We carry the images, clear and resonant – both sad and happy. We want Seana – not only the remembrances of her.
Heads hurt and stomachs rebel, weariness creeps in and there are aches in the upper back, in the legs. Sorrow cannot be silenced and our bodies tell stories that our hearts cannot express.
At the same time in the background, right alongside the grief, the whisper of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, sings words to me over and over. “Oh how He loves us; oh how He loves us.” They sang this song at Seana’s Memorial Service. Reminding us life is always stronger than its ending.
The end of the story is this: we will see Seana once again. And, we will dance together in glorious reunion.
For now, I grieve. And, I sing the love song Jesus croons to me. Again, I mourn.
Grief, mourning and song.
The weaving of the days, black and golden, sadness and hope.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
1 Thess. 4:13 -14
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.”
– Emily Dickinson