When I saw this sculpture depicting grief by Celeste Roberge made from rocks of all sizes, I felt led to share it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized one of the reasons grief is so painful is that we are filled with memories (or sometimes what we hoped would be memories that never happened). Each of those rocks represent a memory, dream, hope, fear, hurt, wound, or way our loved one made us feel. One of the most important “jobs” of grief is to lift up each one of those rocks and tell the story. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. It’s our story that’s intermingled with their story. It’s a love story whether it is about a spouse, lover, friend, parent, sibling, baby, grandparent, teacher…
Memories need to be expressed, evaluated and processed. When they are all bundled together at a one time with the full impact of the loss, it is way too much to handle or carry. I suppose that’s another reason grief takes time to work through. Yet as we hold up one rock at a time, one story at a time, one memory at a time—we can handle that. That’s one of the reasons I wrote My Forever Memories of You. It not only contains some of my memories- one little chunk at a time—but there are guided suggestions for you write/hold up/tell your memories one at a time. Many people do not want to look at those memories. In fact, they even run from them for fear that the pain and tears will kill them. What kills is carrying around the heavy burden of grief without lifting up one story at a time.
Something glorious happens when you begin to tell your stories, the rocks that were once more than you can bear, become light eternal jewels that add to your light that shines out through all eternity. Even the regrets, disappointments and pain transform into beauty as we tell the story and we realize it is part of who we are forever. The most important part is to hold each rock, one at a time up to the Lord. He is the one who lifts the heavy burden of grief and turns our mourning into joy. We need to be gentle with ourselves as it takes time to take each rock, one at a time, to really look at it, express it and see the beauty that was once so heavy.
Love and prayers to each and every one of you as you tell your stories.
“Blessed are those who mourn. They will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18