If I could sit next to the grieving me, I’d tell her:
Even though you don’t believe there’s a way out of the suffocating hole of grief, God won’t leave you there to rot forever. You WILL pull yourself up and out. It won’t happen right away, but eventually you’ll crawl into the light again. God promises hardship, but he also promises healing.
You’ll trek through dark valleys. Really dark valleys, alone, scared of who you’ve become. But those valleys will lead to the highest, most beautiful peaks. There will come a time when you feel like you’re walking on the air you’re breathing. You’ll survey the beauty of the landscape that surrounds you and you’ll feel nothing but awe.
You’ll be lost for awhile. A long while. You’ll stumble through the fog, afraid of what lies beyond the thick veil of gray. But one day you’ll catch a glimpse of sunlight, you’ll capture the faint scent of a flower in bloom, you’ll hear birdsong in the distance. And you too will come back to life.
The worst days are a path to the best days. Even when you’re sinking in quicksand and withering in the dirt and shriveling in the swamp, you’re growing. And one day you’ll rise. And when you begin to live again, you’ll see more clearly. You’ll suddenly be aware of how very little you need in order to be happy. You’ll find joy in the mundane. You’ll be grateful for the simple, yet powerful gift of breath.
While it doesn’t seem like the clouds will ever part, one day the light will break through and you’ll smile a genuine smile. The light will shine on you and in you. You won’t forget the darkness – in fact, it will return from time to time. But it won’t control you like it once did.
Life will always be heavy, but it won’t always feel THIS heavy. The weight of grief will not hold you down forever. It will not be in charge of your comings and goings. It will not keep you from living.
You’ll never find answers, but you will find peace. It won’t ever make sense. You’ll probably always question, wonder. But you’ll realize this isn’t the end. And even with the confusion, you will begin to move forward.
And finally I’d tell her:
YOU WILL SURVIVE. You’ll live to tell about the dark places and you will be a living, breathing testament to the fact that those who remain in dark places will be okay too.