After my son’s death, there were many turning points along the way in my grief. I could not make them happen all by myself, but I could make myself available. At each turning point, there was a sense of Divine Grace; it was only in quiet reflection or in sharing the experience with a good listener that I could say “thank you.”
I remember well the first time I could look at my son’s picture without breaking down in sobs. His suicide was shocking, terrifying and beyond heart-breaking.
That memorable day, I sat on our sofa and looked at a photograph of his face. Sweet, gentle tears rolled down my face as I felt unbounded love flood my heart. I wrote in my journal, but it took a few days for me to name that extraordinary moment of grace and give thanks to God. The love I felt then still remains in my heart. It is what I have of Sean, and nothing or no one can take that from me!
I recall sitting on my closet floor one day, months after Sean’s death and slowly opening the suitcase in which I had saved some of his belongings. At that time, I did not recall what I had saved. I was in too much pain and confusion when I first placed them in the suitcase.
I held his clothes to my face and smelled them hoping to remember how Sean smelled. I touched his poetry books, his baseball mitt, his sunglasses with gentle caresses hoping to recall how Sean felt. I folded up in tears on the closet floor with his things all around me, and I fell asleep.
I awakened, surprised by a sense of Sean’s presence embracing me. I sat stunned by what had happened and felt so close to my son that I wondered if the veil had completely disappeared for a moment. Again, I wrote in my journal, but it was not until I shared this with my Spiritual Director that I wept in gratitude for that moment of pure grace.
There are many turning points on the journey of grieving the death of a loved one. Each is a reminder that we are not alone in our grief and that our loved ones are with us in Spirit as is our God. Our journeys are much greater than the healing of grief. They are awakening us to the presence of love in our midst and inviting us to participate in love, to become love itself, and to walk side by side with others who suffer, with love in our hearts.
Pamela Prime is a mother and a grandmother and lives in Twain Harte and San Francisco. She and her husband have a small retreat with three guest houses in Twain Harte, called Two Bears Dancing!
Pamela is a Spiritual Director, an educator and a writer. She has a master’s degree in Systematic Theology from The Graduate School of Theology in Berkeley. Her first book “When the Moon is Dark We can See the Stars” was published in 2008. It is the story of how faith can hold us in our suffering, awaken us, and bring us into deeper awarenesses of God’s love and guidance. Pamela has a 4-month-old daughter who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She also has a son who at the age of 16, committed suicide. To reach Pamela or learn more about her book, visit www.whenthemoonisdark.com.
Pamela was a guest on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart and discussed Finding Peace and Light After Loss with hosts, Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley. To listen to this show, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley051409.mp3Tags: grief, hope, signs and connections