A Weeping Christian: When Faith and Grief Collide

A blog by Kimberly Crumby

A New Year

When you are an educator, you tend to think in terms of school years. So for us, our “Happy New Year” is most heavily experienced when August rolls around. It is a time to get back into the routine, think about goals and plans for the new year, and start back with a rejuvenated spirit.

For a momma who has had to let go of a child, everything takes on a new dimension. It’s like looking through a window; at first, there are never-ending cracks and so much grime you can barely see. Over time, the window is very slowly repaired and eventually you can look out- but the glass always remains cloudy.

“For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?
But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?
How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

I think about what grade my sweet girl would be in. What she would look like. If she would have liked school. Whether she would still be hard-headed and full of imagination. How different it would be to have two school aged kids. And these thoughts recur every year without fail.

About the time the first week of school is over (and my educator friends know there’s nothing quite like the first week of school), my birthday arrives. I think about the last birthday I spent with my Hannah- how it was the big 3-0. How there’s a cute picture of my momma’s boy with me wearing a “30” crown, but she’s not in the pose because it didn’t suit her fancy to be photographed that day. How I had no idea my baby would be gone before I reached 30 and 1/2. I wonder if the cancer cells were already invading her little body even as August rolled to a close. I am overwhelmed by the number of years I may still have on this earth.

Now, after all the time God has spent repairing the cracks in my glass, most days I can claim an upward spiral. On the days I travel in the opposite direction, I find comfort in knowing I’ve survived what seemed like a never-ending downward trajectory. The Holy Spirit groaned for me when I had no words. God was faithful and continues to be my comfort…strength…hope.

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