When Darkness Falls

A truly good person that brought much love and light into this world recently died. His passing caught everyone by surprise, and the outpouring of grief has been like a huge sneaker wave sucking up mourners into a vast ocean of sorrow. This post is for them, and for anyone struggling to breathe after a profound loss.

Cliff Notes version:
You are not going through this heartbreak alone and the Universe/Higher Power/whatever you call the Divine is with you in this moment wrapping you with Love.

Long read:
“Ugh, religion? Really?”, you may be thinking. I don’t blame you a bit for rolling your eyes or being infuriated, but please bear with me. Before I share my story, I think it’s important to note that I am a nobody. What has happened to me periodically throughout my life doesn’t in any way whatsoever make me special. A therapist once told me that she often hears stories like mine, especially from folks that come from sad/scary backgrounds (like mine), so there is that. Feel free to judge me as a nut and disregard my story. That’s okay as well.

This story takes place in my early 30s. The pain from my crazy/sad/scary childhood was destroying me and worse, my children. The thought of passing the chaos along to my innocent children broke me down into little pieces and led me to therapy and healing.

On this particular day I was on my way to a therapy appointment where I was grinding through a massive amount of fear and grief. I was sobbing and driving and talking- well, actually more like screaming at the Universe. WHY? Why do You, this supposed Font of Life and Love allow such bad things to happen? Why? WHY?


And that Voice, which I had heard before, with a vast encompassing sorrow responded with,” Free will.” Hey, I got an answer and it made sense, but that’s not the important part of the story.

What impacted me the most was the accompanying sorrow. For me. An insignificant speck in the universe was loved enough by The Universe to be grieved for.

A little explanation is needed at this point. When these “encounters” happen, it isn’t like a regular convo where I say this and God says that and back and forth and yeah okay, etc. It’s actually more like a data download where a hundred thousand things are communicated all at once. Whoomp.

So those two words, “Free will”, also included…
I AM with you (literally, not figuratively), and
I AM filled with grief at your pain, and
I AM sustaining you and holding you and wiping away your tears, and
I AM your strength, and
I AM always, always with you.

Did any of this take away the work in therapy? No, of course not. Pain is pain and still needs to be faced. But I knew that I knew that I wasn’t alone.

So my message for the grieving is the same message. You. Are. Not. Alone. You may feel abandoned, lost, and without hope you will make it to the other shore. But without our knowing or believing we are gently held and God grieves with us. Life is hard. It’s also wonderful. Throughout every single bit of it we are accompanied by Love.

Do we go on after our bodies die? I’m going with a resounding YES.

Are our loved ones embraced by the Divine when they pass? Absolutely. If you don’t believe me (and I wouldn’t blame you if you did), then check out the links at the bottom of this post.

But at the end of the day, the part that sucks is being left behind. For that we have each other and our memories and the comfort of knowing that when our turn comes, we will be together again. Until then, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Be gentle with yourself and cry, rage, honor your process. And in the end, try to be the Light and the Love for one another.

Be a Russ.


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