I didn’t mean to stop writing about grief. It’s not like it is less important or that I have conquered it all. It just seems I’ve gotten busy or that I only think about writing posts and fail to write them. Sometimes, I don’t want to take the time to "express my feelings"; other times I am not sure if what I am thinking makes any sense, so why write? And often, the day's emotions and thoughts merely fade as a new day arises.
With this in mind, tonight (or this morning) I decided to be intentional. Instead of just drifting off to sleep or getting lost in a goofy TV show, following a fun night of music with friends, it seemed necessary to process a bit more (and write!).
Lately, the resounding bell of September has started to ring. Last night, my sleep was restless as each time I awoke I thought, “September is almost here. September 30 is almost here. Four years ago was the last time I saw my late husband Josh's face. How could it be four years? Ugh, Sept 30."
The weight of the emotion lingered throughout the day. Then, this evening I found myself talking with my friend Jim about music and artists that Josh equally enjoyed (Wilco, Rich Mullins, etc). During tonight's open mic, Jim and I sang a Rich Mullins song - it wasn’t one Josh played often, but still it connected with me. (In case you don’t know we shared a Rich Mullins song: The Love of God at Josh’s Celebration of Life.)
My newish friend never had a chance to meet Josh, yet there’s a common thread. At times, talking with him is like having a small piece of Josh lingering in this world. It’s unique and beautiful. Of course, I wish the two of them could have met and swapped stories – that would have been interesting!
But, this prompt to write is not only about a night of music, it is also about the time of year. With only two days left in August, there is a sorrow in my heart brewing. Much like how the month of April causes me to have all the feels about my mom, it seems the upcoming month of September is also rendering a sense of deep sorrow.
I recognize the patterns as I navigate each new season or new year of grief. Yet, even as I realize these, I am often still surprised by how much my heart aches. I know I am not alone in these feelings and I know people face new and return grief each day. The time frame of an aching sorrow might differ, but as fellow grievers we can relate with one another. As I've heard it said, “there’s no timetable on grieving someone you love.”
There is a part of me that hopes, Josh can hear the silly conversations I have about life, music, culture, church, etc. The thought makes me smile and in a way it lightens the grief.
Maybe these early morning ramblings are simply that, but maybe they will be an encouragement to someone walking in the wild ride of grief – people facing love and loss and navigating a life that is now littered with moments of deep sorrow, humorous thoughts and lingering questions.
With that, here's one final refrain:
Hold on. Let the music continue; your song is important.
And remember . . . the Lord is with you.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.