Yesterday afternoon I re-watched It's My Party. Wow, what an emotional workout that was. It never ceases to amaze me how deep the grief I carry is, how "in this moment" it feels. It is not true that the hole inside heals, in the sense that it disappears. Rather, my experience of grief long after the death, is that the most excruciating pain of the hole is held by gentle, loving hands. These hands offer up my grief for my attention every now and then. I like to think of my deepest griefs in this way, because I don't experience grief as a diminishment. On the contrary, I am richer, fuller, more human because of the grief I suffer. The hands inside that hold my griefs are parts of me that have woven themselves into the very fabric of who I am.
Sometimes when the grief is offered up for my attention it feels as though my deceased loved one is holding the hole, asking me to spend time remembering and grieving. Other times it feels like a divine offering, as if God or the universe was inviting me to go more deeply into my pain. I recognize spiritual truth in the stories of the disciples "seeing" Jesus after his death: in eacth encounter, Jesus is both transformed and transformative. He is recognized by his wounds, and those who followed him are wounded for new life.