If you have suffered great losses and pain, have you noticed that seeing the world through a lens of grief means you can later observe joy and delight with greater ferocity?
I don’t mean right away. For me, after losing my brother, it took a few years to see clearly again. And even now — I can re-enter grief quite easily. But when my vision cleared and I emerged from the initial fog of grief, I noticed colors more boldly and felt I could speak with more authenticity and live in the moment with more freedom. I had changed. I lived a deeper form of love because I let pain change me and I found grace and hope in the process.
This passion I have to write fiction short stories and connect themes of God’s goodness and grace — this may have not happened without my personal struggles, burdens, and trials. I did not taste the depth of sweetness of joy until I traversed the depths of bitter darkness in loss. The edges of the mountains are more visible with light shining in the darkness.
The skies are grey and air cold; mountains remain snow-covered even after days with sun. My daughters sigh and wonder how long January — or winter — or Covid — will last.
Soon, I tell them — soon enough we can emerge.
Soon, we will travel far from home and have some type of “normal” again. But until then, we must carry forward with wisdom and wear masks and stay home (the perfect time to hibernate and eat soup).
It’s akin to the last few months of a Great War and one must not hastily abandon all we’ve done the last two years. But I hope we hold onto the good, meaningful lessons after pandemic life shifts to normal. I’m certain that after these long, dark, cold nights of winter, of quarantine, of masks, the spring will be all the more glorious.
Our friends’ smiles will appear all the more beautiful because we’ll be unmasked in front of each other— and our eyes will spill tears when this is finally done.