Our Silent Companion, Grief

Things are different now. We are missing a family member, one has gone before us leaving an empty spot in our home and hearts. Yet, we have gained an extra member, one that we are not so excited about having along side us for the rest of life. Our new family member’s name is Grief.

Grief likes to reside in the corners and at the most unexpected moments, he will tap you on the shoulder to make sure you know he is still around. He is not a friendly sort of fellow and he chooses the least appropriate times to show up. He likes to come along to church and torment you in public. Sometimes it’s the oddest places, when you pass a certain vehicle on the road or when you see an item in the grocery aisle. He is especially bad when you think you are home alone and in his quiet little way he will usually come around. Grief follows our footprints everywhere we go, at home or abroad.

With the changing of seasons, Grief always comes to life. Christmas is just around the corner and you can expect that he will appear for that too. When we pull out the boxes stuffed with decorations and lights, Grief will sneak up behind us and remind us of the one we are missing who loved Christmas so much. Grief digs up the memories of years gone by, reminding us that Christmas will never be the same again.

When the carols start playing, bells begin ringing and a quiet Silent Night is heard, Grief begins to play his own tune in our hearts. He stirs in the soul reminding us of the love of singing and carols. A tear makes its way down our cheek because singing just isn’t the same anymore, the carols have lost their sweet chime.

The names have been exchanged and we are off to do shopping, but sure enough, he sneaks along for the ride. Sometimes we could almost forget that he‘s there, then we glance at our list and wonder, “Why are there not enough names?” And there is Grief, tapping our shoulders to make sure we remember there is nothing to buy them this year, all of our gifts for them have been given.

We cook and we bake and all the while we are thinking about which person likes these desserts and who likes those sweets. Pretty soon Grief starts stirring and our minds go to those special cookies, the ones he loved so well, and the desire to bake anything just disappears.

Members of different families gather and happy chatter fills the room, people calling hello and catching up. We look around and wonder who is missing and suddenly Grief reminds us, it will always be this way, there will always be someone missing.

We call our family together, the children rustle and squirm in their seats. We look around the circle and each one is there, save one empty chair. Grief wails loudly, bringing attention to the spot, the one who is missing, yet forever in our hearts.

This member called Grief is like a needy child, constantly wanting our attention, crying to be heard and acknowledged. At times he hangs out in the background, quietly allowing some peace, but relentlessly he will surface, unable to let much time pass without a reminder. We can refuse to listen to him when he starts calling, or tell him to be quiet, but he will eventually become persistent enough that we have no choice but to acknowledge him.

Grief is now our ever-present companion, always tagging along. Not only is he with us over the Holidays, but we will live with him for the rest of time. Each time the season changes, every birthday and each beautiful fall day, he will be there. With time, we will get used to having him around but we will always carry Grief’s weight. Carrying him is the price of love, all because someone we loved so very much is missing from our life.


10 thoughts on “Our Silent Companion, Grief

  1. Yes. Praying that your heart will be overwhelmed by the love, grace and mercy of the Father. May you hear Him sing peace over your spirit even now. It is a hard, hard journey dear one. One day-one day-our faith will be made sight. I miss Dominic every single day and this time of year is even harder.


  2. It’s not easy. I’m on that journey as well. Family gatherings and holidays change. I used to love to sing, but it is harder now since my dad and brother aren’t here. It definitely does something to you. Praying for your family this Christmas!


  3. I totally get this. After 31 years, I still think of Dad at random times, and wonder what it would be like to never have lost him. My heart goes out to those 3 little people in your family who lost a daddy…hugs this Christmas.


  4. I’m so so sorry. I haven’t lost a brother, but I’ve lost other people so dear to me, and I know how the ache remains so long afterward. How no one else can take that person’s place, even though time heals. May God be so near your family this holiday especially… ❤


  5. I’m so sorry, Shannon. I’m mostly a silent reader but this resonated with me too much to stay quiet. I too know of that unwelcome companion, not because of someone who once was with us, but because of ones who are so very longed for but are not conceived. The most surprising part of it for me was how it is such a lonely road… others can care and sympathize but the pain is always ours alone to bear. So we march onward, clinging to Hope. “… a thrill of HOPE, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and GLORIOUS morn….” Be with us, sweet Jesus.


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