Monday, 19 September 2011

A brother's grief observed...

Last week on three separate occasions I encountered words of healing for my hurting heart:

First there was Michael Landsberg of TSN speaking about the suicide of his friend Wade Belak. Belak took his life 2 days after my brother took his own. Landsberg's words spoke to me deeply.

We end up liking people because of their good traits. Sometimes we end up loving them because of their flaws.

People kill themselves when the fear of living another moment outweighs the fear of dying at that moment. Some things you can't ever judge.

Perhaps I didn't know how much I loved him until he was gone.

Why did he do it?

Second, Joseph Grenny penned the thought that,

The measure of my soul is my capacity to love imperfect people. I also have found that my inability to accept others' weaknesses is usually caused by my unwillingness to acknowledge my own.

Who was I to look at my brother's flaws when I am filled with so many of my own?

Finally, Nicholas Woltertorff in A Lament For A Son shared from his heart the pain & anguish having to deal with the mountaineering death of his son, Eric.

Once again these words were used by the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart.

Our culture says that men must be strong and that the strength of a man in sorrow is to be seen in his tearless face. Tears are for women. Tears are signs of weakness and women are permitted to be weak. Of course it's better if they too are strong.

But why celebrate stoic tearlessness? Why insist on never outwarding the inward when that inward is bleeding? Does enduring while crying not require as much strength as never crying? Must we always mask our suffering? May we not sometimes allow people to see and enter it? I mean, may men not do this?

And why is it so important to act strong? I have been graced with the strength to endure. But I have been assaulted, and in the assault wounded, grievously wounded. Am I to pretend otherwise? Wounds are ugly, I know. They repel. But must they always be swathed?

I shall look at the world through tears. Perhaps I shall see things that dry-eyed I could not see.

There's a hole in the world right now. In the place where Terry (Eric) was, there is now just nothing.

If sympathy for the world’s wounds in not enlarged by our anguish, if love for those around us is not expanded, if gratitude for what is good does not flame up, if insight is not deepened, if commitment to what is important is not strengthened, if aching for a new day is not intensified, if hope is weakened and faith diminished, of from the experience of death comes nothing good, then death has won. Then death, be proud.

Death will gain no victory with Terry's death. Despite the personal anguish he was experiencing that drove him to his actions, I know Terry now rests with Jesus Christ.

And I will grieve his loss yet remember him with fondness for the rest of my days.

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