Gethsemane’s Garden

Chapter 10 from Grieving Forward –  Embracing Life Beyond Loss by Susan Duke

One of my most favorite stories in the bible is the story of the Garden of Gethsemane. You might think that it is odd that one would like this story, but it has an uncanny parallel to how I felt and at times still do. My journey over the past five years since Brittany died has been the most tragic, sorrowful, painful but on the other hand, its been joyful, filled with gratitude and thankfulness.

The story of Jesus and his experience with his disciples during the last hours of his life resonated with me as it played on through the words of Matthew. The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus felt such sorrow and grief. Where he spent time with God reconciling his life and understanding the outcome that was before him. He also found out what loneliness is and how it comes with grief like a dark cloak that covers your body. It would seem as though you become invisible to those around you. That the grief you carry is only seen or felt by  you alone. 

Time after time, in the garden Jesus anguished to his Father and to his disciples. His disciples all but ignored him. Falling asleep even though Jesus had asked them to pray for him. When I wrote about the garden before it was from a different perspective. I saw the disciples and their disconnect from Jesus as a similarity to something I was experiencing early on after Brittany died. I felt as if I was grieving and my heart breaking and I felt so alone. I talked to God constantly and asked repeatedly why – why me – why her – why now. The silence was deafening.

But now as I have matured in my grief and I have come to understand it better and I have learned to give it the respect it demands. Duke speaks of the power of acceptance. Takes a long time to get there in my opinion. But I do believe with a strong faith and a great support network it is possible. My loss has so many different facets to it. The grief started when Brittany was first diagnosed with Epilepsy and Crohn’s Disease. You grieve the loss of having a child that is normal. You come to accept life will  be different. But when you lose a child suddenly with little warning – its unspeakable the damage it leaves behind. I can only compare it to the worst train wreck, or earthquake and the devastation it leaves behind. Nothing makes sense, life seems unreal and you can’t figure out what to do next.

It is and always will be my faith that carries me through this journey. And I say through, because you don’t ever, ever get over this. You just get through it. God gives me just enough to move forward every day and it is possible to see joy and love life again. It’s just missing a small piece – just enough to make it a little uncomfortable. That is where I am today. Feels uncomfortable and at some level broken; but through those tiny cracks is the ray of hope, faith and grace that God bestows on me each and every day. For that I am grateful.

Until next time