By Jodi Weaver
I went to a retreat a while back and as I sat looking out at the lake outside the window of my room, I felt God speaking to me.
The lake lay still and calm with the surface like glass. The sky was reflected upon it, giving a feeling of vastness, even though it was only a small lake. Everything was calm, no wind was blowing. I felt at peace with nature around me. Then something off to the side caught my attention. From the bank, several ducks entered the water and silently swam towards the center of the lake. In front of them, the lake was still calm and mirror-like, but behind them was a wake of ripples spreading out wider and wider. As they reached the center of the lake, I looked back at the spot where they had entered the water and it was still and mirror-like. The ripples had already moved through it.
This started me to thinking about how our grief is the same. We are going through life and all is calm and peaceful. We are happy and content with our life. Then out of no where something starts creeping into our life from the sides. In the main part of our life, the parts that people see, everything appears to be still calm and undisturbed. They don’t see the ripples that are forming. Before long the disturbance moves to the center of our lives and the ripples are so large that no one can miss seeing them.
How does this apply to us? When we become pregnant, we are so excited and everything seems perfect. Then we start having problems. They are so small at first that they are barely noticeable to even ourselves. The world never realizes that there is anything wrong. Slowly the fear begins to engulf us and then the grief takes over as we realize we have lost the baby. The ripples of grief begin slowly, but end up spreading out through our whole life. It may take a while before the grief ripples are big enough to be noticed by the rest of the world, but sooner or later they can’t help but notice.
For some the grief comes on so hard and fast it is as if someone took a huge rock and threw it into the lake. If your pregnancy is going along fine and suddenly you find out that there is no heartbeat, or maybe your child dies of SIDs or from a terrible accident. These ripples are sudden and huge. These are ripples that no one can miss.
What is the good news? Just like the wake of ripples that were made by the ducks on the pond started slowly disappearing as they moved further out on the lake, so will our grief ripples. As grief moves through, sooner or later the ripples begin to get smaller and smaller. We may feel that they will continue to grow forever, take heart in the fact that they will finally disappear. That doesn’t mean that they will never come back again. Sometimes they are just as large as the first time, and sometimes the will be smaller ripples. We will just learn from the first time that we can have PEACE again.