An Ache Untold

Grief is a terrible, powerful thing. It tears up apart and isolates us from those we love. And when we are isolated, we are taken away from those who can help us.

Everyone has experienced grief at some point in their lives. Everyone has felt the gripping pain, the sensation of drowning while everyone looks on, no one willing to help, no one able to understand. I don’t know a single person who has not experienced grief at some point. And that’s just part of life. We live, and we die, leaving our loved ones behind to mourn. Leaving us a broken mess.

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But we’re all beautiful messes, a kaleidoscope of colors; the deep blue of grief, butter yellow of happiness, bright red of anger, soft pink of love, green of envy, black of hate. All those colors are mixed together on our canvass of life, creating beautiful, wonderful, unique masterpieces.

For Christians, death is just another step into a greater journey, a doorway to everlasting peace. The same is true for many other cultures and religions. After death, the soul goes to that restful place of peace and security. And as Christians, we grieve the passing, but rejoice that our loved one is now resting in the arms of God.

But there is a grief deeper than that.

What if your loved one was not a Christian? What if your loved one turned their back on all your believed in and then was wrenched from the world before you had the chance to bring them back to the light?

I have known grief like that. My dad was an atheist. He knew about God and the Savior, but he turned his back on Him. And then, before I could try and convince him, before I could gain the courage to speak up, he was wrenched away violently. I never had the chance to say goodbye.

My new story, If I Die, is heavily based off my past. The main character, Autumn Harris’ best friend had committed suicide, leaving Autumn in heavy grief. If I Die is about her journey into darkness, and her ascent into letting go of grief and coming back to the light.

Depressed young woman sitting on stairs outdoors, with copy space

“My life of late has been like that. One agonizing minute after the next. But after the minute’s gone, it feels like a lifetime away.

Mom told me I should pray. God will hear my prayers. He understands. He’s all knowing. He’ll help. I snort and fold my arms over my blanket.

Yeah, right. God is also the one who tore my friend away from me. And what’s heaven without my best friend? I know I won’t see her there. People who kill themselves don’t go to heaven.”

I can’t say enough how much writing this story is taxing me. How pounding out the words is chipping at the fragile mortar that has pasted my heart back together.

But this story needs to be told. It is a story for all those grieving, or have grieved. It is a story for everyone. And I hope it will make a difference.

“Now that I think about it, the basement isn’t so creepy anymore. Now it’s just depressing. Void of anything. It’s a hole, waiting to be filled. But it won’t. Because it’s useless.

Like me.”


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