A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
I was watching The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency last Tuesday and it was an episode where an African-American mother came back to look for her missing son in Botswana. It had been 10 years since she had heard anything about him and being in Botswana made the pain of the whole experience feel new again. One of the more powerful (yet short) scenes for me was when the woman met with the detective to get any updates:
“I thought I had ended grieving years ago. Now it feels as if I’m just at the beginning.” [holds back her tears]
Earlier on, when Mma Ramotswe (the detective) first met the lady, she shared how she had also lost a child. Now when the mother said what she did in that later scene (above), my mind immediately went back to what Mma Ramotswe shared earlier, which I hadn’t fully appreciated until then:
“I lost a child, myself. A boy. He was born but, he did not live. [sighs] We think we’ll get over the pain but… [smiles and shakes her head] it never happens.”
When I first watched it I had a small doubting feeling, like, “Not so sure…I’ve been able to move past it.” When I saw the later scene it made me rethink what she said. “Actually, maybe it’s different when it’s a child…” and then I thought of my parents and then the real weight of it hit me and I realized – who am I fooling. I’m not over anything.
But those two parts helped me have more closure because internally, I’ve always felt like I should be slowly getting over it. Things shouldn’t cross my mind as much, life shouldn’t look so weird, and it shouldn’t feel so awkward when important things happen (and she’s not there).
You start to feel guilty about how you never seem to stop thinking about it, and how you relate everything back to it. How you just can’t feel normal about it.
If you can, pray for people who have had someone close pass away. Whether it was recent or in the distant past. Your entire life has to readjust itself. I’ve noticed (in myself) how hard it is to empathize with others in such situations because we can’t truly grasp how close the person was to the deceased. But they still need your care and prayers, years after.