Grief, Prayer, Writing

A blank page

Paper I've been staring at a blank page all week when it comes to writing about something that didn't impact me directly but did impact part of my extended family, in particular my nephew who is 13 years old and suffered a terrible loss when his best friend jumped off a bridge, killing himself.

Usually when I'm troubled, I find a way to tell the story, typing the words at my laptop, watching them appear on the screen. 

Writing, I work things out.

When it's too hard, or too complicated, or too inexplicable, I write it down, and in the writing, things happen.

This is probably why the story of this week sat like a rock, because I prayed so differently, without words, for once. I have a lot of words! But this did not have, not readily. 

Maybe it helps when I know the role I'm supposed to play–the role guides me to what I'm supposed to say or do? Is "supposed" as bad a word as "should?"

This week all I could do was love inarticulately, from a distance.

It did not feel wonderful.

But it was prayer. It was. Maybe the best prayers I've prayed, personally, in a long time. My heart felt hot, a glowing, pulsing rock, full of love and sadness, not a burden to lay down but a trust to carry.

A trust to carry.

So when I say they have been in my thoughts and prayers–my nephew, my niece, their mother–I as much mean they have been my thoughts, they have been my heart prayers.

(I'm grateful to Jan at Yearning for God for the post that inspired an exercise we did at Soul Spa this morning, and to all who inspired her in the first place. It was entitled "A Blank Page is Prayer." This morning I gave blank paper to the Soul Spa attendees, and part of this post is what I wrote on that page.)

12 thoughts on “A blank page”

  1. You are so right. Sometimes there is no way words will make sense in a situation. There is no advice to give or listening that can be done at the moment. Just, Oh. Hug with our souls the wounded, knowing that we stand together so close to understanding, and yet.

  2. I have read that a death by suicide has a deep impact on an average of 50 people ~ one of its many horrors thus being that the one who dies does so in part because he has has lost sight of the fact that anyone at all will be affected.
    My heart goes out to your nephew and his family, and all the forever altered family and friends of this child.

  3. I have been holding you and this family in my prayers….it is so very sad and there are no words for it…

  4. a former student of mine killed himself two weeks ago. many of my current students are struggling with it. thanks for this post. it reminds me that the spirit prays for us, knows what to pray even we we don’t have the words for it.

  5. Suicide is one of those things that impacts people forever. So many unanswered questions, so much anger and hurt, and yes, even feelings of betrayal. Peace and grace to your sweet nephew and everyone impacted.

  6. Difficult to know which is worse, the sense of betrayal by the child into whom you have poured your life. or the sense of betrayal by a God who seems to have destroyed all future. Oh wait ~ everything is the worst.

  7. I am so sorry for that young man’s death, and your family’s loss. Suicide has a way of leaving one speechless.

  8. We have felt this kind of longing in our family. Thank you for providing some words.
    PS: Soul Spa?

  9. I am so sorry. Loss of a child is always difficult but I imagine suicide compounds the grief with the “whys” and “what ifs”. My heart goes out to your family, the boy’s family, and each and every person touched by his life and unfortunate death.

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