Sunday, August 7, 2011


It was the same way I've spent every Sunday afternoon beginning May 8. Sitting at my husband's grave.

Typically, I spend the time there praying, talking "to Chris", crying, singing, reading God's Word, journaling, and once I even laid down right beside his grave. Maybe that seems a bit absurd, but until you've walked in my shoes...I would hesitate to judge the absurdity.

But, today wasn't typical. At all. Today...I did nothing. I sat there. Nothing. No praying, no talking, no crying, no singing, no reading, no writing, no laying on the ground...absolutely nothing. I think I'm emotionally drained. Sure...I've cried today...several times. Just not at the grave. I've done many of these things...just not at the cemetery. I was completely numb.

Ironically, I was sitting in that cemetery in my jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt in 92 degree weather, and I felt nothing. The sun was blazing down on me, but I felt nothing. scared me.

I was scared that my grief had taken over to a place that I could no longer manage. I was scared that I would never overcome this. But, honestly...some words that I read from a book on grief that I just finished the night before started to make sense as I was sitting there. It was a chapter on coping with a traumatic death (like a suicide). The author, a Christian with years and years of experience on the subject - first-hand and through his work as a licensed therapist, shared it this way...

"A traumatic experience literally disrupts the functioning of your mind and inhibits your ability to reason. It overwhelms your coping ability.

Trauma leads to silence...

Trauma leads to isolation; no one seems to understand the experience you had.

Another way people reexperience trauma is through numbing..."

These are just a few excerpts, but they actually started to make sense to me. This is what I've been feeling for about 10 days (or so) inability to reason, silence, isolation, numbness...basically...nothingness. I don't like it, but it seems to be part of this ugly new territory I find myself in. I recognize that it's temporary. But, it's still something difficult to journey. The only comfort I seem to find is that even Jesus was acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3), and the psalmists ventured paths of despair and back more times that I can count. I'm not the first, and I won't be the last.

It's just so hard, friends. Grieving is absolutely exhausting. I try to be strong for those that are looking for me to be strong. I try to be real for those that want to see real. I am both...real (what you see is what you get) and strong (but only at times). However, right now...I'm in terrible pain, and I'm simply exhausted. Hence, the nothingness.


  1. Oh Leah, praying for you, begging for your comfort as I read this. You are strong. You are beautiful and He loves you so much.

  2. Oh, sweetie, thank you for sharing the depth of your pain. It takes such great courage to share so much with so many, Leah.

    Remember this...God created the world, as beautiful as it is, out of nothing. He will create something beautiful out of your nothingness, too. Wait and see! Until then, I know the waiting and the nothingness is unbearable. *hugs*

  3. My Sweet Leah...God's is in the process of taking all that "Nothingness" and creating a beautiful "SOMETHINGNESS"!!! Never Never Give Up!!!

  4. Leah, as I tear up reading your post - know that most of us don't "expect" anything from you. This is your grief to be handled in your way. We love you, your heart and your willingness to openly share this with all of us. I will pray for you extra hard today. You are always on my heart. I love looking at the pic of us from She Speaks and am grateful we had the chance to meet. You are prayed for dear sweet sister in Christ.

  5. Not only did Jesus weep after Lazarus died ("Jesus wept" is the shortest verse in the New Testament), but after John the Baptist dies I think his withdrawing could reflect a numbness of sorts (Mt 14:13) The Christian tradition, especially the Orthodox tradition, has enormous amounts of literature on "darkness" and "nothingness" as necessary stages of spiritual growth (Gregory of Nyssa, St. John of the Cross, etc.).

    But the most important thing is just being wholly honest about what you're going through. That you have done amazingly well, with courage.

  6. This brought tears to my eyes and I don't even know you. Saying a little prayer for you now. Praying for God to hold you close and give you comfort in His love and plan for you. <3