The clarity of what's in front of you might look clear, but you walk away and come back to see the particles of life have landed on your newly polished piece. Before you know it you have a big pile of ash sitting to the side and you're wondering what to do with it. You've burnt through so many memories just trying to experience their love again. No matter what you do it's just never the same. With time though you continue to go back to the pile of ash to sift out what's left of those memories. Then you mix those remnants with other memories that you still carry to make more ashes. The recycling of the love and grief that you experience.
The more you learn to walk with your grief and your feelings of the ones you love and miss the more treasures that you find in the ash pile. Eventually we must do something with the ash pile so that we can always have the remembrance. For instance, even though I didn't know her well, last summer I helped our church with vacation bible school. There was a mature lady that helped with a missions fundraiser during the week. Last year the children raised money for kids of the Syrian Refugees. Now since then, she has passed to be with the lord and during this fundraising I turned bowls to auction to help the kids achieve their goal. For the rest of my life I will remember her every time I do or think of a bowl, because of the ashes she left in my pile. Or even with the candles that we started doing in remembrance for Lenora. Every time I do a red one I think of my mom, because red was her favorite color.
Sometimes in life you have to take the ashes from the pile and mix them with the bucket of tears to make some clay. Then take that clay and mold it. Form it into a planter and put in it a spiritual seed. With that spiritual seed is attached a person that you've lost and over time you water it, maintain it, feed it, and learn to be around it. Eventually as we walk through life that seed starts to sprout. The more you recognize and take care of the sprout the bigger and stronger it gets. Soon enough this plant becomes another part of your spiritual garden. A garden full of memories, strengths, weaknesses, love, joy, grace, mercy, forgiveness, tears, frustrations and hope. A place truly dedicated to the recognition of grief in your life. A safe place where you can go and remember the love that you have. A place full of planters with the memories of those we love.
If one leaves the pile of ashes and never does something with them their garden soon becomes a desolation of sadness. Picture a dark gloomy deserted place that no one would want to go. Going to a place that is not maintained and taken care of can be a dangerous place. It can be a place that holds you down or where you get lost, because you don't know the way out. A place that resembles only the pain that you have rather than the love that grief truly represents. Yes, with love there is pain and all of this is part of grief, but if we sift through the ashes and make something from them we can give ourselves the possibilities of having a safe haven. A haven that holds our memories no matter if they are joyful or painful. A place that we know the way out of. A sanctuary that we can learn to walk through so that our ash pile doesn't overcome us. A walk that becomes a lifelong journey until we reach the other side.