by Brandt Miller
Glide Memorial Church is a place where celebration and grief co-exist. We are a place where love and healing are one and the same. Who knows what grief is? If nothing else, it reminds us that we are alive. Grief hits us deep in the core, that fleeting and luminescent place where soul and body touch. Perhaps grief is a reminder that we are bodies and souls in one.
Grief is the ending of the story—not a close-the-book end—but a total shift into something profoundly new. Life through a new lens. Self-realization. Unconditional love. All trauma needs an ending to start flowing with the river of life, so our past can lead to wisdom as opposed to pain, sickness, addiction or PTSD. Grief is the body’s way to purge.
Grief holds all emotions in it: sadness, anger, compassion, awe, despair, and always love. Grief is like the color black—which holds all of the colors or the rainbow. Grief holds it all. So does love.
Glide Memorial Church is grieving from the recent deaths of beloved community members. Though we know God has a plan, that doesn’t mean we aren’t living with questions. And it doesn’t mean we can’t be mad. We’ve got to feel our feelings to transcend our feelings.
Our world is grieving after 2-years in a pandemic. Was the pandemic the source of the swelling grief, or a symptom of it? Where is God in the pandemic? Where is our humanity in the pandemic?
How do we move through grief? It is a personal journey that manifests differently for each being. But one thing we know at Glide Memorial Church is that community creates manageable grief from the unimaginable grief. And love molds grief into more love.
As we mourn for the recent lives lost within our community, as we mourn the countless lives lost to COVID, and as we mourn our own lives that we lost—pieces of ourselves, still trapped in the past—let’s realize that our grief is our passageway to freedom. It is our access to our greatest depths. It is the liminal space between being human and being divine.
May we grieve in community. May we grieve in love.