Tag Archives: sorrow

Generous beyond all reason

“This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: the facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things that ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.” — Augusten Burroughs Perhaps the …

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A song for all the years

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, …

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Overheard by the soul

And we dance to a whispered voice overheard by the soul undertook by the heart. You may know it… —Neil Diamond There’s an intriguing story in the first book of Kings, in the Old Testament. The prophet Elijah was fleeing for his life, because the queen, Jezebel, had sworn to kill him. It was no …

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Perhaps the greater

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien Let’s just say it had been one of those days. Following one of those weeks. …

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To share our pain

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” — Henri Nouwen “…losing love Is like a …

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No endings

“There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.” ― Hilary Mantel “…life is eternal And love is immortal And death is only a horizon Life is eternal As we move into the light And a horizon is nothing Save the limit of our …

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Hard to imagine

“Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into …

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One day

“I have wandered far upon the desert plain, but in my heart a bird keeps singing, and the daffodils beckon and blow, — and one day I shall wander back.” — Muriel Strode Last week was a good one for me, but it began on a gloomy note. I spent most of the week at …

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Perceptibly nearer

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence…yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. The vast and shadowy stream of time sweeps on without break, but the …

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Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

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A good calling

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to …

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A mosaic

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” —Stanley Horowitz This quote captures the appeal of the year-end visual landscape, as dark lines edge and define the deepening colors, and the waning sunlight washes over everything with the impressionism of a watercolor. Autumn is a …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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Alchemy in sorrow (2017)

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck Dear readers, as always when I take even a short break, I find myself far behind on urgent tasks. In addition …

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Friendship refreshes

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” — Proverbs 27:9 (The Message) It’s a good thing, too, because my soul was badly in need of refreshment. My voice is still gone, the bureaucratic hassles continue, and of course all this is nothing compared to missing Jeff. Spring is lovely but without him, it’s just not the same. …

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A happy thought

“It was a happy thought to bring  To the dark season’s frost and rime  This painted memory of spring,  This dream of summertime.” – John Greenleaf Whittier Last Thursday, the evening before Jeff’s burial ceremony at Arlington, I opened our front door to family arriving from out of town and found a package on my doorstep. It …

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A genuine man

“For years to come the stories will be told Of a genuine man with a heart made of gold… A good bond is strong, like Gorilla Glue You bonded with us and we bonded to you. We love you Colonel Denton!” — lines taken from a poem given to Jeff by his graduating residents, 2015 …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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How infinitely rich

“I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” — Isak Dinesen Perhaps the understanding Dinesen describes is one of the greatest gifts to come …

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Through the rain

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be. —George Matheson Sometimes a poem, song, quote or Bible verse stored in my memory will become more relevant, and therefore more appreciated, …

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The strength

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” —Helen Keller I’m not exactly sure how we’ve gotten through the past three weeks, but somehow we have. Some days are much worse than others, but all of them bring small reasons to be grateful. I can acknowledge that in my mind without feeling …

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The arabesques

The arabesques a hope can do…       the dances dreams can make… the patterned pain a mind may shape…      before a heart will break — Joan Walsh Anglund Despite the risk of heartbreak, hope is a better way to live. I really believe that. I am so thankful you are with us …

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Memory of the heart

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I ever enjoyed.” — Lydia Child It’s not good to live in the past or long for bygone times. Ecclesiastes 7:10 reminds us “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such …

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A friend knows

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” — Donna Roberts In April, during the weeks Jeff was recovering from the surgery to remove his brain tumor, we were unable to travel to our York home. I started to worry about various things I needed to take …

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The stormy present

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” — Abraham Lincoln, in his Second Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862 In the years I’ve …

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