The subject line looked innocent enough: “Call.”

I clicked on it automatically without giving it much thought.

How quickly can you be transported from a normal Saturday afternoon to holy ground?

How long does it take to open an email?


And there I was, on sacred ground. “Amy please contact Ms X. Her father has died unexpectedly and her siblings can’t get in contact with her. Let me know when you’ve reached her.”

The sacred space of the onramp to an unexpected, unwanted road leading to a place we didn’t want to go.  My very first post was about sitting with her at the airport Burger King waiting for a flight to take her to her mother’s funeral. You can read about it here.

Now I say, “Call your sister.”

Both parents gone in six months. One as expected as can be with cancer. One like looking to the right and being slammed into on the left.  Call your sister.

He’s gone. (He can’t be.)

The sense of home in the States forever altered. The sense of home in this world forever altered.

Holy ground.

Tickets purchased. Cars arranged. Bag packed. Heart numb. Memories flow. Mind jumps. The over whelming urge to JUST BE THERE. Ministering to each other, this ragtag band of shocked mourners.

Sunday morning, an early ride to the airport as we retraced steps taken just months before.  But one day, every tear will be wiped and we will not walk these paths.  I love the conclusion to John Donne’s “Death be not proud.” And death, thou shalt die! But until that day, this is the ground we walk.

The holy ground of grief. Oh how I hate you.


Related post:The line between then and now

Leave A Comment

  1. “The holy ground of grief. Oh how I hate you.”

    No doubt about it, it is a difficult path no matter what understandings we have about what death is and isn’t. It’s an unpleasant journey, a trying one!

    Best to Ms X. I’m glad you were there for her, both times.

    • Amy March 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Karin. Difficult and unpleasant indeed! To become an “orphan” is not a day I want to come … but I know it will.

  2. Loren Pinilis March 13, 2012 at 12:09 am - Reply

    My wife was just telling me last night about the relative of a friend of ours. Went in to give birth to a healthy baby. Everything went well. In the recovery, her leg started hurting. Nurses shrugged it off. A day later, she’s fighting for her life on a surgery table while bacteria is rapidly consuming her body from the inside out.
    It’s amazing how quickly things can change.
    It’s disheartening, but it’s also a reminder for us to never take for granted each second we have on this earth – and to look forward to when we’ll be free of grief in heaven.

    • Amy March 13, 2012 at 6:29 am - Reply

      Thanks for the reminder! I had written about something similar in “the gift of a crisis” — they do help you to focus on what we have to enjoy it in the NOW and to look forward to heaving when we won’t have anything to grieve. Hard to imagine!

  3. Alyssa Santos March 13, 2012 at 2:55 am - Reply

    My city is mourning the loss of a boy, only fifteen, who committed suicide last week. It seems everyone knew him! Just fifteen years and the scope of his influence far outstretched his understanding. It is holy, hateful and it is soaked in the soil of this earth. Our redeeming God, come quickly.

    Thank you for finding me on (in)courage — I will be checking in here now and again :)

    • Amy March 13, 2012 at 6:14 am - Reply

      Words cannot express. Fifteen and to suicide. “His influence outstretched his understanding” — beautifully put!

      Thanks for stopping by, we will look forward to hearing from you again. Amy

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