Grief Has No Face


I found a window seat, which I love after a long business day. I pressed my face to the glass and as is my habit, searched for heaven.

“Hi honey. It’s me again. I miss you! How are you? I was wondering, do you go to church in heaven? Are there “Sundays” in heaven? Are there any days at all? I suspect time is a completely different matter where you are. Now that you get to walk with Jesus, perhaps every day is Sunday in heaven!

I’m doing a lot better honey. Can you believe it’s been ten months since we said our goodbyes? I can’t either. But time does help to heal the hurt. I’m staying busy with work and church and beginning to feel a bit of that old spark…”

I suddenly sensed I wasn’t alone. I turned my head away from the window to find the woman sitting next to me leaning as close to me as possible, so that she could see out the window too. I smiled at her and leaned back a little so that she would have a better view of heaven and laughed to myself thinking, boy if she only knew who I was talking to!

She stared at the clouds, but her eyes looked empty. Her face seemed to be void of emotion. Something was missing. I said, “Beautiful evening, isn’t it?

She said, as she continued to stare out the window, not looking at me, “My husband and I just learned two hours ago that his youngest brother died today. We had to leave a park where I was playing with my grandchildren, to race to the airport. They didn’t even know we left. I didn’t get to say goodbye to them. I just left them with my daughter. “

I stared at her for a few moments. She had sat in silence for at least an hour before we spoke. I noticed that when she got on the plane, her husband had to sit a few rows back, as they were about the last to get on. I touched her sleeve and looked at her and said “I’m so very sorry. God bless your brother today, and your family. “

She turned to look at me and we stared at each other for a few seconds. It was as if she was trying to focus, but couldn’t quite get there. I knew that face. A faceless face. No tears. They would come later. I remember that. No pain. Just numb. In shock. I remember that. Words of comfort. I don’t remember. It’s all a blur, those first hours, days.

We sat in silence together and stared at the clouds, each returning to our own thoughts. I patted her arm again and she put her hand on top of mine.  I knew that we didn’t need to talk anymore and I knew that this was a God moment.

Thank you, God, for bringing me to this point. For your healing touch. For seeing that I have come a long way. For the blessing of that woman and the chance to try to offer her peace. In trying to lend her comfort, I realized that I am well; that I will be fine.

I didn’t get their alone.

Grief has no face. Love one another. Be kind to one another.

About susansplace

Widowed in 2012, I am a mother and grandmother. Born in San Francisco, I now live in the town I grew up in: Mill Valley, California. I love nature photography. Just an amateur but that's OK! My goal: world peace. Got any ideas?
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6 Responses to Grief Has No Face

  1. Lynn says:

    Wow, powerful.

  2. susiebell123 says:

    Thank you, Lynn. It was a powerful moment for me!

  3. Laura says:

    Really nice post. Mostly a reminder to me that everyone, no matter who it is or what you think they are going through, you don’t really know unless you ask. And we are all going through something. Best to be kind first. We are all in this together.

  4. Jan says:

    I’ve missed your blogs and found this most inspiring. Thank you.

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