It was raining when I woke up this morning. It was comforting in a strange way. My first thought was that God was crying with me.
I certainly needed Her support. Today was Brody’s funeral.
I decided to speak at his service, and (after reading his obituary) this is what I shared:
Years ago, I heard the story of the grandfather who taught his grandson about the wolves that war inside each of us. It’s a Cherokee legend, and for me, it is very helpful wisdom as I grieve Brody’s death.
The grandfather explains that one wolf is evil… He is anger, envy, regret, sorrow, self-pity, guilt and lies. One wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, generosity, empathy, truth, compassion, and faith. And I would add, gratitude. The wolves battle inside each one of us, trying to gain control.
The grandson asks his grandfather which wolf will win the fight, and the grandfather answers: the one you feed.
People have told me that there is no wrong way to grieve – and I appreciate that because grief is a journey you have to allow yourself to travel without judgement. Still, I have found, that tragedy and grief make both wolves eager to fight.
What I want to say to everyone – grieving for our loss or for your own – is please don’t let yourself camp in a dark place. Please don’t embrace anger. Please do not call pity your friend. They are worse foes than death – they will kill the living. Please don’t get mad at God and think that she is a cruel mother. She grieves with me, she hopes with me. She knows what it is not to get her way.
Please, embrace love and hope. Seek ways to be gracious and compassionate and feed the good wolf.
If you are somewhere dark on your journey – keep going.
Jensen and I brought children into the world to be sources of light and love. I want the light that Brody gave me to live on in my heart, and I will feed that light – I will feed the good wolf.
I want to end today with a poem I wrote the night before Brody died. I had no idea what was to come the next morning. I was laying in bed telling God how I wanted to help parents whose babies were in intensive care – and that inspired me to write a poem.
I loved you when you were just hope in my heart
When I heard your heart beating I thought
This is the start of an adventure, together
Though now we’re apart
I love you and there is still hope in my heart